Saturday, January 29, 2011

Aspiring Bakers #3: Bunny Pineapple Tarts and my 1st Giveaway

It's going to be Rabbit year! After seeing Peng's Kitchen cute bunny pineapple tarts, I made a whole batch of them. However, they look more like hamsters than rabbits. Anyway, rabbits do like a bit like hamsters right? :)

I'm using the same recipe as last year's Golden Pillow Pineapple Tarts. The shaping method is the same too. Just remember to snip the ears and poke the eyes with a skewer.

These are the bunnies before baking. I learn from Cook.Bake.Love's method of glazing pineapple tarts. Add a few drops of water to 1 egg yolk. Bake in the oven for about 6 minutes first, remove from oven to apply egg wash, then put back to oven and continue to bake until done.

I am submitting this cookie to Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favourite CNY Cookie (Jan 2011), hosted by j3ss kitch3n.


Today, my page counter finally hits the 500,000 mark. That's half a million and I take more than 3 years to reach this. My first post was written on 21 June 2007. To me, it's a very hard-to-remember date and I have never celebrated any blog anniversary because I never remember this date.

I think it is time to shown some appreciation to all my readers who have been following me all the while, leaving wonderful comments and encouragement. I know some readers have been with me, reading silently. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Although it's a virtual world and we have never met before, blogging gives me the satisfaction that real life doesn't and makes baking more fun.

To thank everyone, here's my first blog giveaway.

Yummy Cheesecake 美味芝士蛋糕 which contains 38 baked cheesecakes recipes, written in both English and Chinese.

1. Baked Strawberry Cheesecake
2. Bananarama Cheesecake
3. Blueberry Cheesecake
4. Apple Pie Cheesecake
5. Mango Macadamia Cheesecake
6. Jackfruit Cheesecake
7. Pineapple Cheesecake
8. Apricot Cheesecake
9. Orange Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake
10. Orange and Chocolate Chips Cheesecake
11. Baked Lime Cheesecake
12. Citrus Cheesecake
13. Lemon Curd Cheesecake
14. Double Cheesy Cheesecake
15. Cookie and Cream Cheesecake
16. Chocolate Feather-Patterned Cheesecake
17. Black and White Cheesecake
18. Almond Crumble Cheesecake
19. Creamy Sweet Corn Cheesecake
20. Yam Cheesecake
21. Velvety Honey Cheesecake
22. Rum and Raisin Cheesecake
23. Bailey Coffee Cheesecake
24. Caramel Cheesecake
25. Creamy Coconut Cheesecake
26. Orange Cheese Dome
27. Cream Cheese and Mixed Fruit Butter Cake
28. Prune Cheese Pound Cake
29. Carrot Cheesecake
30. Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
31. Tiramisu Torte
32. Cream Cheese Chiffon Cake
33. Pandan Cheese Chiffon Cake
34. Honey Cheese Swiss Roll
35. Mocha Light Cheesecake
36. Cotton Cheesecake
37. Poppy Seeds Cheese Cup Cakes
38. Chocolate Chips Cheesecake Muffins

I do not own this book. I bought this book specially for the giveaway and there is only 1 copy. After flipping it through, I found that I have actually tried Mocha Light Cheesecake from this book before. I must have copied it down when browsing at the bookstore. So the lucky winner of this book, remember to share the recipes with me. :)

To take part in this giveaway, just leave a comment telling me which cheesecake(s) you will like to try baking from this book if you win and why. Winner will be picked using a random number generator.

The closing date is: 4 Feb 2011 before 12 midnight.

This is open to everyone who has a Singapore or Malaysia mailing address.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Aspiring Bakers #3: Cashew Nut Cookies 2011 腰豆饼

Cashew Nut Cookies 2008
Cashew Nut Cookies 2009
Cashew Nut Cookies 2010
Cashew Nut Cookies 2011

I'm a boring and unadventurous person. This is my 4th year making this Cashew Nut Cookies and I'm still using the same old recipe. I shall not repeat and talk the same old stories about how I missed the days I used to bake these cookies with my mum. In fact, this year I did a mini experiment with my old recipe.

I've heard about how adding cornflour can make cookies more melt-in-the-mouth. I've also heard about how adding cornflour can make cookies more crunchy. Don't they contradict themselves? I have also received enquiries about omitting the baking powder.

So I did some experiment in 3 different batches:
Batch 1 - the original recipe with plain flour + cornflour + baking powder
Batch 2 - all plain flour + baking powder (replace cornflour with plain flour)
Batch 3 - plain flour + cornflour (omit baking powder)

The results of the experiment is unbelievable. After trying it for 3 days, 3 at a time. After letting my family try. I still don't find much difference between the 3! If you really want me to choose, I'll pick the one using the original recipe, it is slightly lighter and crunchier then the rest. But mix them all up in the same container and serve, I doubt anyone can tell the difference! Maybe I don't have a digital scale, so my experiment isn't so accurate. ;)

Click here for the original recipe.

I am submitting this cookie to Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favourite CNY Cookie (Jan 2011), hosted by j3ss kitch3n.

Small Small Baker is now on Facebook! Click 'like' to join as Fans. You will see my bakes before I blog about it and some photos which will not be published in my blog.

I have a giveaway coming very very soon. Check my page for the latest news! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Aspiring Bakers #3: Melt-in-mouth German Cookies 德式酥饼

Besides the usual pineapple tarts and cashew nuts cookies, which I will be baking in the next 2 weeks, I decide to try out this German Cookies which is very popular in the Chinese baking blogs.

Before I start praising about how good these cookies are, let me ask you:

How many blogs are you following?

I think I'm following at least 100 blogs, which I do read regularly and leave comments.
Not counting those blogs which I glimpse through, without commenting and do not read each and every post. I will try to finish my daily blog reading in an hour, so I hardly leave comments. Sorry to my friends out there.

Another reason is I'm pretty bad at words and sometimes, even though I feel like commenting, I don't really know what to type. I will most probably be very repetitive. "Looks great!" "Very pretty!" "Must be very delicious!" That's all I can come up with. ;) But I really mean it. I'm just bad at words.

I also have another habit when I read through baking blogs. Sometimes I can get very interested in a particular blog, usually those which I have followed for some time but not from the beginning. I will take a few weeks to read the blog starting right from the very first post and all the comments. It takes up a lot of time but I enjoy it. It's a good way to know about the person behind the blog. And you can also see the improvement in baking, photo-taking and sometimes a change in writing style. I don't know how many of you actually do this!

I'm going to do something special here. I'm introducing you a blog which I have been recently reading through.

Min's Blog
A Chinese baking blog from Malaysia. Sometimes, you can find her recipes in English.
Her blog was initially a very personal one. Later, she starts to write about her passion like baking, cooking, gardening and travelling. I like her writing style, her photos and the food she has made. Remember to drop by her blog. I will introduce more blogs if I do find one that is worth recommending. :)

Min, 如果你有读到这一段,我是花了几个星期的时间,从头到尾把你的部落格读了一遍。虽然很少留言,你可能没留意到我。但是我觉得应该介绍你给大家。希望你有越来越多读者和支持者!

Coming back to my new year bake. This 德式酥饼 was first read from Min's blog. When I read it again from Cook.Bake.Love, I decided to get a pack of potato starch to give it a try. I did an experiment using different amount of flour. The recipe from Min's blog uses less flour and the dough is very sticky and difficult to roll. The recipe from Cook.Bake.Love uses more flour and easy to handle. After baking, there is not much difference in taste. Both are melt-in-mouth kind and very buttery fragrant using SCS butter. If you have the time, try this out!

Potato starch

Melt-in-mouth German Cookies 德式酥饼

Ingredients (makes 60 pieces)

125g butter
40g icing sugar, sifted
125g potato starch
80g superfine flour (I use plain flour, tried out both 50g and 80g, both good)


1. Beat butter and icing sugar till fluffy and lighter in colour.

2. Sift in potato starch and flour, mix to form a soft dough.

3. Roll into small balls (about 2cm in diameter), arrange on lined baking pan and press lightly with a fork (dip the fork in water after each press to prevent cookie dough from sticking to the fork).

4. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 15 mins, upper rack (need not bake till cookies turn brown).

Recipe adapted from: Min's blog and Cook.Bake.Love

I am submitting this cookie to Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favourite CNY Cookie (Jan 2011), hosted by j3ss kitch3n.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year to Aspiring Bakers family members and all my readers!

Many bloggers have done a roundup of their favourite recipes in 2010.

For me, not being able to bake that much, the greatest achievement is definitely coming up with the Aspiring Bakers event.

We have finished with 2 themes - Chiffon cakes and Christmas!
This month's theme is also out. Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favourite CNY Cookie (Jan 2011), hosted by Jess of j3ss kitch3n.

Check out the rules of joining this event and the past roundups from my Aspiring Bakers page.

I have also included our Aspiring Bakers family list. Scroll down my blog, it's somewhere below my favourite blog lists. It will be updated regularly in the Aspiring Bakers Family page. Every blogger who has participated in this event will be added to our family. It has now 52 54 members and growing fast!

Anyone who has participated in this event are welcome to be a host for our upcoming events. I have a few in the list for the next few months. If you wish to be a host, email me at As a host, you can decide the theme too.

Happy New Year to Aspiring Bakers family members and all my readers!