Monday, August 29, 2011

Aspiring Bakers #10: Chicken Pie

Thanks to Aspiring Bakers! For I have challenged myself making pies and tarts the second time in a month. Yes, I mention "first time" every now and then in my blog. And there is neverending "first times". Because the more you bake, the more things you find you don't know how to bake. Learning never ends!

This Chicken Pie was posted by Lena of Frozen Wings few days after this month's theme starts. She was fast! She calls this Easy Chicken Pie. I read through the recipe and find it indeed easy to follow, so I immediately bookmark it. Luckily, I manage to make it on the last weekend.

Is it easy? Yes, I make the pastry and filling on separate days.
Is it nice? Very nice! I almost cannot believe myself I can make savoury pastry like this!
The pastry uses rub-in method. It is a more flaky crust than the egg tarts I make earlier.

I make vegetarian version for my mum using vegetarian ham instead of chicken. To differentiate between the 2 types, I make "C" for Chicken Pie and "V" for Vegetarian Pie using the excess dough.

Lena suggested adding cheddar cheese and cream for creamier fillings or oyster sauce + hoisin sauce + char siew sauce for an oriental style. Sounds good!

Check hers for the original recipe. Here's my slightly modified version to make more tarts.

Easy Chicken Pie

Ingredients (makes eight 6.5cm tarts)

165g plain flour, sifted
100g cold butter
1/2 tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt
25g egg, beaten
1-2 tbsp cold water

1 tbsp oil
100g chicken breast meat, diced
1 potato (about 130g), diced
1/2 carrot, diced
some water
1 hard-boiled egg, divide into 8 portions
(* I omitted onions, you can add if you like. You can also add mushrooms, mixed vegetables, or anything you like)

1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
some black pepper

1/2 egg, lightly beaten


1. Pastry: Put all ingredients (except egg and water) into a mixing bowl and mix to a crumble. Add in egg, and slowly drizzle in water, just enough to form a soft dough. Keep dough in the fridge and rest for 30 minutes.

2. Filling: Steam diced potato and carrot for 10 minutes, set aside. Heat up oil in wok, fry chicken meat until nearly cooked, add in steamed potato and carrot and some water. Add in seasoning and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Adjust the filling to taste and leave to cool for later use.

3. Take some dough and press into pie or tart cases. Poke holes on the base using a fork, place filling and 1 piece of hard-boiled egg each on top and press firmly. Cut another piece of dough to cover the top. Using fork, poke a few more times on the cover of the pie and glaze with beaten egg.
(* for my own reference, 25g for base and 15g for top)

4. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 30 minutes.

Recipe from: Frozen Wings.

I am submitting this Chicken Pie to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Not the Kitchen Sink!.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Aspiring Bakers #10: Egg Tarts 蛋塔

Tarts and pies rarely appear in my blog as it is more time-consuming to make and I'm not very good with anything that needs shaping and wrapping. The last time and the only time I made egg tarts was 4 years ago (that's why it is good to keep a blog so that I can remember everything I made in the past), and they turned out really ugly (you can try to search it ;p).

It is good that Janine suggested pies and tarts for this month's Aspiring Bakers event. I'm sure a lot of us avoided making these and it motivates us to challenge something new, something we are not good at, or something we have not done for a long time.

Egg tarts is one of my favourite, that's why I choose to make this as my first challenge. I actually had fun making the tarts this time. It is not as hard or time-consuming as I thought as I divide the process into 2 days. I make the crust in advance and freeze them. On the day when I'm ready to bake, I only need to prepare the fillings.

The tarts can be easily removed from the tart cases which I'm using (I did not grease the cases). Just push the tart case from the bottom and the tarts will be out. I think it should be able to remove easily from tart moulds too. I like the crust as it is firm enough to hold and crumbles in your mouth. The egg custard is very smooth too. The only problem I had was the crust was not evenly pressed and the base is thicker than the sides. I just need more practice to perfect it. I'm hoping to do more egg tarts as I know there are so many different recipes for the crust and the egg custard. For now, I'm happily eating these egg tarts. Have a piece!

Egg Tarts 蛋塔

Ingredients (makes nine 8cm diameter tarts) (I make ten 6.5cm diameter)

80g unsalted butter, soften at room temp
30g icing sugar
pinch of salt
10g milk powder
30g egg, lightly beaten
115g cake flour
15g bread flour

2 large eggs, beaten
125ml fresh milk
40g sugar
1 tsp rum (I omitted)


1. Whisk butter, icing sugar and salt until pale and creamy.
2. Add milk powder, mix well.
3. Add in egg gradually, mixing well after each addition.
4. Add sifted cake flour and bread flour in 2 separate additions. Press to combine. Do not knead.
5. Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
6. Divide the dough into 9 portions (~30g each).
7. Roll each small dough round, press flat slightly, coat lightly with flour and press into tart moulds/cases. Try to make the thickness as even as possible. Set aside.
(Can be frozen at this stage)

1. Heat up milk and sugar until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and leave until slightly warm. Add in rum and mix well.
2. Add in beaten eggs gradually, keep stirring while adding.
3. Sieve the egg mixture. Fill into the tarts until 90% full.
4. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for 20-22 minutes.
* Place in a lower rack so that the crust can be cooked before the egg custard being heated up too quickly.
* When the custard starts to puff up (about 15 minutes after baking starts), pull the oven door open about 2 to 3 inches (you can put a spoon or anything to keep the door ajar, I clip a metal clothes peg). Continue to bake until the custard is set. This will prevent custard from being puffed up too high and collapse once they are cooled down.)

Recipe from: Carol自在生活 and tips from Christine's Recipes.

I am submitting this Egg Tarts to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Not the Kitchen Sink!.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Muffins Overload

Brother was back to stay with us for the past 2 weeks, so I was not able to make anything complicated with the 2 active twins. Muffins are the easiest to make and mimimal washing required. So I made muffins for them to eat.

The popular Nigella's Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins.

These Peanut Butter Muffins comes from 《孟老师的100道小蛋糕》. I also make the nutella version, substituting peanut butter with nutella.

Special edition muffins! Made by combining the remaining batters of peanut butter and nutella so that I can make them into another 2 cups without wasting. One of them looked as if it had erupted, I think the consistency of the 2 batters are different, that's why it turned out like this!

I'm not a fan of dry-mix-wet method type of muffins. But they are really quick and easy to make to fill up stomach when you feel hungry in-between meals.

Peanut Butter Muffins 花生酱马芬

Ingredients (makes 12 mini muffins)

2 eggs
60g sugar
50g oil
100g peanut butter
60g fresh milk
100g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder


1. Whisk eggs and sugar until sugar dissolved. Add oil and whisk until well-mixed.
2. Add in peanut butter, followed by fresh milk, mix well.
3. Sift together cake flour and baking powder. Add into the liquid mixture in step 2. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together well. Stop stirring once the last traces of flour disappear. Do not overmix.
4. Spoon the batter into paper muffin cases until 80% full.
5. Bake at 180-190 deg C for 20-25 minutes (I bake 15 minutes for mini muffins).

Recipe from: 孟老师的100道小蛋糕

Friday, August 12, 2011

NDP 2011 @ The Padang

I was at the Padang on National Day as we were given 5 free tickets. Organized by Young NTUC, we were supposed to form the largest human Singapore flag using the red and white umbrellas.

We were there after 5.30pm and seated at the back, holding the white umbrellas. We were taught the right timing to open and close the umbrellas and forming waves and moving our umbrellas to form patterns. So that when the President arrives and starts to sing the National Anthem, we will open our umbrellas to form the flag and the helicopter (below, top-right) will capture us on the screen/tv. I have to watch the repeat telecast to see how we performed that night. :)

The kids having fun with the toys in the fun packs and busy eating our tabao food.

I didn't take a lot of photos as I was recording videos instead. Here are some of them.

The Singapore flag flying past.

Working out with the umbrellas.

The spectacular fireworks!

And the ending part of the fireworks before the National Day Parade ends.

We had a great time!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Orange Chiffon Cake 香橙米粉戚风蛋糕

Saw this Orange Chiffon Cake 香橙米粉戚风蛋糕 from 袅袅烘焙香 that uses 再来米粉/在来米粉. This is the first time I heard of this kind of flour. Not sure if it is available, I did a quick google and found that 再来米粉/在来米粉 is the same as 粘米粉 which is rice flour (correct me if I'm wrong).

The texture of the chiffon is very soft and moist. I nearly "disfigured" the cake while trying to remove it from the tin. (Ok, I admit I'm still not very good at it.) It is due to the rice flour that helps to keep the moisture in the cake. Strongly recommend this recipe that is taken from another popular Chinese book by Carol.

Orange Chiffon Cake (using rice flour) 香橙米粉戚风蛋糕


5 egg yolks
20g sugar
40g vegetable oil
50g orange juice
some orange zest
60g cake flour
30g rice flour (再来米粉/在来米粉/粘米粉)

5 egg whites
50g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar


1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
2. Gradually add in vegetable oil, followed by orange juice, and stir until well-mixed.
3. Fold in sifted cake flour and rice flour until well-mixed. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add in sugar gradually and continue whisking until stiff peak form.
5. Gently fold in the egg white into the egg yolk batter (in step 3) in 3 batches. Lastly, add in orange zest.
6. Pour the batter into an ungreased chiffon tin. Give the tin a few slight knocks on the tabletop to remove air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 40 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and invert the tin immediately onto a cooling rack.
8. Unmould the cake only when it is completely cool.

Recipe adapted from: 袅袅烘焙香