Saturday, June 29, 2013

Zebra Butter Cake (Mrs NgSK recipe)

I made this Zebra Butter Cake 3 times already. Yes, this is how much I love it.

Many years ago, when I tried to make zebra butter cake, it ended up becoming a 2 layer cake only, a butter cake layer and a chocolate cake layer. I forget which recipe I used, the batter must be too thin that the layering failed. Or I was just too bad at baking then, I didn't dare to post that up.

This time, I tried the very famous Mrs NgSK butter recipe, which uses the egg separation method. I hate butter cakes that turn out too dry and crumbly and fall over the place when you eat. This butter cake doesn't. It is very soft and fluffy!

My zebra cake turns out so much better than I expected. :)

The only 'troublesome' part about making this cake (for me) is I have to whisk them in 2 parts as I only have 1 mixer. If I whisk the egg yolk batter first, I have to thoroughly wash the mixer and beaters before whisking the egg whites. If I whisk the egg whites first, the egg whites will lose some volume and become watery after a while. If I want to make a marble version, I have to use a 3rd mixing bowl, means extra washing to do. Despite all the 'troubles', I still make them 3 times already within weeks. :)

Zebra Butter Cake (Mrs NgSK recipe)

Ingredients: (9 inch round pan or 2 6 inch round pans)

230g salted butter, softened at room temperature
150g sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g self raising flour, sifted (I use 200g plain flour + 1.5tsp baking powder)
60ml milk
10g cocoa powder

4 egg whites
50g sugar


1. Line the base, grease the sides of the baking pan.

2. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and beat for a while.

3. Add in egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each addition.

4. Add in half the flour, followed by milk in 2 additions, then mix in balance flour.

5. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions, add cocoa powder to one portion and mix well. Set both aside.

6. Beat egg whites until soft peaks, gradually add 50g sugar and beat until stiff.

7. Divide the egg whites into 2 portions. Add 1 portion to the original batter and 1 portion to the cocoa batter. (For each portion, add in egg whites in 2 separate additions, mix in half first, then fold in the rest.)

8. Using a tablespoon, scoop 1 tablespoon of the original batter into the centre of the pan. Then scoop 1 tablespoon of cocoa batter on top of the centre of the original batter. Alternate the 2 batters until done.

9. Bake at 180 deg C for 45 minutes (30 minutes for 6 inch pan) or until skewer comes out clean. Reduce the temperature if the top turns brown too fast or start to crack.

Recipe adapted from: Mrs NgSK's Butter Cake (by Wendyinkk)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Baked Mini Donuts

This is a happy post!

I bought a mini donut tray recently and it fits perfectly into my small oven. So happy!

I love the real fried donuts, but I don't like to do deep frying. Although baked donuts can never taste the same as fried donuts, I'm happy to make them cos I can have a chance to decorate them and make children happy!

These are my first batch of baked donuts. I use a pancake recipe. It is soft at first but become hard when cooled down.

Make some chocolate and a few sugar ones.

For the next batch, I make chocolate donuts, all coated with more chocolate and rainbow sprinkles. This time it is very nice and fluffy.

Made for hours and gone in seconds!

A lot of people ask me and look for the best baked donuts recipe. I did google for recipes too. After looking at a few, I find that the recipes more or less similar to making cakes. So just use the best cake recipe that you have. Afterall, baked donuts are simply cakes baked with a donut shape.

I use one of my favourite Nigella's Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins recipe. Just need to stir and mix. Easy to do and less washing. I omit the chocolate chips and reduce some sugar because the donuts are going to be coated with chocolate later.

So just use any cake recipes you like and you will get the perfect baked donuts!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Curry Potato Pies

Wanted something savoury, so I decided to make some Curry Potato Pies. They taste great when fresh out of oven. Reminds me of curry puffs.

Due to the extremely hot weather, it was so hard to handle the dough. Especially when I was trying make criss-cross pattern on top. The dough softened like less than a minute after out of the fridge. I couldn't be opening and closing the fridge many times. So I just 'anyhow' did it, resulting in the ugly top.

As I did the pies in 2 separate days, 1 day to make the base and another day to do the topping. I roughly estimated 2/3 of the dough to go to the base and 1/3 to the top. The top dough wasn't quite enough too. Just a note for myself to refer to in future. The ratio of top to base dough can be increased to 2:3 for my size of mould.

For the fillings, I use the same method as the Curry Potato Buns.

Curry Potato Pies

Fillings: (my anyhow cook method)

1 Potato, diced
1 stalk curry leaf (my homegrown)
1 tsp curry powder (more if you like)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 hardboiled egg, diced

1. Steam or deep fry potatoes until cooked (deep fry nicer, steam healthier).
2. In a frying pan, put 1 tsp oil, fry curry leaf until fragrant.
3. Add in potatoes, curry powder, stir-fry a while.
4. Add in some water and seasoning, cook until dry. Set aside to cool. Mix with eggs.

For the dough, I use Eileen's recipe.

Dough ingredients (9 pcs):

227g cold unsalted butter
340g plain flour
2g salt
60g ice cold water (add enough to form a dough)

1. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add in salt.
2. Cut butter into small cubes, rub in butter into flour until fine crumbs are formed.
3. Add in ice water gradually, just enough to form a dough (you don't have to add in all the 60g stated in the recipe). Press to form a dough, do not knead.
4. Cover with cling wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.


1. Divide the dough into equal portions (I use about 25-30g dough for the base).
2. Press the dough into the tart mould, poke some holes at the base with a fork.
3. Add in hardboiled egg and curry potato fillings.
4. Cover the top of the pie with dough, poke some holes again. Brush the top with beaten egg.
5. Bake at 180-190 deg C for 30 minutes or till golden brown.

I am submitting this Curry Potato Pies to the Little Thumbs Up event hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders, organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of my little favourite D.I.Y.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Curry leaf plant from cutting

I took 1 year to grow a curry leaf plant!

Although I didn't record the date exactly, I remembered it was the day when I took some curry leaves from our neighbour downstairs to cook this cereal prawn/tofu. I took 1 extra cutting and just poked it into the soil and left it to grow.

For months almost the whole year, the curry leaf wasn't growing at all. While it still looked green, the leaves were always droopy. It didn't die either.

Then one day, my mum suddenly told me that she saw baby curry leaves coming out! I quickly took a photo (below). The day was 16 Jan 2013. It was a year later. :) The long stalk on the right is the old cutting. And the tiny leaves are the new leaves.

6 Feb 2013. You can see more clearly here the old brown steam and the new green stem. We cut away the old stalk of leaves already. The curry leaves were growing fast!

4 Mar 2013. More curry leaves!

17 Mar 2013. And more!

4 Apr 2013. It stopped growing a little while. I was getting abit worried. But new leaves were spotted again.

5 May 2013. Here's another photo taken to see how tall the plant is now.

I hope it will continue to grow into a little tree. Now I don't need to go to our neighbour to get curry leaves. Just cut some at our corridor.

Sometimes, you really need lots of patience to see the results. Not just for gardening.