Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chinese Chives and Pork Dumplings (Jiaozi) Recipe

BACKLOG!! Ok, that exclamation has zero relation to this post on Chinese dumplings. With the year drawing to a close, one would expect things to wind down but quite the contrary, I am swamped.

There are many things to settle and close before 2013 is over and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly. As the apt saying goes, 先苦后甜 "bitterness first, sweetness after", I am eagerly anticipating my gush of "sweetness" after all this crazy work is over!

I love Chinese dumplings ever since staying in Beijing for a couple months. There are many flavours available and people eat them as a main. You can dip them in simple black vinegar or mixed with some sesame oil and chilli oil. It's a great dish to make during these rainy months and it's a fun activity for the whole family to just gather around and make dumplings.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mocha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

I am on a no-bake cheesecake spree ever since my last trip to Phoon Huat (local baking store). This is a result of buying cream cheese and diary whipping cream in bulk - think 1kg of cream cheese and 1L of whipping cream. To be fair, I couldn't resist the cream cheese. The one I bought comes from Australia in a tubular form and has a light creamy taste which I absolutely adore. I don't like cheese with a strong "cheesey" taste (it's ironic I know) and this affordable option ($12-ish for 1kg) is for those who want to make cheesecakes but find Philadelphia (250g for $5-ish) a tad pricey.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Checkered Cake Recipe

I love basics - a sponge cake when done well is utterly delicious. Which is also why I am always on a search for the perfect sponge cake recipe. There are many recipes out there but the key is finding what works best for you both in terms of methodology and taste.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe

It's been a whole month since my last entry as the past month has been hectic. I planned for a week long trip to Taiwan with my friends right smack in the middle of the month so I was busy clearing work before and after that. Taiwan was lovely and I absolutely loved the food, culture, people. We also took the off-beaten track and visited places which are quaint and memorable. I would post up our carefully planned itinerary one day, but in the meantime, let's settle for an easy no-bake cheesecake recipe - Cranberry cheesecake!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bacon Onion Quiche Recipe

It was Sunday brunch and I wanted to make something beyond the usual scrambled eggs or pancakes. I wanted something savoury, easy and quick. That's when I remember an easy Cowboy Quiche recipe from Zoe, Bake for Happy Kids.

"I have been using a fuss-free and fail-proof quiche recipe which is 200ml cream + 3 eggs + 1 cup cheese for a deep 23 cm pie dish"

THIS is exactly what I need. Fuss-free, fail-proof. The most comforting words to one who has never baked a quiche before. 

The results?... Drool-worthy.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gnocchi Recipe

Gnocchi (pronouced as "no-kee") are thick, soft dumplings made from potato, flour and egg. Its a versatile Italian dish which you can customise to your liking. Think of them as pasta and coat them in your favourite sauces - tomato, pesto, etc. However, my all time fav has to be still good old cream and cheese.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Banana Almond Loaf Recipe

I hardly use my loaf pan because I don't make bread often. On one of these rare occasions, I decide to use it, I don't make bread. I made a loaf cake instead - Banana Almond Loaf.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Strawberry Jellyhearts Cheesecake Recipe

I'm sure we all love our strawberries, jellies and cheesecake. But how do they taste when used together in the same dish...? Awesome.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Patterned Swiss Roll (Giraffe print) Recipe

It was a lazy Saturday and I wanted to make a simple baked treat which my family will enjoy. This means no fancy layered cakes or desserts - just plain old-style cakes using the baking basics (eggs, flour, oil, milk, etc.). I settled on a Swiss Roll but gave it a twist to make it look more fancy.

Originally, this pattern was supposed to be inspired by cows.

But it clearly became something else.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cranberry Cream Cheese Buns Recipe

I don't make bread often. I like and tend to stick with quick, fuss free recipes - chiffon cakes, cupcakes, muffins, tarts. But on one of those rare occasions, I make bread and today, I present to you Cranberry Cream Cheese Buns.

My bread family all "dressed up"

Chocolate Mousse Recipe

There are times where we just want fuss-free desserts which are easy and delicious. This means desserts which require ingredients you can get readily in supermarkets or use whatever is available in your pantry. This is one such recipe - (almost instant) Chocolate Mousse.

Ignore the typo in the pic - I can't spell for my life

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Recipe

Weekends are great times for brunch and my pancakes craving kicked in again. Last time round, I paired my pancakes with lemon curd, left-over from my lemon curd tart. This time round, I had decided to pair my pancakes with sautéed apples with cinnamon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Japanese Chestnut Cake (Mont Blanc) Recipe

Yes, Mont Blanc is a luxury brand and no, I am not referring to that. Today's post is on a less-known cake but utterly delicious - Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc is a dessert of puréed, sweetened chestnuts and whipped cream. This name is derived from the mountain, Mont Blanc, meaning "White Mountain". This dessert resembles a snow-capped mountain, which explains the squiggly lines on top the cake (and please don't tell me they look like worms or Medusa's hair...)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fruit Tart Recipe

Fruit tarts are easy to put together and one of the healthier desserts. You can use any seasonal fruit available and berries are often used, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Colourful fruits are packed with vitamins and they brighten up the whole tart. Not only is a fruit tart good to look at, it is also delicious - buttery tart crust paired with sweet custard and many pieces of layered fruit.

Kimchi Pancake Recipe

If you are looking for a fuss-free meal, kimchi pancake is a quick fix. All you need is kimchi, flour, water.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bibimbap (Korean mixed rice with vegetables) Recipe

Another dish I like to order at korean restuarants is Bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables).

Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with vegetables, meat and gochujang (hot pepper/chilli paste). I love it with a fried sunny-side up egg and mixing everything together. It may look a little messy but the collision of the various tastes go surprisingly well together.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Soft baked Chewy Chocolate Chips Cookies Recipe

One more chewy cookie recipe to add to my growing list of chewies. This is an adaptation of my previous recipe - Soft baked Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookies Recipe. If you are fan of soft-baked cookies like me, you would know that Subway offers one of the yummiest freshly made ones in the market. But on days where you have this intense craving but is lazy to travel out, why not make some from scratch? Trust me, they are super easy and all you need is a big bowl and lots of chocolate - chocolate chips, chunks, bars, etc.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Easy Kimchi Recipe

I am a huge fan of korean food and kimchi, being the centrepiece of korean cuisine is one of my favourites. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables and are used in a variety of korean dishes, kimchi fried rice, kimchi soup, kimchi pancake, etc.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Banana Walnut Butter Cake Recipe

There are some pairings which can't go wrong - apple and cinnamon, chocolate and nuts, etc. Banana and walnut is one such combination. This cake is errs on the light side, drier compared to the typical moist banana cakes. It is also very easy to make - you need two big bowls, one for dry ingredients and one for wet. Mix both together and you are ready to bake.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Avocado Brownies Recipe

It's hard to remain healthy when you like to bake sweets. I have to confess that thus-far, I have not attempted to make my bakes healthy apart from reduction in sugar levels or replacing some white sugar with brown sugar. Then again, that motivation comes from me not liking my sweets too sweet (pardon the irony). I am also guilty of "accidentally" slipping more butter into my scones... Ok, officially guilty as charged - I am no healthy nut.

Pandan Chiffon Cake Recipe

I haven't been actively using my chiffon cake tin so it's time to make another chiffon cake - an Asian/Singaporean classic Pandan Chiffon Cake! I'm going in cut short my rambling here and go straight into the recipe.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Recipe

Peanut butter is an item usually available at my home and it has attained the same status as butter and kaya (a local coconut spread). When I was younger, I remember having different variations of peanut butter, jars that came with chocolate or jam strips. I had a scale of favourite for these three flavours; chocolate > peanut butter > jam (too sweet). This prompted me to use only certain parts of the peanut butter jar depending on its flavour combi. You can imagine how messy the jar contents are once I'm done with them :p

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tiramisu Recipe

I look forward to the weekly Hunger Management column in The Straits Times by food writer, Tan Hsueh Yun as they provide inspiration for dishes I want to try. Cut-outs of Ceviche ("cooking" raw fish with the acid in citrus juice), Japanese beef bowl and the Hot spinach and artichoke dip, etc. are still lingering in my to-do folder.

Today's recipe is a throwback. Early this year she wrote about Tiramisu/"terrormisu". This homey take on the Italian 'pick me up' dessert is really easy and delicious. You can prepare it the night before you serve and the actual preparation of the dessert takes about 15 minutes. The best part of making your own Tiramisu is that you customise to your liking - more or less booze, type of booze (cognac, rum, kahlua), espresso or ristretto (strength of coffee), sweetness.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

I don't usually frost my cupcakes as I like my cupcakes plain. Whilst frostings are delicious, I still remember how much butter went into my Swiss Meringue Buttercream and so I very much rather to reserve my calorie intake for another cupcake.

This prompted me try a frosting that is perhaps slightly healthier - Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. I played around with the remaining block cream cheese I had, adding in some butter, melted chocolate and icing sugar. That gives a delicious frosting without tasting too sweet or "cheesy" (somewhat ironic-sounding I know)

How to make a piping bag

As much as I love baking, I am cautious when it comes to expenses. I am always willing to spend more on higher quality ingredients as they go into making pastries which my family and friends eat. However, I try to control my other more superficial urges for baking items which I do not use often, e.g. a piping bag.

It is easy to make your own piping bag - just use a plastic bag or baking paper. I recommend using a plastic bag as you can secure the sides easily with tape. Some baking/wax paper might be tricky as tape will not hold and you have to use staples. The illustrated steps below are doing using a sheet of baking paper as it is clearer in pictures. You don't need to be an origami master - 5 steps are all you need!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes Recipe

One of my all time-favourite desserts is ice-cream. Nothing beats pigging out in front of your favourite drama serial together with a tub of B&J's or Häagen-Dazs. It is much more economical to get a tub(s) rather than getting them in scoops in their outlets (you can't seriously be satisfied with just 1 or 2 scoops...)

I chanced upon this interesting recipe by Norwegian baker/blogger/author, Manuela Kjeilen. Before I go on further, I need to clarify this; this is not an ice-cream cupcake recipe; it's about using ice-cream as a main ingredient to flavour normal cupcakes. What an excellent way to clear my freezer of half-eaten tubs of ice-cream.

Tteokbokki/Topokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes) Recipe

Tteokbokki, Teokbokki, ddeokbokki, topokki or dukboki, all refer to a very famous Korean street snack - Hot and spicy rice cakes.


Allow me to declare my love for this humble looking dish;

Monday, July 15, 2013

Red Bean Mochi Recipe

With some leftover glutinous rice flour from my previous Muah Chee (chewy rice dough with roasted peanuts) attempt, I decided to go for a dessert which I enjoy loads, Red Bean Mochi.

This is one dessert which goes by many names; to the Japanese, it is known as Daifuku whereas the Koreans call it Chapssalddeok. Either ways, it is a dessert confection of mochi/chewy rice cake stuffed with a sweet filling, usually sweetened red bean paste made from red/azkui beans.

1st attempt - A little rough looking...

2nd attempt - Success!

Soft baked Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookies Recipe

I am a huge fan of chewy, soft baked cookies. For those who have not had a chance to try such cookies, make a trip to Subway or a nearby grocery store and look for Pepperidge Farm soft baked series. Soft baked cookies are simply delicious - eat them plain or dunk them in milk. So start grabbing your favourite chocolate and make soft baked chewy cookies with me!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Matcha/Green Tea Cheese Tart Recipe

Green Tea Mochi Cakes with Red BeanChilled Green Tea Beancurd (tau huey)Soft Centered Green Tea Cupcakes, Green Tea Chiffon Cake (to be shared soon...) I love the taste of green tea and here's another recipe to add on to my growing list, Matcha/Green Tea Cheese Tart!

My recipe is shared by Chef Tomoko Higashiguchi of Patisserie Glace from herworldplus. It seemed pretty easy, with steps similar to my previous Cheese Tart recipe but flavoured with Matcha/green tea and addition of gelatine and yogurt. Usually, in no-bake cheesecakes, either yogurt or whipping cream is used but this time around, both are used. Interesting to see how those two will gel together!

Basic Tart Crust Recipe

Having bought a tart pan recently, I have been somewhat in a tart-making craze. Tart crusts are very easy and quick to make, either by a food processor or by hand and you can freeze them up to two weeks in the freezer. They are quick-fix desserts, just bake the tart for 20-25 minutes and you can make anything with them, fruit tarts, chocolate tarts, apple pies, etc. The list is endless.

The recipe I am sharing is fuss-free; no baking weights are needed, don't need to roll out the dough (which necessitates more washing). Oh and get a non-stick pan; it saves you the hassle of greasing the pan. Quick, easy, simple.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baked Potato Wedges Recipe

There are days when all we want is some comfort food - french fries! As much as I love my fried food, I am mindful of how unhealthy are, especially when you get them in restaurants or fast food joints. If you had had a chance to peep at restaurants doing deep-frying, you would notice that the oil is a dark murky colour, resultant of repeated use and even re-use.

To side step that, the best way would be prepare them at home but frying requires copious amount of oil and not to mention the amount of cleaning that needs to be done. When craving calls, the best way would be to think of the next best alternative. I figured if I can't get my french fries, I can get some potato wedges baked to a crisp.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Japanese Steamed Egg (Chawanmushi) Recipe

There are many versions of steamed eggs. Some of my favourites include those with 3 types of eggs; normal chicken egg, century egg (pi dan) and salted egg. Another version that is often served in restaurants is the combination of century egg (pi dan), salted egg and spinach

A simple variation of steamed egg is Chawanmushi or Japanese steamed egg custard. All you need is some stock and eggs.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake Encore!

I decided to make this cake again as it is one of my all time favourites.

You can refer to my previous posting for more information on how to make this cake. This time round, I used President brand dairy whipping cream and the cream tasted better!

Pancakes Recipe

I love weekends brunch as it is always a relaxing time to enjoy your food and coffee with your friends and family. On a lazy Saturday afternoon, I decided to whip up my own brunch rather than heading out.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Basic Sponge Cake Recipe

Having a good basic sponge cake recipe is great for many reasons; they are delicious plain but can also be dressed up to become a fruit cake, etc. I love a good sponge cake that is fluffy, light and a foolproof method to ensure that is through the egg-separation technique used commonly to make chiffon cakes.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes Recipe

Using what I had in my pantry; cream cheese, lemons and lemon curd, I decided to make lemon cream cheese cupcakes. Adding lemon to cream cheese makes the cupcake lighter and the cupcakes resemble mini lemon cheese cakes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thai Vermicelli Tuna Salad Recipe

Going for a more oriental flavour, I decided to pair thai-style vermicelli with my greens. For the additional spice, I topped it off with some chilli tuna.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lemon Curd Tart Recipe

With the hot weather, one naturally craves for a light and quick dessert. Using an sweet buttery almond-based tart with an extra sprinkling of toasted almond meal topped up with tangy lemon curd is the natural way to go.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemons are nutritious fruits, packed with Vitamin C and are juicy, tangy and flavourful. They are cheap, readily available all year round and you can use them in your baking, cooking, drinks and even cleaning!

Lemon curd is a dessert spread made with lemon juice, eggs and sugar. You can pair lemon curd with scones, tarts, bread muffins, etc. - the choice is endless. Try to avoid store-bought lemon curd as they are very easy to make. 30 minutes is all you need, including preparatory time.


80ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used about 1.5 lemons)
150g white sugar
3 eggs
Some freshly grated lemon zest (I used 1 lemon worth, you can omit if you do not have a grater)
60g unsalted butter (I finally got to try President brand!)

1. In a metal bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon juice and sugar. Using the double broiler method, heat the mixture. The water in the broiler should be simmering.

2. Whisk for 8-10 minutes till mixture thickens. Whisking constantly helps to prevent clumps from forming. The curd is done when the mixture is thick, or reaches a mayonnaise-like texture. In the enlarged picture below, you can see that whisking leaves visible traces behind.

3. Remove bowl from heat. Add in lemon zest and butter. Mix well till butter dissolves. There should be a glossy tint to your lemon curd.


When using a grater to remove zest from lemon, avoid scrapping at the white portions as those are bitter. You only want the yellow portion, which is the outermost layer.

If you get clumps in your mixture, sieve your mixture before adding in the butter.

You can prepare and chill the lemon curd a few days before use. When leaving in fridge, use a cling wrap to cover bowl. The cling wrap should touch and cover the surface of curd to prevent an extra layer from forming.

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