Monday, 29 December 2008

Breakfast bread..again

Same recipe as the earlier post, but changed the yogurt to coconut milk, simply because I had a pack in the fridge which need is expiring soon! :P Even added 2tbsps of Milo in it to add more flavour. But I can't really taste the coconut or Milo when I ate them. The bread smelled of coconut though... W liked it alot..oh well, his tatebuds are never fussy but that also mean he don't even know I added coconut milk! Oh yes, my mum liked it too, as the texture is pretty soft, unlike some breadmachine breads which may harden after sitting out in the open for a while.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Nigella's Chocolate Fudge

Made chocolate fudge for Xmas presents for my colleagues. Decided to do this after watching Nigella's Christmas. I managed to find the recipe on her website. Not a fan of pistachios, so just switched to silvered almonds instead. I can't seem to find a 23cm disposable square pan as required in the recipe, so I ended up using my springform pan instead. Thought there should not be any difference since no baking is required. :P

Oh well, there's no difference untill the unmoulding part. It's not possible to remove the entire fudge from the pan and cut it on a clean board. With a disposable aluminium pan, you just need to tear away the sides and the fudge will come off. And.. the humidity here does not help at all... After every 15mins, I have to pop the whole tray back into the fridge to harden the fudge again, so that it does not smudge the bags.

Taste wise, the fudge really tasted quite good, not too sweet, just nice for me. Process wise is really pretty idiot proof and if you stick to the disposable pan, you will be pretty safe.. hee.. I packed 4 pieces in each bag, and manage to get about 18 packs. Pack them into your freezer till ready to distribute. :)

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Making breakfast can be a chore, or a superb way to start the day! I am out of breakfast this morning and was planning to do something if I can find a quick and easy way to make something, you know, those mix and bake sort of stuff. Found one yesterday at This is the link to the article and recipe. I modified a little but the bread turns out to be pretty good. So if you happen to wake up an hour earlier, try your hands on this, not a bad way to start the day! I intend to attempt this recipe again with other combinations, wholemeal flour, oats, choc chips, or even shredded carrot and peas!.

200g all purpose flour ( I used 100g of bread and cake flour each)
13g of sugar (I used eye power to estimate)
8g of baking powder (again...eye power, no way am I going to use my manual scale and see the needle tip and stop at 8g at 630am in the morning...keke)
pinch of salt
150g of Paul's low fat yogurt
1 egg
dried cranberries, almond flakes, walnuts, whatever you have in your pantry and need to be used up.
Sift the flour and the baking powder into a mixng bowl. Add the salt, sugar, egg and yogurt and mix well with a whisk. If the batter seems dry, which mine was, add another tablespoon of yogurt. The yogurt was a 200g bottle, so I ended up adding all of it. Add in the cranberries at this point, mixing just enough to get the fruits through the batter.
If you are using a non-stick muffin tin, there's no need to flour or butter it. Good news right? no need to get your hands oily and messy in the morning. Clean and easy..:P or maybe...just lazy. Spoon the batter into the 6 hole muffin tin. Without the tin, just spoon it onto a lined baking tray and spread it roughly with the back of the spoon. The size of the pastry is up to you to decide then, which of couse affects the baking time.
Sprinkle the almond flakes over the batter. The original recipe had the nuts mixed in sugar syrup before placing them onto the batter. I have no time for this in the morning..hee, so it's just almond flakes. You can easily replace this with any corsely chopped nuts, no need to be roasted, since it's going into the oven anyway.
Preheat the oven to 220 degress C. Bake it for about 25 minutes and test with a wooden skewer. It's done when the skewer comes out clean.
Verdict: Well, my husband liked it, nice combi with almonds and dried cranberries. Not really bread like texture, as there is no yeast and no kneading. Easy to make, and not too heavy for breakfast or even afternoon snack.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Taipei food porn

All these food are just the a tiny bit of the glorious food in Taipei. Not to forget all the night markets! Enjoy the food porn!:D

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Banana Yogurt Cake or bread???

Into bananas recently, not becos I want to, but more of like, what I am suppose to do with all these bananas? After the 10km run on Sunday for the Terry Fox run, the helpers generously gave my husband a bunch of bananas... haaa, think we must have looked desperately in need of food.
After my last attempt on the banana walnut cake, I concluded that milk is needed to make a moist banana cake. But I did not want to buy a carton of milk just for 2 tbsp, so I decided to use yogurt instead.
I used this recipe to start off my banana cake, with some modifications though. I omitted the lemon juice and rind, and reduce the butter to 5 oz. What I have added are a handful of walnuts, oatmeal, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and 200g of low fat yogurt. Bake as indicated in the recipe and voila! A moist banana cake, with just the right sweetness. Could do with a bit more of cinnamon though. A recipe for keeps. ;)

Monday, 18 August 2008

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Pao De Quejio

This is a type of Brazilian cheese bread popular in the streets of Brazil. Why I made this? It all started with me looking for mochi bread premix in Taiwan. As I searched through the websites, I saw discussion and comparison between the mochi bread and this Pao de Quejio. Surprisingly, this Brazil cheese bread uses tapioca flour, cheese, oil and eggs, which is rather different from the mochi bread.

So I decided to have a go at it, since I have tapioca flour and parmesan cheese on standby. There are alot of recipes on the web and varies slightly between each of them. Decided to use the recipe from here. I did half a portion and followed the recipe closely. Instead of milk, I used unsweeteened soya milk. When you add the egg and cheese, put on the a disposable glove and knead the mixture well using your knuckles. I had one which has uncooked tapioca flour in the middle! Apparently, I did not knead it well enough.

Well, the dough will expand during the baking process but once it's taken out of the oven, it starts to flatten a bit. It's a savoury bread, nice with coffee. Can do with an additional small pinch of salt if the cheese is not strong enough. A little chewy, similar to mochi bread, but I guess if we want to a sweet version, can always add sugar and some chocolate chips in. Black sesame will be a good idea too!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Polo Bao - Round 2

Finally... I have time to do my 'documentation'...haaa. 3 weeks in Taiwan was an experience, having encountered 2 typhoons during this period. Came back last friday and went to the cooking class at Creative Culinaire on Monday for their dim sum class! Super on...:P The main attraction of the class..for me..was the polo bun of course. Two other dim sum were taught too, Xiao Long Bao and the Seafood Salad Roll. All three were fantastic and I already have plans to make them soon during this period in SG, though I am still very apprehensive towards making Xiao Long Bao! The chef was fantastic, Kudos to him. I have never met a chef who is so willing to teach, and give so selflessly. At the end of the class, there were some leftover pastry topping and gravy for the po lo bao, so the students took some. I took some and made another batch last night.
I must say, looking is easy, but when it comes to hands-on and doing the dough from scratch, it's a total different thing. It's hard work, but when I see all thess buns disappear with smiles on my friend's faces, the effort is really worth it. :)
If you are interested in the classes, go to this website for more information.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Pandan Chiffon Cake

On annual leave this week, so had the chance to try out the recipes on my 'To-Do' list! Decided to do the pandan chiffon cake based on the recipe from Little Corner of Mine.
I used freshly squeezed coconut milk. If you are buying shaved coconut from the market, you would need about 400g. I also replaced some of the white sugar with brown sugar to cut down the sweetness.
The cake was fantastic! But I did not have the patience long enough to wait for the cake to cool completely..hee, thus you see half of the skin is off the cake! :P
Will do this cake again, maybe with fresh pandan juice by blending pandan leaves and change of flour. My MIL mentioned that her recipe uses optima flour and/or softassilk flour. But oh well, the cake is gone now! :)

Monday, 19 May 2008

Chocolate Almond Torte

One of the greatest feeling in life is to do something and your partner loves every single bit of the delicacy... 那種感覺, 我想,就叫做'幸福'吧. One of my best baking resources is Joy of Baking. The recipe is found here. Alright, I admit that the actual thing looks abit 'off' when compared to the picture, but believe me, the taste is just gorgeous. The product must be good, cos it disappeared within 4 days. ;)

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Dinner at home

I have been away for 3 weeks in the US. Weather in Minnesota was erratic, with snow on 2 occasions, accompanied with days of strong wind and even thunderstorms! My colleagues said I experienced 3 seasons all in 3 weeks.
Finally, I am back after 3 weeks of American food. Now I just want some simple homecooked food.
Spinach with Mushrooms and Black Fungus
4-5 stalks of spinach, cut
400g of mixed mushrooms (I used shitake and abalone)
1 big piece of black fungus (soaked and sliced thinly)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1tbsp each of olive oil and sesame oil
fish sauce and pepper to season
1. Add the oil in a heated wok with the garlic. Do not add garlic after the oil is hot as this will burn the garlic before the aroma is released.
2. Add the fungus and fry for 2 mins.
3. Add the chopped mushrooms. Stirfry for 2 mins and add fish sauce and some water. Cover and simmer over mid-low heat. Let the mushrooms absorb the flavour. Salt is not added as fish sauce is salty enough.
4. At this point, heat a pot of water for blanching the spinach and add a pinch of salt. Add the spinach to the boiling water.
5. With the spinach done, check the mushrooms. It should have reduced slightly. Add the spinach and do a quick toss. Spinkle some pepper and season to taste.
6. Dish it up, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds if desired and serve.
Baked Tilapia
NTUC was selling frozen tilapia fillets at a promo price. Seeing that they were individually wrapped, so decided to give it a try. Just marinate them in salt, pepper, paprika. Bake them on the upper rack at 220 degrees oven for 15mins, with 2 halved limes. When done, squeeze the lime juice over. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil for the additional flavour. Bon Appetit!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Warm chickpea salad

Nice salad to end a long day...:) I picked up this recipe from Les Recettes d'Orangette, Warm Chickpea salad with Shallots and Red wine Vinaigrette. Pretty easy to do if you use canned chickpeas. However, in SG, it's so much cheaper to buy dried chickpeas and cook it yourself than to buy canned garbanzo beans which can't be found in your usual mom-n-pop shops.
I soaked the dried chickpeas overnight and cooked for more than an hour till soft. You can do this step safely a night before, ie, soak them in the morning, cook in the evening, and use them the next evening. Just reboil or microwave the chickpeas before use to heat them up. The flavour develops with heat, I conclude. I added a whole red onion even though my chickpeas wasn't that much according to the recipe. This is a recipe which you can alter the quantity easily and won't affect the final output. Other than the salt in the onion mixture, I did not add any additional salt as teh vinegar taste is good enough. Lots of black pepper helps.
I did not have rice last night, just half of a plate of this... :) Feel healthy and satisfied.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Tzatiki & Salsa

Was in the mood for some Mediterrenean food recently. Searched a few websites and recipes books and made these 2 on Friday night. Grilled some nice baguatte to go with it. Nice, comfort food.
Tomato Salsa
3 tomatoes, diced
3 stalks of coriander, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tbsp of red wine vinegar
juice from half a green lime (Thailand type which is bigger, not the local small ones)
pinch of salt
Whisk all the dressing ingredients with a fork and set aside. Add in all the chopped ingredients and toss. Set the salsa in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavours develop.
300g of unflavoured yogurt ( I used Pauls. Just make sure there's no sugar, starch or other funny ingredients in the yogurt)
1 medium cucumber
3 cloves of garlic, minced.
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
Juice from half a green lime (Thailand type which is bigger, not the local small ones)
Some dried oregano
Grate the cucumber and add some salt. Let it sit for 15mins and squeeze out all the water, leaving behind a compact mass. Whisk all the dressing ingredients and add the minced garlic. Add in the yogurt and the cucumber. Mix well, and set it in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer you leave it in the fridge, the stronger the garlic flavour. So, if you are not a garlic fan, you can choose to omit it. :)

Friday, 7 March 2008

International Woman's Day - Bye to Bangalore

Compliments from the hotel
Flowers from the Local office

Today is my last day of work in Bangalore. My flight back to SG is 11pm, and my meeting was changed from 1130am to 5pm. It's such a dissapointment as we were looking forward to going off much earlier than normal and settle in a cosy pub in the early evening. Too bad... have to rush later. The local office celebrates International Woman's Day in advance as tomorrow is weekend. All ladies receive a bouquet of flowers and a letter signed by the MD. It's such a nice gesture by the company. I am going back and tell the SG office about it. And in the CN office, ladies gets 1/2 day off to go shopping!!! What in the world is the SG office doing???

Anyway, Happy Woman's Day! And gals, its TGIF! Yeah!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Instant food- Yummy

I am in Bangalore for a week now... no time to blog...of cos, with the kind of work I have. For a start, don't get me wrong. I like Indian food. Go to any Straits Kitchen restaurant for their buffet lunch and I will queue for the Indian food first, or maybe desserts first... :P But...but, the Indian food caterer at the manufacturing plant is not one I want to eat everyday. Moreover, my cold and sore throat is forcing me to keep away from the spices.
So... before I came, I was in Chiangmai for a short holiday with W and bought these 2 types of instant porridge and rice. Actually, I never like instant food...NEVER. Had all the instant noodles during my uni days and after knowing the load of msg that goes in, I don't want to have even a pack of Maggi mee in my house. Buying these were not easy too, lucky for the limited English wordings and the big 'No MSG' label! HAHA. The porridge came in handy as I was pretty sick and the Indian food was rather cold. The hot porridge was comfort food, and you won't believe, cos I couldn't believe it as well... it tasted so damn good!!! I have no idea how they made it, but when hot water was added in, the fish flavour was just so strong and smell like the fish porridge I order at the food centre. Sedap! Next on is the Thai basil rice. I just had it.... it was so spicy! But did you see the whole basil leave inside? I was expecting those dried basil flakes sold in supermarkets. Boy... I was so impressed by the fish porridge that I had an impulse to email the coy and ask them to import to SG...hahaha. If I dish them out into a proper bowl, they wont look instant at all!

CNY Bakes

This CNY has been a very tiring one. Till today, it's almost finally over. According to the Lunar Calender, today is the 18th day of the 1st month. The most important period is the 1st 15 days. The CNY holidays was good, a continual break from my full month of medical leave. Lots of cleaning and baking was done. Not that I am complaining... I am enjoying it!!!
But, now it's back to reality... going to fly off to Bangalore in 18hrs time for work... i am really enjoying those moments at home as much as I can! :D

**Delayed post due to network glitch.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Prune and Walnut bread

It's been a while since my last blog... so much happened that blogging was not the first thing on my mind... I am on a month's medical leave now, have used up 2 weeks since. Now I am feeling better, able to move about to clean the house and do the occasional baking and cooking....thank God!!!

This recipe was obtained from Nov 2006 issue of Delicious. The original recipe is a 'Apple, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf':
- 1/2 cup (45g) rolled oats
- 300 ml milk
- 225g plain flour (I used organic wholemeal)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 100g dried cherries
- 50g dried apple, diced
- 75g brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds, plus 2tbsp extra to sprinkle on top
How to:
Put the rolled oats in a small bowl and pour the milk over them ans soak for 10-15mins.
Preheat oven to 180 C. Gease and line a 1 litre loaf tin with baking paper.
Sift the flour & baking powder into a bowl and stir in all the ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 45 mins or till the top is golden brown and cooked through. I use a skewer to test and made sure it come out clean.
Cool for 5 mins in pan, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
Modifications... as always...:)
Well, I don't have rolled oats, dried cherries or dried apples on hand.... so I omitted the oats, replace the cherries with dried prunes, and wolfberries for the dried apples. I soaked the wolfberries in the milk instead of the oats. Also replaced walnuts for almonds as I did not have sufficient almonds on hand. Make sure you toast the nuts before use to get rid of the raw smell.
The whole house was filled with the honey and cinammon aroma during the baking process... so shiok! It took my oven an hour to complete as my oven has a lower temp, but the result was worth waiting for...though the oats could have added an extra crunch to the bread, i did not really miss them. It was a good lunch substitute if you want something light, esp for me now, when I just want minimal cooking and something light and healthy to fill me up. :)