Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This is the delicious Mango Log Cake that I have for this year's Christmas. Ordered from Polar Puffs & Cakes. Didn't take a photo of it so I borrowed this picture from their website.

Photo from Polar Puffs & Cakes

Wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2009!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meat Patties with Tomato and Chilli Sauce

Meat Patties with Tomato and Chilli Sauce

Trying to replicate one of the dishes my mum cooked. This is my second try with a slight improvement. Not bad.

My method of making: Mix minced meat with 1 egg -> marinate with salt and pepper -> drop tablespoons of the mixture in a non-stick pan -> pan-fry both sides till golden brown -> mix tomato sauce, chilli sauce with a little water -> add to the cooked patties and mix till the patties are well-coated with the sauce. DONE!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Steamed Chicken with Red Dates

Steamed Chicken with Red Dates

Another favourite of mine. Steamed chicken. Quick and easy. Recipe from Food For Tots. Very sweet with the red dates but I run out of wolfberries!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ang Koo Kueh

I have some green bean filling left after making the Tau Sar Piah. Don't know what to do with it and it will be a waste to throw them away. My mother suggests making Ang Koo Kueh with it. She told me she has the Ang Koo Kueh mould at home. Wah... didn't know that. I don't even remember her making Ang Koo Kuehs before!

Amanda has made Ang Koo Kueh using her mooncake moulds. What a brilliant idea! You can take a look at her pretty Ang Koo Kuehs here. I used the same recipe as her taken from Florence’s blog.

My not-so-pretty Ang Koo Kuehs. I didn't add any red colouring so it's the natural colouring of the orange sweet potatoes. Haha! Finally have the chance to use the mould after keeping it for so many years! Actually, we have also found the Png Kueh mould too! :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Looking for pineapple tarts recipe

I'm looking for a good pineapple tarts recipe. It must be tested and proven to be really really good. Can be your own recipe if you are willing to share it in my blog. Or let me know the link if it comes from a website or a blog. :)

I'm also looking for a good pineapple paste cos I don't think I want to make the paste myself. ;P Anyone knows where or which shop sells the best pineapple paste?

Hehe... thanks!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm ugly but I'm yummy!

我很丑,可是我很... 好吃!

If these were to be put in bakery shop to sell, I doubt anyone would buy. Haha! Very ugly looking, but they taste really good. This is the first time I attempt making pastry using oil dough and water dough. Very difficult, the water dough seems to be too dry and crack badly, so I'm not able to make very smooth skin, that's why the ugly surface. Very tedious work too. Although it's good, I don't think I wanna try the same thing again (other types of pastry maybe yes). It's more convenient to buy right! I did it for experience and purely as an experiment.

Reminds me of this TV programme on Channel U (still showing) called 妙手铁厨 Man Vs Machine. In each episode, one type of food will be featured and compared whether the handmade or the factory produced one tastes better. I'm surprised that a lot of times, the factory-made ones actually won. Even so, hats off to those who handmade the delicious food and insist in preserving the traditions despite the hard and repetitive work, everyday, just to satisfy their customers.

* I use recipe from Delicious Asian Baked Treats, you can also check out the pretty ones made by Amanda and Little Corner of Mine.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baked Chicken Wings

Last year, inspired by the baking blogs, I have started to learn how to bake.

This year, I have expanded my blog reading list to cooking blogs too. After the recent discovery of all the food blogs that share how easy cooking can be, I feel like cooking myself too. I have mentioned so many times that I wanted to learn how to cook. Time to start.

Baked Chicken Wings

I love to eat chicken so much that it's obvious why I bookmark so many chicken recipes. Got this recipe from Jthorge's Kitchen. The chicken wings are very tender and juicy. Love it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

7 things you don't know about SSB

Hello everyone, I'm 95% recovered from the cough. I think it's the almond soup that cures me. Drink 2 times only and seems to be more effective than the cough syrup. :)

It's meme time again! Thanks Yuri, Missy and Jane for tagging me at the same time. I have not been baking, or rather baking successfully recently, which explains the lack of posts. Here's a reason to put up a post to fill in the gaps. Haha!

Try not to repeat the things I have said in the past.

7 random facts about myself

1. The reason I call myself small small baker is because I'm really small and skinny in size. :)

2. When I was studying, Maths is my best subject and I never got less than an A until University. English is my worst subject. The first time I failed an exam was English in Sec 2, studied very hard to get a B in O levels and struggling for a pass in GP for A levels. :(

3. This year, I started learning abacus and mental arithmetic. Passed my grading exam but didn't manage to score full marks (stress lah!). :(

4. I miss my mum's cooking (she's not cooking meat dishes anymore since she becomes vegetarian). Some of my favourite dishes were Hakka Yong Tau Foo, shredded chicken noodles and salted chicken. I hope to learn from her how to cook these dishes. :)

5. The first time I sat on an aeroplane was a trip to Australia 8 years ago. Went to Dream World and sat on the Tower of Terror - a free fall ride from 38 storeys high in 7 seconds (didn't know where I got the courage) and hurt my back at that time. Never dare to sit on any rides and roller coasters since then. :(

6. I'm interested and have learnt a bit about astrology. I'm a Taurus who gets along well with air signs like Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, but can't seem to get along with Leo. :)

7. Since everyone's talking about driving license, I passed both my basic and advance theory in 1 attempt but never started any driving lessons. :)

I'm tagging the following 7 bloggers, I hope they have fun with this meme.
2. Sherlyn's hobbies blog
3. Daily Affairs (singairishgirl)
4. Held by Love, Baked from scratch (Amanda)
5. A little diary of mine (Fanny)
6. MySimpleFood
7. Bite On It! (angeleyes)

Here are the rules for tagging:
1. Link to my blog (tagger) on your blog.
2. Give seven facts about yourself.
3. Tag another seven bloggers by leaving a comment on their blogs and letting them know they were tagged and listing them (and their blogs) on your blog.

Check out my previous memes:
Meme 2
2 more memes

Friday, October 31, 2008

I need to cool down

First, it's fever. Then, comes the cough and sore throat. I tried to search for blogs that share recipes or any home remedies. With no satisfactory results, I made a pot of chrysanthemum tea learnt from Noobcook. Serious. I even need to look for reference to make such a simple chrysanthemum tea. I'm really clueless in cooking. This website is great and has a lot of easy recipes. Promise to learn some simple dishes and post here ok.

I couldn't find soups that helps to soothe coughs. So I made some lemon honey. Juice of 1 lemon + 1 cup hot water + honey to taste. At least, I get a boost of vitamin C and soothe the throat. Anyone has remedies for cough?

Anyway, I'm into baking sponge cakes nowadays. Tried to make green tea cake roll and spread with azuki beans and whipping cream. The cake roll cracked, not much surprise, I knew I can't make cake rolls. :( No choice, I turned it into a layer cake like this.

The other sponge cake I made is a strawberry sponge cake (recipe from HHB). Love its texture - soft and spongy, and it remains soft on the next day.

No chocolates and heaty stuff for me now. I'll see what I can bake.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Making fruit enzymes

Not baking. So I will post up something that my mum is very into recently:
Making fruit enzymes (水果酵素).

We have heard of the health benefits for taking fruit enzymes. Enzymes are important for our digestive system and when our body does not produce enough enzymes, we can't absorb the nutrients from the food that we eat.

It is easy to make enzymes at home.
1. Just prepare a glass container that is very clean and dry. Be careful! Any grease/water will spoil the whole jar!
2. Wash and dry the fruits. Cut into small pieces. Make sure they are very dry!
3. Put a layer of fruits, followed by a layer of rock sugar (we used 冰片糖), repeat until the jar is about 3/4 full. Make sure the top layer is sugar.
4. Seal the jar and leave it in a dry and cool place to ferment.
5. On the 3rd or 4th day, shake the jar to mix the fruits and sugar evenly. Open to release some gases. Remember to close the jar.
6. Enzyme should be ready to be consumed in 2-3 weeks time, depending on the fruit.
7. Filter the fruit from liquid. Store the liquid enzyme in a new glass bottle. Must be clean and dry too!
8. Keep in the refrigerator and drink it within 1 month.
9. If you are making many batches (like my mother), paste a note of the date of making and date of completion on the jar.
10. Drink daily and amount according to your weight (reference from a book). E.g. if you weigh 60kg, then drink 60ml a day, 30kg - 30ml a day.

Here are some enzymes that are ready to be consumed. More coming... :)

Pomegranate enzyme

Mixed fruits enzyme (apples, grapes, lemons and kiwi fruit)

Roselle enzyme

I like the Roselle enzyme the best. It tastes almost the same as Ribena. Very nice to drink.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Easy Honey Cupcakes

Do you know that honey is the the only food in the world that does not spoil?

I remember I read it somewhere and it is quite amazing to know that it can be kept for thousands of years! As for the science behind it, you might want to find out for yourself and let me know, hehe! I think it's a good project for children to do some little research about their favourite food. :)

Anyway, back to baking. :) One day, last week, I was feeling hungry and couldn't find anything good to fill my stomach at home. So, I decided to make this Honey Cupcakes from 孟老师的100道小蛋糕. It looks pretty easy. The only problem is I have a phobia for making sponge cakes that requires me to beat up eggs and sugar first, then fold in flour and oil/butter. I remembered deflating it when I first started baking and since then, I hardly make any sponge cakes, if you have noticed.

Still, I call this an easy recipe, cos I only take 30 minutes to make these cupcakes (including weighing and washing). Fastest record for me! Wasn't very sure if I had beaten the batter to the right stage. But at least, I did not deflate the mixture this time and the cupcakes remains soft and spongy. Not too bad! :)

Easy Honey Cupcakes (From 孟老师的100道小蛋糕)

20g oil
30g honey
2 eggs
20g sugar
50g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. Place oil and honey in a bowl and heat up the mixture by placing the bowl in hot water. Mix well using a spoon and set aside.
2. Beat eggs and sugar using a mixer. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat till mixture turns creamy white and when the whisk is lifted up, the trail does not disappear immediately. Reduce to slow speed and beat for another 1 minute.
3. Sift in cake flour and baking powder and add in honey and oil mixture in step 1. Mix gently until smooth.
4. Fill into cupcake cases until 8/10 full, rest in room temperature for about 5 minutes.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for 15-20 minutes. (Bake at a higher shelf or use a lower heat for the bottom heat cos the honey can cause the base to burn easily.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Red Bean Buns

It has been quite some time since I baked breads and buns. I have been putting it off as the thought of handling stubborn sticky dough keeps me away from it. And I don't want to leave it in a bread machine to bake too. And more excuses like making ice creams and cakes and muffins, which are easier for me to handle.

Making breads is no easy task for me. So far, none of the breads really satisfy me. I still think there's something lacking, I couldn't get very very soft breads just like those bought from the bakeries. Could it be because bakeries use additives which made the breads softer? But I guess it is most probably due to my bad skills in kneading the bread. Though with the help of a bread machine, the dough still comes out sticky and I have no idea how to knead it to the right stage.

But with a 不服输 attitude (refuse to admit losing), I made the Red Bean Buns from 孟老師的100道麵包. The sticky problem improves a bit. I have left the lid of the bread machine open during kneading, use cold water and eggs. It's definitely less sticky than the last time. Wrapping the fillings is a challenge for me too. One of the buns had red beans leaking out. Inexperience... I also tried plaiting the bread like what Happy Homebaker did. Of course, hers look much better mine. :)

However, I'm still unsatisfied with the softness of the bread. That will be my next challenge.

Recipe can be found in My Home Kitchen's blog. Hers looks great too!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Coffee Marble Cheesecake

Tried out another recipe from 孟老师的100道小蛋糕. I don't have much choices when it comes to making cheese cakes. Remember my disaster for my peach cheesecake? I haven't got any springform or loose base pan yet, so I wouldn't want to attempt any cheesecakes with a biscuit base. That's why I picked this cheesecake recipe without a base!

Making this cheesecake is indeed simple. No need mixer at all. No need to beat egg whites. Perfect for beginners.

The steps go roughly like this: Double boil the cream cheese and sugar. Stir till the mixture is smooth and no lumps. Add milk and cornflour, mix well, remove from heat and cool. Add eggs and vanilla essence, mix well. Scoop 1 tsp of the batter and mix with instant coffee powder. Pour the remaining batter into the tin. Drop teaspoons of the coffee batter on top and swirl marble patterns with a skewer. Steam bake in hot water bath. You can replace coffee with cocoa powder or green tea powder.

Sorry, recipe will not be provided here cos I don't want to publish too many recipes from the same book.

I have no problem with eating any type of cheese cakes. But my mother thinks it's a bit too cheesy and prefers the Japanese type of cotton-soft cheesecakes. It was 1 year ago since I baked it. I miss it too! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Toblerone Ice Cream

What is the best food to have when you are feeling down?

Chocolates of course! Chocolate (Wikipedia) contains a variety of substances, some of which act as stimulants. It is said to have 'love chemical' which makes you feel like you have fallen in love and has a mood-elevating effect. Hm...

Here's my treat of Toblerone Ice Cream. Excellent dessert during the hot weather these few days. This is so delicious! Ice-cream making is truly fun! :)

Toblerone Ice Cream (From 冷冻甜品)

3 egg yolks
40g sugar
1 tsp corn flour
170g fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g toblerone chocolate (or cooking chocolate)
220g non-dairy whipping cream
50g chocolate chips

1. Beat egg yolks, sugar and corn flour until sugar has dissolved and pale.
2. Add in fresh milk, vanilla essence and toblerone chocolate. Double boil the mixture and stir and cook at low heat until chocolate has melted and slightly thicken. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
3. Whisk non-dairy whipping cream until stiff and fold into the cooled milk mixture.
4. Stir in chocolate chips and mix well.
5. Pour into a container and freeze overnight. Whisk the mixture again until smooth and freeze until set.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Devil's Cupcakes and A Surprise Reward!

The Devil's Cupcakes

Did these cupcakes quite some time ago as my mother requested me to bake something for her friends. I was scratching head and trying to recall something good enough to let people try. I looked through my archive and saw this Devil's Food Cake. Suddenly remembered that I had tried scooping some out to bake as cupcakes the last time and they tasted very very soft and delicious.

So using the same recipe, I made them into Devil's Cupcakes, topped with chocolate chips ;). When she was back, I received the best feedback ever. I could see she was pretty happy and proud to hear people saying that the cupcakes were good. Sigh... I have probably never done anything great to make her feel proud of me. Very sad.

The Surprise Reward!

It was merely a week since I joined and added the widget from the Foodie BlogRoll. To be honest, I knew this website since a long time ago, but I didn't join it because I find that it slowed down the loading of the websites. But the new widget looks pretty cool and I decided to join in to add some colours to my blog. Weird reason right? Haha! I never knew that because of this simple addition, the readership of my blog increases and I am very surprised to be one of the featured blogs in FFF. FFF means Finest Foodies Friday, which is a weekly Friday post in The Left Over Queen featuring favourites from The Foodie Blogroll. Read here.

It's totally unexpected. I have set up this blog just to record my baking experiences. I have baked some good ones and also numerous unsuccessful attempts. My bakes are not really that outstanding... the photos are very ordinarily taken... my English is poor and I don't write well (I sometimes need to check the dictionary to make sure that I have used a word correctly, blah)... and there are better baking blogs out there who have not had the chance to receive the attention yet.

I would say it's some kind of reward for my persistence in baking and blogging. I'm kind of feeling down lately. It does give me a boost and brighten me up a bit.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Mashed Potato Cheese Muffins

When I first flipped the book 孟老师的100道小蛋糕 borrowed from the library, this is one of the many recipes that I bookmark and must definitely try. Because I have never heard of making mashed potatoes into muffins!

This is my first time trying out savoury muffins. And it is the tastiest and easiest muffins to make. A good change from the usual sweet muffins, it's just like eating mashed potatoes with strong black peppery taste and the extra kick with the oozing cheddar cheese. I don't know what else to say to describe it. You've got to try it out!

* There's another "Curry French Fries Muffins" in the same book. I must try it out one of these days!! (when everyone has recovered from the flu spreading around the house :( )

Mashed Potato Cheese Muffins 薯泥起士马芬 (From 孟老师的100道小蛋糕)

Ingredients (I make 10 pieces - 5cm cups)
120g potatoes (without skin)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper powder
20g sugar
1 egg
50g oil
40g milk
75g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 slice of cheddar cheese

1. Cut potatoes into small pieces and steam until soft, about 15 minutes. Use a fork to mash the potatoes when still hot. Add salt and black pepper, mix well, and set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix sugar, egg and oil until well blended.
3. Add in milk, followed by the mashed potatoes in step 1. Mix well.
4. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add into the mashed potatoes mixture in step 3. Stir lightly with a spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
5. Tear the cheddar cheese into small pieces and add into the mixture in step 4. Mix lightly.
6. Scoop mixture into paper cups until 8/10 full.
7. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for about 20-25 minutes (I took 15 minutes). Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Strawberry Chiffon Cake

Before you thought that I have just made a perfect chiffon cake, look at the photo below...

This is the sunken part that I have cut away before taking photographs. Haha!

Wait, I shouldn't sound too happy. This has been the Nth sunken chiffon cake that I have made. My previous orange, lemon, cheese and pandan flavoured chiffon cakes had all failed. All of them had the same problem of a sunken top after cooling. Everything was fine during the preparation, including beating the egg whites. The cake rose nicely in the oven, but when I unmoulded it from the pan, I always ended up in great disappointment.

Rei's Chiffon Cake Tips and Trouble II Tip #4 states that:
"If the cake's top (overturned, previously it was the bottom) is sunken in (like a small groove), the oven temperature is too high. If the oven temperature is too high, it will cause the cake to over-expand. So when the cake relaxes after cooling, it will cause this effect."

I might try stepping down the temperature to prevent the oven from getting too hot when making chiffon cakes again.

Strangely, my first few chiffon cakes did not have this problem. Is it me or my oven getting worse?

Recipe from Peng's Kitchen.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nephew's 4th Birthday

Today is my nephew's 4-year-old birthday. He has chosen another "vehicle-theme" cake for his birthday. Yeah, we know that he likes all sorts of vehicles since he was few months old. He had a train cake when he was 1, a construction-site cake when he was 3. (His 2nd year was a sesame street cake :) ). And this year, it is a Choo Choo Train Cupcake from PrimaDeli which is made of 24 cupcakes. I like the cake decoration but the cupcake doesn't taste as nice as last year's one.

Happy Birthday, Boy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Easy Strawberry Ice Cream

I'm into ice-cream making again! :)

After my successful attempt in making the black sesame ice cream, I made another ice cream flavour upon my nephew's request. Erm... my excuse actually, I think I crave for the ice cream more than he does. But he has the privilege of choosing the ice cream flavour that he likes. I have a couple of ice cream recipes like green tea, red bean, cookies & cream, etc. In the end, he wants to eat strawberry ice cream, as simple as that. I told him, but we don't have strawberries at home. So I had to use strawberry paste to substitute the real strawberries.

Here's the strawberry ice cream for you. :)

Easy Strawberry Ice Cream (Modified from here and here)

3 egg yolks
80g sugar
200g fresh milk
1 tsp strawberry paste
250g non-dairy whipping cream

1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar till white and creamy.
2. Double boil the egg yolk mixture and stir constantly. Pour in fresh milk and continue stirring until mixture is hot but not boiling.
3. Remove the milk mixture from heat and set aside to cool.
4. Add in 1 tsp of strawberry paste.
5. Whisk non-dairy whipping cream till fluffy and fold in the cooled milk mixture.
6. Pour into container and freeze overnight or until firm.

* You can add fresh strawberries in if you like.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

I'm curious to try out this Cookies and Cream Cupcakes recipe from Crazy About Cupcakes. Firstly, it only uses egg whites, and not whole eggs, which is different from other cupcakes recipes that I have seen. You see, I have plenty of egg whites left after making the ice creams. :)

Secondly, it uses a different kind of mixing method. Instead the usual way of creaming the butter and sugar first, then adding the eggs and milk, then the flours and crushed cookies.
The method goes like this:
1. Cream the butter, milk and vanilla until fluffy (but I can't reach the fluffy stage).
2. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture.
3. Add in the sugar.
4. Add in the egg whites.
5. Add in the crushed cookies.

Just as I was wondering about the result, the cupcakes came out soft and spongy. The surface did not turn brown. I was thinking could it be underbaked, but since the skewer came out clean, I shouldn't leave it to overbake. My only complaint is that it was overly sweet for me.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (Here's the original recipe from Crazy About Cupcakes)

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate sandwich cookies (about 10), lightly crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in the sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the crushed cookies.
5. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Tried out 2 types of pancakes over the last 2 weeks.

This is from Elyn's Nigella's Pancakes. I like its premix method. You can prepare in advance by mixing large quantities of the dry ingredients and store them in an air-tight container. Whenever you need to make the pancakes, just scoop up 1 cup of the premix and mix with egg, milk, butter and vanilla essence to prepare the batter. These pancakes are SUPER soft and my nephew finished 6 pieces at one go.

This is another type of pancake from Korea called Hoddeok. The recipe is taken from My Korean Kitchen. It looks quite appetizing from the website's photos. I stuff the pancakes with sweet peanut fillings. But I did not do a good job when making the pancakes. The dough is kind of hard and dry. If only I had the chance to try the real Hoddeok from Korea, then I can compare how bad I did. ;)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Black Sesame Ice Cream

I recently become very interested in making my own ice cream after seeing Elinluv, Happy Mrs Kwok and Passion Baker's homemade ice cream.

Since I have plenty of black sesame seeds left from my last bake, I make the Black Sesame Ice Cream from this recipe. I modified the recipe a bit, substituting all coconut milk with fresh milk. The ice cream tastes absolutely yummy!

I didn't know that ice-cream making can be so simple and you don't actually need a ice cream maker to do it. :)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Black Sesame Buns

After reserving the book and waiting for almost a month, I finally got a copy of 孟老師的100道麵包 from the library. Several bloggers have tried out the recipes in this book and highly recommend it. I'm glad I got the copy as the DVD that comes with the book is very useful. It gives very detailed demonstration on the steps of making homemade bread. I'm eager to try out the recipes after reading the book.

As breadmaking is still very new for me, I decided to try out the Black Sesame Buns which is simpler to make. Unfortunately, I met a major problem when making the bread. The dough was simply to sticky to deal with. I suspected it was due to underkneading so I let the machine knead for more than 40 minutes. That did not improve the result too. So I took the bread out to knead myself, leaving the machine to rest as it was overheated and refused to start. After some time of "wrestling" with the sticky dough, I threw the dough back into the machine to mix the grounded black sesame in. Luckily the result became slightly better, much to my relief.

I left a message to Happy Homebaker for advice. She did not have the same problem. I suspect it's due to the heat in the bread machine. She mentioned that she always leave the lid of the machine open thoughout the kneading cycle to prevent the dough from heating up, which I did not do so. A reader of her blog also suggests that those who use bread machine to knead, to use ice water and cold eggs or milk or butter, which will help to keep the dough temperature low. I will keep this in mind during my next attempt.

Black Sesame Buns (From 孟老師的100道麵包)

Ingredients (makes 6 buns)
Ingredients A:
250g bread flour
25g brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
10g milk powder
160g water

Ingredients B:
10g unsalted butter
20g black sesame seeds, grounded

Ingredients C:
Egg white
Black sesame seeds, for topping

1. Mix all ingredients A until it forms a smooth dough.
2. Add in butter and knead until it forms a smooth and elastic dough.
3. Add in grounded black sesame seeds and mix until well-blended.
4. Place the dough in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and proof for about 80 minutes (I proof for 60 minutes).
5. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Mould it round. Brush the top with egg white and cover the top with plenty of black sesame seeds. Place them on the baking tray and proof for another 30 minutes.
6. Bake at 180 deg C for about 15 minutes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Playing with sushi

I know nothing about making sushi and I have never thought of making it too.

It happens that my mother is making sushi today and there are some leftover sushi rice. So I thought why not try it. An impromptu decision and without any knowledge or any ingredients, I just jump in for the fun of playing around with sushi.

You know what's the quickest way to learn how to make a Tamago Sushi? Search the YouTube! I type in "Tamago Sushi" and several videos are found and I just learn how to make the japanese type of omelette from there.

It's neither nice-looking nor delicious (cos I don't even have some of the ingredients), but it's just for fun! :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Golden Crown Bread

This recipe is taken from Alex Goh's latest book - Baking Code. The breads in this book are made using the Overnight Sponge Dough method. Because the recipe seems to be too much for my family, I halved the recipe. I omitted the raisins from the recipe too, thus the I leave out the word "raisin" from the name of the bread. Haha! (Its original name is Golden Crown Raisin Bread).

I got about 60g of the overnight sponge dough using half the recipe. The method of making the bread is slightly different from the book as I have used my bread machine to do the kneading part. I put in the water and egg first, followed by the overnight sponge dough, and lastly all the dry ingredients. Then made the machine to knead for 30 minutes, adding the butter after the first 10 minutes of kneading. The rest of the method remains the same.

As I'm using a small 15cm round pan, I divide the dough into 30g each for the sides and 40g for the dough in the centre. The result of this arrangement looks quite pleasing. It does have the shape of a crown, no wonder it gets its name as a Golden Crown. I'm happy with the texture of the bread too. It's very soft and fluffy and still remains quite good on the next day. Gonna try more recipes from this book. :)

Here are the original recipes from the book.

Overnight Sponge Dough (From Baking Code by Alex Goh)

100g bread flour
60g water (room temperature)
1/4 tsp instant yeast

1. Mix the instant yeast with 20g of water until well-blended.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients and knead to form a dough.
3. Let it proof for 30 minutes.
4. Wrap with cling film and keep in the refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours.

Golden Crown Raisin Bread (From Baking Code by Alex Goh)

Ingredients A:
400g bread flour
100g plain flour
20g milk powder
65g sugar
6g salt
10g instant yeast

Ingredients B:
100g overnight sponge dough

Ingredients C:
2 cold eggs
180g cold water

Ingredients D:
90g butter

Ingredients E:
220g raisins

1. Mix ingredients A until well-blended. Add in ingredients B and ingredients C, mix to form a dough.
2. Add in ingredients D, mix to form a smooth and elastic dough.
3. Add in ingredients E, mix until well-blended.
4. Cover it with cling film. Allow it to proof for 50 minutes.
5. Divide it into 40g each. Mould it round. Place 8 pieces of dough around the side of a greased 20cm round pan, place a 60g dough in the centre. Allow it to proof for 50 minutes.
6. Egg wash the surface and bake it at 180 deg C for 20 minutes.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

This Banana Oatmeal Cookies recipe from Baking Cottage is definitely a keeper. I like its soft interior, which makes it different from other cookies. My only complaint is that I have added only 1 small banana which is not enough to bring out any taste of banana in it. I should have added more. :)

Friday, July 04, 2008

A brand new look!

Remember that in my last post, I mentioned that I wanted to change the layout of my blog?
I did it! Here's a brand new look for my blog!

I got the blog template from this website eBlogTemplates. There are many free blog templates for Blogger and Wordpress users. Yes, they are FREE. And many of them look very cool and professional too. If you are going to give your blog a makeover, you can try this out.

I had a hard time deciding which blog template to use. I love the template that I'm using now. Especially the "Recent Articles" box that display the 10 most recent posts and the "Calendar style date" on each individual post. And there are 2 columns of side bars, so that I can place more links to my favourite blogs.

They also offer plenty of money making tools by placing blog ads in your blog. I have yet to try any of them, except Google AdSense. So currently, they are just "dummy ads".

* If you want to try these templates, do create a new blog to try it out first.
* Before replacing your blog, please do a backup of your current template.
Click "Layout" > "Edit HTML" > "Download Full Template".
This helps you to restore your blog if you want to change it back. Because almost all the codes and links and whatever new things you have added to your blog will be gone.
* I copied all the codes for flickr and stats counter, all the links that I have added, and save them.

I'm still trying to complete some of the configuration. As for all the links that are gone, will have update them one by one. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fudgey Cocoa Brownies

Hello, I'm back! :)

This post marks the beginning of my 2nd year of baking and blogging. I don't know whether readers have become bored with the layout or content of my blog or not. I wanted to do a bit of change. But I have limited ideas and creativity. Must let me think slowly first. ;)

So here's a brownie recipe that I found from Ovenhaven. I realize that I haven't baked a brownie before. Quite unbelievable!

Despite the lack of height (although I have used a 8 inch square pan), this brownie is absolutely delicious!