Sunday, July 31, 2011

Singapore Flyer

Ok, writing this to remember to my first experience on Singapore Flyer.

We were there during Chinese New Year on February this year. Remember last year's McDonald's monopoly game? One of the prize was 1-for-1 ticket on Singapore Flyer. As the ticket price is quite expensive (S$29.50/adult, S$20.65/child), this was a great opportunity to sit on Singapore Flyer at half-price. We collected five 1-for-1 tickets for our whole family of 12 (including 2 toddlers, free) to get up there.

The whole flight lasted about 30 minutes. Great views isn't it? I hope there will be a chance for me to ride this again at night.

Here's a few family photos.
(Top, left) My nephew and niece
(Top, right) Everyone in the capsule
(Bottom, left) My twin nieces
(Bottom, right) My mother

Monday, July 25, 2011

Aspiring Bakers #9: Chocolate Swiss Roll 可可蛋糕卷

I still remember the mess that I created when I made my first swiss roll few years ago. The swiss roll cracked very badly and the cream was in a mess after rolling. I dare not make any swiss rolls anymore. Yes, I'm that afraid of failures.

But hidden in me, I still want to do it again. I enjoy flipping through 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷. I know there is another wonderful book 彩绘蛋糕卷 on creating patterns and painting on swiss rolls, which I still don't know where to get the book. Then comes this month's Aspiring Bakers event on swiss rolls. The swiss rolls posted during the last few weeks are all highly creative. That forces motivates me to try making one.

孟老师的美味蛋糕卷 is one of the best Chinese baking books. There are 5 different methods of making swiss roll cakes, 5 methods of making fillings for the swiss rolls, 3 methods of rolling, step-by-step illustrations, and comes with 2 DVDs. I pick the easiest swiss roll from this book - chiffon cake method for the cake base which I am more familiar with + fresh cream filling.

Here's my very first swiss roll. Though not perfectly round, with slight cracks and still some mess after rolling, I am quite satisfied and happy with myself for doing something I am initially reluctant to try. If something is holding back you from doing it, I hope this will inspire you to try making swiss rolls. Still one more week left before the swiss roll month ends. :)

Chocolate Swiss Roll 可可蛋糕卷

Ingredients (36cm x 26cm baking tin)

Chiffon cake:
20g cocoa powder
40g hot water
60g egg yolks (~3 eggs)
50g sugar
50g vegetable oil
30g milk
75g cake flour

120g egg whites (~3 eggs)
65g sugar

180g dairy whipping cream
20g sugar


1. Put fresh cream in a bowl and place over another big bowl filled with ice cubes. Whisk fresh cream until thick.
2. Add in sugar and whisk until stiff.

Chiffon cake:
1. Dissolve cocoa powder in hot water and set aside.
2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
3. Slowly whisk in oil and milk.
4. Add in chocolate mixture in step (1).
5. Sift in cake flour and whisk until batter is smooth. Set aside.
6. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy, gradually add in sugar in 3 batches. Continue whisking until stiff peak form.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg white into the egg yolk batter (in step 5), then fold in the remaining 2/3 egg white gently until well-mixed.
8. Pour the batter into a lined and greased baking tin. Level the batter, give the tin a few slight bangs on the table to knock out air in the batter. Bake in preheated oven at 175 deg C for 12 minutes (I use top rack).
9. Remove cake from pan. When one side is cooled, flip the cake over, tear away the baking paper and leave to cool the other side.
10. Spread filling on the cake and roll up. Chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before slicing.

Recipe adapted from: 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷

I am submitting this Chocolate Swiss Roll to Aspiring Bakers #9: Swiss Rolling Good Times (July 2011), hosted by Obsessedly Involved with Food.

Aspiring Bakers Announcement
I hardly realize, time really flies. Aspiring Bakers is almost 1 year old and I have not planned for who are going to be our hosts for the next few months.

Looking for host for Aspiring Bakers from November 2011 onwards. If you have participated in Aspiring Bakers before, you are welcome to pick a theme and be our host. I know it is hard work checking the emails and compiling the long list of entries. But we really need some volunteers for this wonderful event to continue.

Please email me if you are interested.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Soft & Spongy Banana Cake

I'm becoming very slow in updating my bakes. Better write this post before I forget about it.
This Soft & Spongy Banana Cake was baked last month, recipe from Wen's Delight and very well-rated by many bloggers.

The 2 important steps to making this cake well is:

1. Whisking the eggs and sugar to the right ribbon stage, till thick and stiff.

2. Folding the oil into the batter well. As the oil content is high, have to be careful not to underfold or overfold as it will result in a dense cake.

I'm glad I had done it without many mistakes. The cake was light and spongy. I prefer not to add any essence to my cakes, makes my cakes taste better and natural. Keeping this good recipe!

Soft & Spongy Banana Cake

Ingredients (makes one 8 inch round tin)

150g eggs
130g sugar
200g banana (very ripe, cut into small pieces)
150g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
100g corn oil (or any vegetable oil except olive oil)


1. Preheat oven to 160 degree C.
2. Grease and line tin with baking paper.
3. Sieve flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Sieve twice and set aside.
4. Whisk eggs, sugar and sliced bananas at max. speed till stiff/ribbon stage. (For Kenwood Chef - approx 10-13mins)
5. Fold in sifted flour and mix well. (Can use spatular or hand to mix)
6. Add in oil and mix well till batter is shiny and flowing.
7. Pour into baking tin and bake for 40 - 45 minutes.

Recipe adapted from: Wen's Delight - full recipe or half recipe, and a step-by-step slideshow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

KTM Bukit Timah Railway Station and Railway Tracks

Yesterday I went to take a short walk along the KTM railway tracks, which will only be opened until this Sunday (the stretch between Rifle Range Road and the Rail Mall until end of the month). Not going to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Yes, we can always see railway tracks elsewhere but walking on the tracks safely without worrying about oncoming trains, this will be the only chance.

I started from the Railway Bridge at Bukit Timah Road (near King Albert Park McDonald's). It was so crowded on a Sunday morning. I was taking photos of people instead of the bridge! Guess it is one of the most popular photo-taking spot. I have to admit, I never knew it was a railway bridge when passing by that area!

This is the Bukit Timah Railway Station. It will be conserved.

The KTM railway tracks and scenery. Look at the crowd. There were families, children, elderly, people coming from all parts of Singapore, it was like a big Singapore gathering. Very fun! I just took photos around that area and not trekking along the tracks. It was not easy to walk on the tracks filled with stones and pebbles. Did anyone ask why train tracks are filled with so many stones? I think it is for supporting and stabilizing the tracks and provide drainage.

If you want to walk along the railway tracks, here's a good map guide and suggested walking routes.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Hakka Yong Tau Foo 客家酿豆腐