April 30, 2009

Double-Boiled papaya Soup & Japanese Souffle Cheesecake

The other day, I was listening to 93.3 FM (one of the pop mandarin radio channel) from my MP3 player while I was jogging and the DJ was introducing this simple soup that she recommends to all ladies. I couldn't jot down the ingredients but I could remember the ingredients and method because it was so simple.

All you need is just red dates, gingko nuts, an unripe papaya (which they called "green papaya") and some sugar to taste.

First, boil water, then add in the red dates and ginko nuts and some sugar to taste and simmer for about 8 minutes until the dates and nuts becomes soft and the taste had infused into the soup. Set aside. Next, cut papaya into half. Scoop out the centre flesh and seeds to create a hollow well. Pour the soup into the "well" and steam papaya for about 15 minutes or until papays is soft (You could actually steam it longer if you like the papaya to be softer).

The soup is clear, light and refreshing. I prefer it to be served cold. Best of all, it is said to be good for complexion and to enhance woman's assets. hehe... if you know what I mean. :P Anyway I don't really think it works, otherwise every woman on the streets would be ermm...well endowed. :P Still this is a refreshing and healthy dessert worth trying. :)


This Japanese Souffle Cheesecake is not a new recipe cos' I've actually made it
before. Just simply happy with the result and the recipe that I'd just like to post it one more time. I'm gonna stick to this recipe whenever I want to make a light Japanese souffle cheesecake. :)

April 26, 2009

Birthday Carrot Cake

I find myself looking forward to every special occasions when I can bake a cake for my love ones. From the stage of deciding what to bake, searching for recipes, mix and match recipes, buying ingredients to the actual day of baking, I truly enjoy every moment of it, especially when I see my friends and family enjoying the piece of cake, giving me truthful comments on how it could be better and also allowing me to take photos of it before they can eat it cos' they knew I want to take pictures for my blog! It is the support from them that makes my love for baking becomes much more meaningful. :)

As I flipped over my calendar, I find that out of the 12 calendar months in a year, I'd get to bake a cake almost every month if I can do it. Jan - Ling, Feb - Vday, my birthday (but I would usually preferred to be pampered with a cake :P ), Mar - Bro, Apr - BK, May - dd, Jun - only month I'm free, Jul - Xian, Aug - Dad & Mum, Sep - my nephew Heng, Bee, Oct - Ling (have not baked for her yet, Nov - 2nd Bro, Dec - nephew Xuan. Haha... that seems quite alot isn't it?? Back to the topic, this is a carrot cake that I baked for my best friend, Mingli (I like to call her Bingki). Both of us like the carrot cake from Cedele and since she love cheese, I decided on this carrot cake cos' I don't wanna bake her a cheesecake again.

This seemingly pretty easy cake turned out to be much more complicated than I had expected. I baked it in a 7-inch round pan, with some extra batter where I baked them in muffin tins. After only 15 minutes, the top part of the 7-inch cake was burnt badly. I had to salvage it by placing an aluminium foil on top. The muffins however, browned nicely and they were done in 25 minutes.

At the 40 minutes mark, I tested the 7-inch cake with a skewer and it was clean. I took it out to cool in the pan for a short while before removing out for it to be cooled completely. Guess what, the centre of the cake was still whobbly and wet and I had to bring back to the oven. I cooked for another 20 minutes or so and by then, the sides had already been baked till dry but the centre still looked kinda soft and kueh-like. I baked for a further few more minutes and still it turned out the same. I guessed they were already cooked but due to uneven cooking, it turned out that way. :(

So, did I have a change of plans? Nope I didn't. :) Not that I'm lazy, but if I had the chance, of course I would not want to start everything all over again. Besides, I did not expect this cake to fail, so there were no contingency plans unlike my past attempts.

So what I did was I use the nicely baked carrot muffins, and assembled to form a cake. As I did not yield ebough muffins to assemble into a whole cake, I had to do a small one. I used a teardrop-shaped cake tin, cut out the shape and stacked into 3 layers with a layer of cream cheese in between. It wasn't as easy as I had expected either, as I realised frosting with cream cheese (which is of a thicker consistency) is much more difficult than frosting with whipped cream. The cake was soft and fluffy with chunks of walnuts thus if I'm not gentle enough with my frosting, I could easily tear the cake apart.

The end result wasn't pretty (sad to say) but taste wise, we think it was pretty good except that I had forgotten to add in 2 tbsp of icing sugar to the cream cheese frosting. No wonder we both felt it was not sweet enough!

I made a chocolate sheet and tried to be creative by writing words on it but was too ugly :P

We had a relaxing brunch at graze, a cafe tucked along Rochestor Road. We decided on this place after I read from Evan's blog introducing the place because we wanted to go somewhere where we could just relax and chat the whole Sunday afternoon away. Do refer to Evan's blog as she had taken many fabulous pictures and tried out other items from graze. bingki ordered this vegetarian cast iron pan with slow roasted beans, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplants, country potato, avocado and plum chilli salsa.

I ordered this baked omelette stacked with a choice of 4 extras. I chose smoked salmon, country potato, mushrooms and tomato. Other extras include bacon, ham, bratwurst sausage, onion or cheese. This was indeed one of the most luxurious and expensive breakfast we had but totally fulfilling.

For desserts, we shared this GRAZE pavlova. We were so glad we chose this over the rest as this was pretty unique with a crispy layer of meringue (pavlova), filled with freshly whipped custard cream oozing out when you break the shell. Paired refreshing treat of seasonal fruits and berries and atop with passionfruit sorbet.


This carrot cake recipe was taken from Judy Koh's published VCD with 7 step-by-step recipes which I bought it at her school. The intial recipe was for a carrot muffin. It uses whisking of eggs method therefore the texture is very light and fluffy, as compared to those denser and more chunky carrot cake from Cedele which Mingli and I still think it's the best :)

This version is good as well f you prefer lighter texture. Here's the recipe if you are interested ;)
American Carrot Cake
Ingredients for Cake:
2 eggs
200g sugar
130g corn oil
1/8 tsp salt
90g milk
170g cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
50g toasted walnuts, chopped
115g grated carrot
1 tsp vanilla essence

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
60g cream cheese
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tbsp dairy cream
A pinch of cinnamon powder
1 tbsp Cointreau/Grand Marnier
1 tsp orange peel
  1. Sieved cake flour, baking powder and cinnamon powder. Mix 1 tbsp of seived ingredients into the toasted walnuts.
  2. Whisk the eggs, salt and sugar with an electric mixer until light and pale in colour (As there are only 2 eggs and quite alot of sugar, you do not have to whisk until it doubles or triples in volume. Just until it is light and pale and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted up will do).
  3. Fold sieved ingredients into the egg mixture. Add in walnuts and carrots.
  4. Scoop or pipe the mixture into baking cups and bake at 175°C for 15 to 20 minutes till cooked.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the frosting with a mixer until smooth.
  6. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cupcakes when cooled.
  7. You may also decorate with handmade marzipan carrots or walnuts.

April 14, 2009

Crumble Delight

I've always love crumbles, you think of anything that is nutty, oat-ty, crispy. It's just like how I love nuts in my oatmeal, cereals, brownies, crunchy instead of chewy cookies... etc. Just about a month ago, I had this banana crumble served with vanilla ice-cream with my friend at PS cafe as my birthday treat. I really liked the crumble although it was a little on the sweet side.

Thereafter I had been thinking of making a blueberry crumble one of these days as I still had a packet of fresh blueberries kept frozen in my freezer for quite some time. However I had been putting it off, until last weekend (day after Good Friday), I woke up, found no breakfast, my dad was cooking his usual Teochew Porridge which I don't feel like eating, and hence went searching for a blueberry crumble recipe. The recipe was a simple one. Less than 10 minutes of preparation time and about 20 minutes of baking time, freshly baked blueberry crumble is ready! And another good thing was I FINALLY took out my beautiful ramekins for this crumble :D

I had mine with some plain yoghurt. How I wished there were vanilla ice-cream! :P

This is the simple pleasure of baking, for yourself and your love ones ;)

April 12, 2009

Milky Wholemeal Loaf

I was immediately attracted to this milky wholemeal bread when I read it at one of Kitchen Corner's post. From her pictures, I could see that the bread was soft and milky white, definitely gonna be delicious. It combined my favourite - milk and wholemeal in a recipe. :D
I tired out this recipe last weekend and true enough, the bread was very soft and fluffy. It has been a long time I bake a loaf in a pullman loaf tin and was glad I was able to achieve a aquare loaf. :)
You should be able to see from the picture that it is a very soft loaf. Too bad my slicing skills was very bad, very bad indeed that the bread was not sliced in equal slices and had really jagged surface. :P Some of them were pressed too hard and 'reduced in volume'. I find that I had difficulty slicing when the bread is too soft with damaging it. :P
This recipe is definitely a keeper and do try it!

April 5, 2009

Picnic@ East Coast Park

It was such a nice weather to go for a picnic! No reason to back out last minute even though I woke up later than I should be to prepare the bento for our picnic. :P

When I'm done, it was almost noon but we had the whole afternoon to relax at our leisure on a Sunday.
The weather was windy and coolingon that day, you could spot people flying kites. We initially wanted to get off our lazy butts and do some cycling but the weather was really so good that we ended up reading newspapers, eating off our bentos and simply lazing around.

This is the bento that I prepared on that day. The worst part was frying thr chicken fillets. I did not take note of the fire and it got burnt. I managed to salvage it by cutting away the burnt portion with only a much smaller portion left :(
The maki sushi sandwiches was taken from Happy Homebaker's and it was really nice! Even my dad who NEVER eat any of such "sushi" stuffs also said it's nice! dd commented I could have use less rice so that the maki sandwich would be thinner. Lastly the two swissrolls were made during my baking class. I got it distorted while trying to put into the bento box. The tiger swissroll was only half of the original slice cos' it was too big a slice to be squeeze in!
It was fun but I'm still not pleased enough with my bento. Will try out other varieties next time! :)

April 2, 2009

Durian Mousse Cake for Bro

It was my brother's birthday last week and he invited us to his house for dinner. He took this as an opportunity for our family to get together since we seldom have a family get-together after my elder brothers got married.

My sister-in-law cooked some simple dishes and I volunteered to bake a birthday cake for him, :P. This is a durian mousse cake made with vanilla chiffon sponge and durian mousse. Hehe I know pink weren't suitable for a guy, but that's the only food colouring I have and I refrained from using fruits or strawberries as decorations since this was meant to be a really pure durian cake. What's more I've not seen any bakeries selling durian cakes with other deco except simple whipped cream. I only sprinkled some chocolate shavings and piped some whipped cream on it.

I 'boldly' used a chiffon cake base instead of a sponge cake base as I wanted to practise making a chiffon cake. If it fails, I thought I could still make a sponge cake. :)

The chiffon cake baked well in the oven but as usual, it sank a little, and more to one side upon the end of the baking. The structure was not sturdy enough. Fortunately it did not sink that much to result in a kueh-like cake. The cake was soft and tasted very nice! I believe ever since I switched to pure vanilla extract, it does make a whole lot of difference to plain vanilla cakes. :D

For the durian mousse, I used the recipe from Aunty Yochana's durian mousse cake. The mousse was good but of course you need to buy good quality durians.

As my nephew was taking photos with my brother (also their大伯), my elder nephew exclaimed: Wow the cake 好香 (smells good!). Hehe.. See my two little mischevious nephews!