Thursday, December 01, 2011

Butter+Olive Oil Spread

My family especially my kids love to eat bread. Eversince my eldest goes home straight from school, the olive oil spread consumption has gone up ! One tub of bertolli olive oil spread can only last slightly over a week and one tub costs me $7+ :-( So decided to be 'frugal' since butter and olive oil are the house's staple to make my own. The good thing about this is that I can control the quality of butter that I use. For this, the recipe is really simple.

What you need:
250g (9 oz) salted butter, softened
1 C olive oil

What you do:
1. Use a mixer and blend the butter till creamy
2. Slowly add oil little by litte and mix till well combined, it will look somewhat soupy
3. Pour butter+oil mixture into a clean container and refrigerate it till it reaches the spreadable consistency

Note: You can add a little bit of salt if you using unsalted butter

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Basic Baking Class

I am opening a class during the school holidays. The details as follows. I have 1 place left. Do email to me at if you are interested.

Class: Basic baking, butter cakes (hands on)
Date: 8th December 2011
Time: 2-6pm
Cost: $65
Number of participant required: 4

You will be taught 3 methods of mixing and comparing the textures from these methods. Ingredients will be provided and you will bring home all your bakes. It is not going to be a boring butter cake, extra ingredients will be provided to add into your cake. 2 simple icing for butter based cakes will be included in this class. Light snacks will be provided.

Quick/Rough Puff Pastry

I was in the mood to bake something crispy and buttery. So what came into my mind was puff pastry. I was not prepared to do the classic pastry as it was a weekday night. Found one by Gordon Ramsay which is easy as it uses 1 block of butter (250g/9oz). Since most of the butters we get here is in 9oz or 250g, I love love recipes that uses the whole lot as I can be lazy to cut and weight it *LOL* This is extremely buttery so eat it with care if you are concern with your weight :-D Do make a bigger batch and store them in your freezer as it is definitely better than store bought ones (at least the ones we get here).

What you need:
250g strong plain flour (bread flour)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
250g cold butter , cut into cubes
about 150ml cold water

What you do:
1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
2. Add 1/4 of the butter and rub them in loosely into the flour either using a food processor, hands or pastry blender (I used pastry blender)
3. Add the balance 3/4 butter and mix them lightly, it is important to have chunks of butter in the dough
4. Make a well in the bowl and pour in about 100ml of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge.
5. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm. Keep edges straight and even. Don't overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.
6. Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 mins before rolling to use.

1. The reason why you need to have the butter in chunks because we need the steam coming from the butter during baking to lift the dough so that you get the layering effect.
2. When rolling, if you find the dough gets a bit soft, chill it in the fridge for 15mins and continue with what you were doing.
3. If you want a more distinct layering, do not roll the pastry too hard.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: CP 5-Spice Roasted Chicken

I have been wanting to try this out for quite some time. Although I roast chicken at home quite regularly, i want to find out it this off the freezer chicken is good enough for days when I do not have the time to bake one from scratch. At a glance, the packaging does not look huge but the chicken is actually pretty big. Definitely bigger than those spring chicken. You can use either the microwave or regular oven to reheat the chicken. I should you can also preheat it on the stove with a covered wok.

In terms of flavour, I find it not too bad although it is on a slightly salty side. So what did I have this with? I had it with buttered rice and a simple salad. This is good for days when you do not have time to cook or simply too tired/lazy to cook up a storm *LOL* I took me at least 40mins to reheat it in the oven. Maybe the temp I set was too low but the chicken was still pretty frozen before I chucked it in the oven. As long as you don't overheat it, the meat will still stay moist.

I would say that this is pretty versatile. You can have it with your wraps or have gravy on it with mash potatoes etc. Will I buy this again? Yes, I will :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Easy Nutella Brownie

This easy recipe was shared by an online friend and not only that is easy to make, it's a lovely brownie. It is really easy that even your kids can do it to with minimal supervision :-D How not to when it requires only 3 ingredients and no mixer is needed.

I made another batch but added marshmallow half way through the baking. I am not a great fan of marshmallow but if you do you may want to, bake them in cuppies as it was really sticky and goey and I had a hard time cutting it.

What you need:
1 C nutella
3 large eggs
10T self-raising flour, sifted

What you do:
1. Mix eggs and nutella with a whisk or spatula till it well blended, it will look like a fudge
2. Add sifted flour and gently mix it till no lumps
3. Pour into a greased baking pan or cupcake casings and bake in a preheated oven at 160C to about 20-30mins or till skewer comes out clean

If you want to add marshmallow, when batter is still a bit jiggly, arrange them on top of the cake and continue with the baking.

Blended Orange Cake

It's been a while since I update this blog. Have been busy with stuffs but could not find the time to upload things that I have done over the past months. Today, I will be sharing a simple cake which was introduced by a friend. It uses orange, the whole orange minus the white bids and blend all the ingredients in. Pretty straight forward and simple.

The original recipe is taken from here but I made some changes to the ingredients and used my food processor for this cake.

1 medium size orange, cut into pieces and remove the seeds and the white pith as much as possible but keep the rind intact
3/4 - 1 cup of sugar
1 cup oil
3 large eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
some chocolate chips

1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside
2. Blend together orange till almost into paste, add the sugar, oil and eggs continue blending till double in volume
3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the flour and mix it well or you can pour the flour into the blender and pulse it till it's mixed well
4. Pour batter into greased 8inch pan and sprinkle chocolate chips
5. Bake in a preheated oven, 160 celcius for 30-40 minutes or till skewer comes out clean and not sticky

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Phad-Thai inspired fried beehoon

Getting a bit tired of eating the regular white version fried beehoon, I decided to make this for the kids. It is a phad thai inspired noodle as I omit some of the ingredients :D To make it extra spicy, you can add cut chili padi after it is almost done before you turn off the fire like I did after I took out the kids' portion.

What you need

500g bee hoon
200g fresh prawns, shelled and deveined
200g chicken breast, cut into strips
1 medium size onion, sliced thinly
5-7 clove garlic, chopped
5 tbsp fish sauce
5 tbsp tamarind juice
4 tbsp palm sugar
100-200g bean sprouts/veges of your choice
a few stalks birdseye chili, cut into small pieces

What you do

1. Mix fish sauce, tamarind juice and palm sugar till sugar dissolves, set a side
2. Heat oil and stir fry fresh prawns and chicken till they are half cooked, remove and set aside
3. Fry onions till translucent and add chopped garlic till fragrant
4. Add noodles and toss it with the ingredients in the wok
5. Add a few tbsp of water to soften the noodles
6. Add cooked prawns and pour fish sauce mixture and stir well and ensure that the noodles are well-coated
7. Add bean sprouts/veges, chillies and stir till well blend heat it through for a few minutes. If noodles too dry, add more water
8. Serve hot with cilantro and scallions

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chilled Cheesecake with oreos (update with recipe link)

Made this simple chilled cheesecake for my brother-in-law who turned 19 last month. He is into wushu and so to make it extra special, I did a silhoutte using chocolate for decoration. I had a bit of excess of the both the filling and base, so I made them into cuppies just nice for the kids :-D

I used the recipe from the nobake chocolate+banana cheesecake (CLICK HERE) I replace the biscuit with oreos instead, minus the chocolate on the base and banana.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Calzone wannabe :-)

I made pizzas for dinner the other day and had some of the toppings ingredients left but not the dough. Fortunately, I had some instant pratas stashed in the freezer and used it to make these. Easy and delicious I must say *LOL*

What you need:

A few prata skins, enough to use up the pizza topping ingredients
chicken ham or whatever cold meats that you like
shredded cheese
pizza sauce
egg wash (optional)

What you do:

1. Remove the plastic from the prata skin (make sure the prata is not too soft as it will be difficult to handle)
2. Spread pizza sauce to half of the prata skin
3. Add chicken ham, shredded cheese
4. Fold over the other half of the prata and press the ends either using the fork or just crimp it a bit with your fingers and egg wash the skin
5. Arrange on lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven 180C for about 20-30 mins or till the prata skin turns golden brown - you may need to bake a little longer in a slightly lower temperature if you want to have crispy skin.
6. Serve it piping hot

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcake

I don't usually eat cakes that are heavily coloured, hence it took me a very long time before I decided to make these delicious cupcakes. Thanks to Chuck Hughes, after watching one episode of 'Chuck`s Day Off', I could not get this out of my mind. So I finally caved in and made these. They are very easy to make and delicious especially the mascarpone frosting. Do give it a try!

You can get the original recipe from here:

2 eggs (60g each)
1 1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 C canola oil
1 C yogurt, plain
1 tsp Wilton no-taste red gel (original is 2T red food coloring)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2C cake flour (original recipe uses plain flour)
1T cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1) Preheat oven to 180 °C
2) In a food mixer/processor, mix the eggs with the sugar, oil, yoghurt, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Blend until just incorporated.
3) Place cupcake papers into a muffin pan, divide the batter in the cupcake papers, pour only halfway so batter doesn’t overflow, and bake, rotating half way through, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.

1 tub mascarpone (500g,original recipe uses 2C mascarpone)
1C icing sugar, sifted
1/2C cream
Zest of 1 lemon

1) In a bowl, beat the mascarpone, icing sugar, cream and lemon zests together until the mixture is smooth.
2) Spoon a dollop of mascarpone cream on the cupcakes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

White Velvet Cupcakes

This is a very delicious cake and a good way to use up your egg whites. This recipe is from Rose's Heavenly Cake book and just to add, I simply love the recipes from this book. Do get a copy for yourself :) For the ganache, I use the recipe of Planet Cake which I had some left from a mud cake that I baked earlier.

Ingredients: 90gm egg white
160gm milk
1.5tsp vanilla
200gm cake flour/all purpose flour
185gm superfine sugar (original is 200gm)
2 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
113gm unsalted butter

1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, 3 T of the milk and the vanilla just until lightly combined
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed for 30seconds
3. Add the butter and the remaining milk and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened
4. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1.5 minutes
5. Starting on medium low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients
6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 25minutes or until cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean at 175C.

Dark Ganache
200gm dark chocolate, chopped
100ml cream

1. Heat cream till you see bubbles at the side of the pot and turn off the fire
2. Add chopped chocolate and using a spatula, stir till the chocolate is melted
3. Let it set overnight before using

Happy trying !

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cakes galore

We had a long weekend early this month due to Chinese New Year. I have been a bit busy for the first 2 weeks of February doing some baking and here are the pictures of what I did.

White Velvet cupcake with dark chocolate ganache

Delicious Red Velvet cake I did for CNY gathering

Mini cupcake cakepops with left over mud cake and ganache

Chocolate Banana cake ala Secret Recipe for my other half's birthday

Last but not least, my biggest fondant cake project. I did this for my nephew & niece's birthday. It was load of fun though.
the back view

I am not posting any recipes in this entry, let me know if you are interested :)

Stir-fry Ground Chicken with Thai (Holy) Basil

I love Thai food, well who doesn't ? *lol* I like to order this dish whenever I have my meals at a Thai eatery or restaurant simply because it is a great one dish meal. It is usually eaten with steamed rice and a sunny side up egg, simple yet satisfying. I have always been wanting to make this at home. Coincidentally, I bought a pack of thai basil from a supermarket and it has been sitting for a few days in the fridge. I didn't want to waste it and so happened that I was thinking of this dish. I finally found a rather authentic recipe and truly satisfied with the flavour.

I like mine spicy, so I added some chopped chili padi to my portion. If you don't like too spicy, you can omit the chilli. I added the chilli towads the end instead of frying with the garlic as I need to take some portion out for the girls who don't take anything spicy. However, you can add it when frying the garlic.
The recipe:
500g ground chicken
9 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4T dark soy sauce
2T oyster sauce
5T fish sauce
1 1/2C fresh Thai basil
2 chilli padi, chopped (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
oil for stir frying
1. Heat a wok until the oil is hot, then stir in the garlic
2. Add ground chicken and stir till meat is thoroughly cooked
3. Add soya sauce, oyster sauce keep stirring till the sauce blends into the chicken
4. Then add fish sauce, salt & pepper to taste. Stir and mix well
5. Add basil leaves and continue stirring, you should smell the basil by now
6. Throw in the chilli and stir for a 1 minute and serve it with steamed rice

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fragrant Fried Pancakes

It was one of those days where I wanted to try making something a little bit different. I had quite a stash of scallions and sesame seeds and happened to find a recipe that uses both. It is pretty easy to make and lovely to eat it on its own or dip it with some thick gravy like curry, stew or even chilli dip.

This recipe is taken off the book Dim Sum Kitchen by Tan, Melody. I just estimate the amount for the spring onions, sesame seed and salt.

250g All purpose/Plain flour
100g boiling water
10g warm water
4g instant yeast (dissolve into 2T warm water)
5g spring onion
2.5g sesame seed
5g salt
vegetable oil for pan frying

1.Dice spring onion and put it aside
2. Pour flour into basin/bowl and add 100g boiling water and stir till flour is like bread crumbs
3. Dissolve yeast in abit of warm water about 2T
4. Once yeast started to bubble add to the flour and add another 10g warm water, spring onion, salt and stir
5. Cover with cloth for an hour and then knead again
6. Roll into into pancakes about 0.5cm thickness and sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides
7. Heat pan and add oil, pan fry on medium heat
8. Flip when one side turns golden brown and fry till it turns the same colour.
9. Remove, cut into small pieces and serve.

Japanese Curry from scratch ...

My first experience having Japanese curry was about 20years ago during my first visit to Japan. I wasn't very intrigue by it as it was more sweet and tasted totally different from the curry that I am used to. However, I got pretty much accustomed to it by adding some chilli sauce to go with it *lol* My children do eat curry but their spicy threshold is still pretty low. So to get them used to eating a dish with plenty of spices, I made this for them to see which one they prefer. Apparently this one wins hands down and it has become one of the regular dish I cook specially for them.

This dish is not difficult to make, I got it from the Japanese cooking show, Dosanko Cooking which features easy authentic Japanese dishes. The spice level depends on the curry powder and the chilli sauce that you used.

300-400g chicken, cute into cubes
2 clove garlic,minced
2T butter
2T plain flour
2T curry powder, add abit of water to make it to a paste
2T chilli sauce
2T ketchup
1T soya sauce (i used light soya)
1t salt
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
potatoes and carrots, cute into bite size chunks

1. Melt butter and add garlic, fry till fragrant
2. Add flour and stir to fry till colour changes then add water and kept stirring
3. Add chicken chunks and stir till the chicken turns white
4. Add curry paste and other sauces, stir them till the chicken are well coated, add water bit by bit to get the consistency that you like
5. Add onions, potatoes and carrots, let it simmer till tender
6. Add salt to taste

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chilled No-Bake Chocolate Marshmallow Dessert

I have a very bad habit of stocking stuffs which I 'think' I will need but end up being chucked for months. This is a result of it and after sifting through recipes in my collection, I decided to make this simple no-bake dessert for my mother-in-law's birthday. The wording on it was made of chocolate using a chocolate mold. The words are in malay meaning 'Happy Birthday'. BTW, this recipe is taken from a local free paper. I find the chocolate flavour is not strong enough for me even though I have increased the amount. You may want to add more bitter/semi-sweet chocolate to 100g if you prefer a stronger chocolate flavour as the marshmallow is a little on the sweet side.


Biscuit Base
200g chocolate marie biscuits (originally using cream crackers)
80g melted butter

Chocolate cream
40g milk
100g marshmallow
1 tbsp gelatine (mix with 20g water)
90g melted bitter chocolate (Original 80g regular chocolate)
120g whipped cream (you can use coolwhip for convenience)

Chocolate layer
130g milk
50g fine sugar
20g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp gelatine (mix with 15g water)


1. Crush biscuits into crumbs, add melted butter and mix evenly
2. Place mixture evenly on the baking tray, press the biscuit crumb mixture to form a compact base and store in fridge for 20mins
3. For chocolate cream, melt marshmallow with milk in a water bath, mix evenly
4. Stir in gelatine and melted chocolate
5.Leave mixture to cool, add whipped cream and mix evenly
6. Pour chocolate cream mixture onto biscuit crumb base, chill in refrigerator until set
7. For chocolate layer, add fine sugar to milk, boil until all the sugar dissolves
8. Stir in cocoa powder, leave it to cool to approx. 60 degrees Celcius then add gelatine into milk mixture
9. Pour the chocolate layer onto the chocolate cream layer, chill in refrigerator until set.

Decorate it accordingly and best serve it chilled.

Happy Trying !

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Savoury Porridge with egg

I made a few months back as the weather was pretty chilly. I could not resist myself from having a hot bowl of porridge with runny egg especially the yolk *lol* This is a real comfort food and really great to eat it hot. Those little brown slices of you tiao was store bought. I toast it a while before adding to the porridge. I love the slight crunchiness of the you tiao when mixed with the hot porridge and egg.

The porridge I used the same recipe as the savoury porridge available in the blog. The only difference was the type of rice used and I used coconut milk instead of fresh milk.

To serve, make sure the porridge is real hot. Break an egg into a bowl, scoop some porridge over the egg and let it cook for a couple of minutes or till you like the consistency of the egg. Sprinkle chopped spring onions, youtiao and a few dashes of shallots oil and serve it hot.

Real easy but delicious !!