October 29, 2007

Yay, finally I did it!

After my 'almost there' chiffon cake, I was so determined to try again, until I got it right. Haha, that's me, wanna prove to myself I can do it. Haha...If only I am so determined in many other things as well... :P

This time round, I used another pandan chiffon recipe from Yochana's blog. I must say her recipe really rules...it smells so nice when baked, and the taste is so good! Guess is because it uses pandan juice, essence and coconut milk. The texture is very soft! I actually bought a new 17-cm chiffon tin, for me to practice more in order not to waste so much ingredients in case I fail.. :P The other tin that I've got is a 23-cm, which is way too big for my family to finish.
Prior to this pandan chiffon, I had actually tried another lemon chiffon which was a failure again. :( In fact that lemon chiffon was worse than the previous pandan one. It dropped out of the tin when I overturned it. I was so disappointed that I had no mood to take any pictures; which I should have done that at least for my record.

After reading many comments and techniques on beating egg whites, I deduced that egg whites have to be beaten to stiff, but not VERY stiff peaks. This can be confusing cos' some recipes would state for egg whites to be beaten to stiff peaks, some firm but not stiff. I think most importantly, it has to be glossy, firm and the whites curl slightly when the beater is lifted up. It should be stiff yet not straight peaks (too stiff).

That was what I had done for the first pandan chiffon. It was so stiff that the peaks stand upright straight. Thanks to Aunty Yochana's comments where she mentioned egg whites beaten too stiff would result in it being difficult to be folded properly, thus deflate easily. Being too extra careful for my lemony chiffon try, I think I had stopped the beater too early, resulting in not being firm enough cos' the whites turned a bit runny after that. I could already sense that something was wrong as when I was folding in; cos' the whites should be firm enough that when all the batter in transferred to the tin, it must be rather thick that you need to use a spatula to smooth it (most recipes would state that). However when i folded mine, it was rather liquid, I do not even have to smooth the top. I find this post by Nic's - Bakingbites on egg whites quite a good reference.

This was what I got this time round, not sure whether it's of the correct consistency, guess should be something like this.

Yeah this is how my chiffon turned out. Can see that I did not do a good job in the unmoulding. Actually, the top part sank abit because the cake rose very high, far extending the brim of the pan.

I wonder why...cos' I have half the recipe and used only 3 eggs. I guess for such small tin, 2 eggs is enough? Anyway, finally I'm able to see the outer crust, and I'm happy already...hehe

Haha...I was scare out of my wits when I saw this....

Well, at least this gave me some courage to attempt chiffon cakes. I will have to keep trying until I'm more certain on the egg whites consistency and the correct folding technique. :)

While waiting in anticipation for the chiffon to finish baking in the oven, I made myself a salad. I am by no expert to give any recipe. :P I simply tossed some chopped strawberries, pears, butterhead lettuce, sliced blanced almonds and pumpkin seeds; dizzled with combination of lemon juice, honey and olive oil and finally sprinkled some Nestum Family cereal. I like the crunchy feel of the cereal...:)

October 27, 2007

Meme - I'm tagged!

I've been tagged by Anne of Simply Anne's...

Well, it's the first time and I'd just do as what the others did..:) So here it goes.....

Five Things

Found in my Room:

My wardrobe

TV (which I seldom watch in my room)

A big world map poster

3 graduation bears sitting together given by my dear friends when I graduated last year :)

My super single bed given by my brother after he moved out

I have always wanted to do:

Open a bookshop (my little fantasy when I was young)

Travel around the world

Learn how to swim one day (hehe :P)

Open a sweet bakery one day (A baking cottage although it's a dream that's seems very far, I'm now just happy to improve my skills, sharing beautiful bakes for people around me :))

To give my room a facelift (hopefully by chinese new year next year)

Found in my Bag:


Mobile phone

Make-up pouch consisting of my basics - mirror, tissue, face blotters, lip gloss, comb...)

'Precious Moment' ez-link card which I keep it separate from my wallet

Pair of glasses - I'm short-sighted but don't wear contact lenses

Found in my Wallet:

Atm card

Driving license

some photos


metro vouchers still not yet been used

I am currently into:

Baking! if not why i'm here! :)

Blogging about my bakes

Learning how to swim

Exercise whenever possible to keep fit and slim I'm getting fatter from sampling my own bakes! :)

Reading up about cooking (still not much been put into practice yet)

Candidates to tag :

I'm not tagging anyone since I'm new here and those that I know have been tagged already! :)

Thanks everyone for sharing more about yourself :P

Lazy wholemeal bread

Wholemeal bread has always been my favourite kind of bread..in fact the coarser the better, especially those with multi grains and seeds. :) Not that I'm a health fanatic who goes for whole grains (although is one of the reason), hehe.. I just like the texture. In fact I like all kinds of bread. Since young, I'm always asking my mum for bread, hehe. Remembered once I was biting into my bread and out my tooth came out! lol...then after that I think I cried for help or something...and then well.. forgot what happened...haha. :p Nowadays, sandwiches is one of my favourite meals, although alot of people do not like. Guys especially, think that sandwiches do not make a proper meal and can't make you full. Actually you are wrong! It is still carbo, which gives energy, and with the right fillings and amount, it can make up a healthy meal as well. :)

While shopping at Sembawang Phoon Huat, I saw this premix wholemeal bread flour. I usually don't go for premix flour for cakes or cookies but since I'm still new at bread making and baking bread is more time consuming, so lazy me thought I might as well just give this a try since it seemed so simple. I can just baked myself a loaf instead of buying one.

There were also instructions at the back on how to make this using bread machine but I used the conventional method since I do not one. Although the process seemed easy, jus add water and mix together for 15 minutes, somehow I felt the dough was still tough and sticky. So I thought probably they assumed a kneading time of 15 minutes which was always not enough for me. Thus, I knead the dough from very sticky to a smooth and elastic dough...:) I took almost 45 minutes, which I think was quite understandable since I do not have a proper work surface (but only a small chopping board which kept moving on the table) and small hands (hehe ok should admit my skills was not there).
Actually after 45 minutes, I still have not reach the stretch test yet but I gave up as I did not know whether if I should be kneading for so long. The dough was already quite elastic and soft. I divided into 3 portions, shaped it into logs and placed in a loaf pan.
........tada..45 minutes, a nice loaf was out :) I like the look of it, like those traditional loaf.

The texture was not bad. It was soft and I was able to slice it nicely this time round. :) It was not very fluffy though, it's those more compact, dense kind of wholemeal bread. It was quite bland as compared to commercial bread but would be good if spread with butter. I ate this for my breakfast for a few days, but required toasting after the 2nd day.

Worth giving it a try if you want something quick and fuss free, especially if you have a bread machine...

October 21, 2007

Cornbread muffins

Baked some cornbread muffins for my breakfast the next day. hehe yah its my third time baking with cornmeal, as I wanted to clear my stock before they expire...that's one of my way to decide what to bake.

This recipe was supposed to be a healthy cornbread muffin, thus it's rather bland and dry. I substituted half of the all purpose flour with wholemeal flour to give it a crusty bite and added in some mixed berries jam. I would actually recommend these be baked as a loaf so that it can be toasted or spread with jam or butter.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour, half cup all purpose flour (stick to 1 cup of all purpose flour if you do not like those rough crusty bite)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (rather bland so you might want to increase if you prefer it to be sweeter and not intending to spread anything)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I would increase to 2 tbsp as I find it too dry)
  • Any jam of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, yogurt and oil. Pour buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Fill each muffin cup 1/2 full with batter, add about 1 tbsp of jam and top up to 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean.

Recipe Source: BakingBites

October 16, 2007

Girly High Tea = Nice food and cupcakes!

Once in a while, it's good to stay away from shoppings or chill outs in town and have some mini girly high tea sessions in the comfort of our homes. This not only saves unneccessary spending, saves the hassle to dress and doll up, can engage in longer talks, watch cheaper movies..etc and of course the opportunity to whip up nice, inexpensive food and bakes!

Last Saturday, four of us gathered at xian's house. She had planned some finger food for us...she's good at it..:) had made bento sets for us before; while ling and mei bought some drinks and tibits. As for me, of cos' I would take this opportunity to bake some goodies ;P Mini cupcakes would be perfect, so dainty and beautiful, Hehe..got this idea from CLEO magazine October issue ;)

Another reason for baking cupcakes is because I am also in the search of a good basic vanilla cupcake recipe. I browsed through several recipes and found that basically some of the most common ones are roughly 1 1/2 to 2 cups flour; 1/2 cup milk; 1/2 cup butter; 2 eggs; 1 cup sugar; extracts, baking powder and so on for a 12 - muffin recipe. These are the common proportions that I've seen though some may vary in terms of using self-raising flour or slightly more or less flour.

I searched through several websites, food blogs, and my recipe collections and finally decided on this vanilla cupcakes found at Joy of Baking. Unlike the rest, this recipe uses 3 eggs instead of 2 and 1/4 cup milk, which I guess would make the cake richer. I've tried those previous recipes using 2 eggs and somehow the cake always turned out a bit dry and dense.

I baked them in mini muffin tins which I jus bought. Really like the cute tins and I think cupcakes look cuter in mini size. Moreover mini size can control the amount you eat and you tend to eat lesser. hee.....

The cupcakes puffed up well with a nice golden colour... :) These may appeared medium size but they were mini size only, very cute.

As I was cooling the muffins waiting to be 'doll up' , I decided to try another batch for my mum to bring to her ktv session with the aunties. It was an impromptu decision as she only decided to go on that day. I eagerly told her I'm going to bake for them a batch but she told me to be quick la as she did not want to be late cos' of waiting for my cake. I promised her no worries although i knew it would be quite rushed...:p cos' I was really eager to try another recipe...and to be able to share my bakes with others.

The second recipe which I tried, I would say is a reduced fat version, as it uses only 1/4 cup butter but 1 cup of buttermilk. I am always looking for reduced fat alternatives but I realised that the taste and texture often have to be compromised. I wanted to see how much difference it would make just by substituting for less butter. Indeed, the muffins overall pales in comparison as compared to the previous one. It was less rich and crumbly, less tasty overall. I added some walnuts and chocolate chips as I did not plan to add any frosting. Overall, I would say it's still a good recipe, soft and fluffy and would make a good base for muffins with added nuts or any ingredients. Only thing was I did not like the almond taste, but that boils down to individual preference as my mum told me most of her friends commented that they were nice!! The recipe was from BakingBites - Vanilla buttermilk cupcakes. This is how it turned out.

Yup, so I have tested 2 basic vanilla cupcake recipes. The verdict is I prefer the one from Joy of Baking. After I refrigerated, it tasted just like those Sara Lee Pound cake. It was rich, soft and fluffy. Highly recommended! I will continue to test other recipes, with yogurt and sour cream next time. :)
Okok I think I have side track too much from my main topic. Back to our high tea, I frosted the mini cupcakes with vanilla butter cream, recipe also from Joy of Baking. Tinted some with pink colour, and another mixed with oreo biscuits. Here comes my creation...

Here are some of the food xian prepared.........

This egg/tuna mayo with prawn on cheese crackers is my favourite! I never knew prawns can go so well with egg mayo. It's really a simple finger food, but very nice! Haha maybe it's nothing new to people out there but I've not tried something like this before, so really like it. Shall try this combi for my sandwich next time.

A platter of colouful fruits ..........

October 8, 2007

Hokkaido Milky Loaf

I had wanted to bake this bread quite some time ago as the reviews from many online blogs were good. I had some whipping cream left from cake making and it would be best to be used here as I won't be making any fresh cream cake for the time being. I had the whole Sunday free so decided to bake this bread finally...however, many a time, things just won't go the way you planned to be...

I'm sure those who have tried baking bread before knew how time-consuming it was, especially I do not have a bread machine or stand mixer, I have to knead it by hand. I'm determined to try it by hand and feel the texture.

So, after mixing all the ingredients together (I shall post the recipe below), I was patiently kneading and kneading..it was sticky...when i received a call from my workplace, which required me to be there to see to an urgent problem...imagine on a Sunday! (I'm managing building/property by the way). My bread was kneaded halfway..so I quickly finished up the kneading (I knew it was not there yet but no choice)..quickly put it in a bowl and let it proofed while i went out of the house.
Two hours later, i was still at my office. Suddenly i thought of my bread...Oh no..proofing is usually about 1 hour, and it was already 2 hours. I called my mum, who told me that the dough had already doubled in size to the top, I asked her to help my punch out the air, and divided into portions to let it rest (should be 20 min) while I hope i can go back home in time to 'save' those bread which I had painstakingly spent the morning preparing the ingredients and kneading it. 45 minutes later, my workplace's problem's finally solved. So I went home, seeing that the rested dough looked good, I continued to work on it.

After some shaping, it was finally prepared for the last proofing, to be sent to the oven.

Result? It was good! So happy...My brother and family liked it too. The bread remains soft even after the next day. :) I think it could be even better if I had the time to go through the whole process without any hiccups. The top was very brown though, probably due to my oven's top heat which always caused the top crust of my bakes to brown very easily. I had to cover with aluminium foil to prevent it from getting burnt. Any remedies for that? My oven does not have the option of turning either the top or bottom heat element on. Other than that, overall, It's definitely a good recipe!


  • 540 g Bread flour
  • 60 g Cake flour
  • 10 g Dry active yeast (I used SAF instant)
  • 30 g Milk powder
  • 80 g Sugar
  • 9 g Salt
  • 1 pc Egg
  • 250 g Fresh milk
  • 150 g Whipping cream (heavy cream)
  1. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand-mixer. Remember separate the yeast from salt and sugar to avoid the dehydration. (For me without a mixer, I put all into a big bowl and mixed together using a wooden spoon).
  2. Scrape the mixed dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface.
  3. Knead until gluten is fully developed and the dough is elastic, smooth, non-sticky and leave from sides of mixing bowl (if using mixer). This takes approximately half hour depending on how fast you work. Use the windowpane test - Take a piece of dough and, grapsing an edge with eac hand, gently pull the dough. If it tears and looks shaggy, it is not ready. If the dough looks smooth, holds together and thin enough to see light through, it is ready.
  4. Cover with a damp towel and allow the dough to ferment until double in size, about 60 minutes.
  5. Take out the dough and press out the gas produced during the proof. Divide it into 4 portions. Round up and let rest for about 20 minutes.
  6. Roll each dough out and roll up and place in a 13x33x12cm loaf pan. After shaping, let the dough rise up to 2/3 full. Brush with egg wash or milk. Bake in a preheated 170C/340F oven for about 40 minutes.

Recipe Source: Angie's Recipes

October 7, 2007

French-Style Yogurt Cake

I was inspired when I saw Happy HomeBaker and Simply Anne's post on lemon yogurt cake. First, it looked beautiful and yummy; second, it was so easy to make, without having to use any creaming or even 2 bowls for those mixed-in methods such as quick bread - perfect for me to make on a weekday after work. Third, it has no butter, but canola oil, so is considered healthier than normal butter cakes.
I halved the recipe as I knew my small family of 3 in this house definitely will not be able to finish. I was abit worried that it won't work for half the recipe but I go for it anyway. The original recipe came from Molly's blog - Orangette. She used lemon for the syrup while i changed it to orange. I baked mine in a small 5-inch pan. It rose beautifully, but in a very unsymmetrical way, looks very ugly though.. Haha, probably due to my mixing. I had some additonal batter, so I poured it in a heart-shaped mini cake mould I bought from Daiso not long ago. It was cute! Best for baking little hearts to your beloved. Hmmm...maybe can bake some chocolate hearts next time... :P

This was a really nice, flavourful cake. It taste good even without the glaze and was finished within a day! My little nephew liked it too. :)

I will try it again, with other modifications.
Ok here's the recipe:
Ingredients for the cake:
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (I used normal all purpose)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
Ingredients for the glaze (optional):
  • Juice from 1 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine.
  4. Add the oil and stir to incorporate. At first, it will look like a horrible, oily mess, but keep stirring, and it will come together into a smooth batter.
  5. Pour and scrape the batter into a buttered 9-inch round cake pan.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
  7. Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.
  8. When the cake is thoroughly cooled, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.
Recipe Source: Orangette
Note: I find the batter abit too oily. You might want to try increase the yogurt to 3/4 cup and reduce the oil to 1/4 cup as what Alphineberry did.

Pandan Chiffon - Almost there..

Chiffon cakes are one of those...which i have a love-hate relationship with...haha. I love it because of the soft spongy, light texture, makes me feeling not so sinful even when i wanted to have more slices. Hate - cos' I have no one to blame but myself. Out of many attempts, I still have yet to get the perfect chiffon. At the very first trial, i still remembered that the entire cake dropped out of the pan when i overturned it to cool. *lol* As I went on to read more about beating egg whites, I managed to get the cake stuck firmly to the pan. However, when i tried to remove it, it was still moist inside and the sides shrunk.

Last week, i made my mum's favourite pandan chiffon - obtained from Pinky Fantasy when I saw how nice her chiffon looked. When it was baked, everything looked perfect. I overturned it, it looked perfect too. firm and tall. I was so excited, hoping this time it would succeed. I tried not to be impatient, cos' i usually can't wait for it to be cooled completely before unmoulding. I have no idea anyway when is it considered completely cooled. This time, I waited almost like 2-3 hours, until it no longer felt warm.

I waited..and waited..until I told my friend I'm going to unmould it finally...I scraped the sides..aha this time it looked ok, did not shrink. However, I was unable to get a very nicely browned crust. Some still got stuck to the pan. Finally...I removed the whole cake. *Disappointed* :( One side was yeah, tall and no shrinkage. However the side was! Sign...It's almost there...however failed again. Hmmm, still trying to figure out where had i gone wrong, cos' i was really careful this time. Probably I had overbeaten the egg whites? cos' i tend to have a habit of beating a few more seconds (for assurance) when i already reached the stiff peak. :P

See the picture...if you look closely, some of the sides and centre actually shrunk at the top (which was actually the bottom as i had overturned it). Taste wise, it was not too bad, though this recipe did not use any coconut milk. I managed to take a nicer photo of the unshrunk side. Haha, don't wanna see the ugly side. Hehe...Anyway, I'm determined to get it right! No matter how hard..I will definitely try again...until I get it right. Probably will need attend classes on chiffon making :)

October 1, 2007

Going 'Corny' again

I mentioned in my previous post that i wanted to try the 'Kenny Roger's corn muffins' which I saw from a few bloggers out there. Yeah...so here it is...:)

Hmmm..was pretty satisfied with the result. It smells really nice especially when just out of the oven. The taste was very good! I guess it all attributed to the honey, so it was quite sweet. Probably the sugar can be reduced, but not the honey, as i think it was the honey that made it so aromatic. But I don't recommend reducing the sugar, as that's the way it should be. I've actually only tried the corn muffins at Kenny Roger once so can't remember the taste. I just remembered it was real nice and i finished the whole thing, instead of the chicken and side dishes. :) So happy to have found this recipe. It can be found at Evan's Kitchen Ramblings and Sweet Decadenze. Do check out their blog as well!

However, I find the texture a bit dense. Wondering if i had over creamed it, or that's the way it is. Would be glad if anyone who had tried this recipe or will be trying to let me know how's your result ok! Anyway, i will definitely try this again.

heheh..my little nephew was rambling non stop while the muffins were baking in the oven. When it was finally done and left out to cool, he climbed onto the chair and was eyeing the muffins! I took several shots of him trying to steal a bite of the muffins but only managed to keep some good ones as he was moving too much..
He's so cute! Simply adore him! :)