Wednesday 31 January 2007

Triple Orange Cupcakes

It is really nice to have a friend who shares the common interests with you.

A few weeks ago, I went with my friend to shop for baking supplies. I really don't think it is a common thing that friends will do together right? shopping together at baking supply stores?? Most of my friends hardly even cook! Besides sharing notes and tips, we could even share ingredients! We bought these very cute looking orange candies from one of the stores, without having any idea what we are going to do with them. Since Chinese New Year is approaching, I thought I could make something to fit the festive mood.

After browsing through several cookbooks, I came out with the idea of making these triple orange cupcakes. The cakes are made with orange juice and zest, glazed with a thin layer of orange icing and finally topped with the orange candies. I followed the ingredients based on a vanilla cupcake from the cookbook, "Gorgeous Cakes" by Annie Bell. I added in orange juice and zest to the recipe to give the orange flavour. I didn't follow the steps stated in the recipe, instead I used the usual creaming method that I would for cakes and muffins. The cupcakes turn out to be very nice...the texture is just right...soft, crumbly, just like a butter cake. The boys had a good time licking up the icing and candies!

(makes 8 cupcakes)

110g butter, softened at room temperature
110g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
110g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon orange juice

Icing: 50g icing sugar, 1 ~ 2 tablespoon orange juice
Orange candies


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degC.
  2. Place butter, sugar and orange zest in a mixing bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer till mixture becomes white and fluffy.
  3. Add in eggs gradually and whisk until well combined after each addition.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder, add to the butter mixture and stir with a spatula gently. Add in the orange juice and stir till just incorporated.
  5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners and bake for 17 to 20 mins. Remove and leave to cool.
  6. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and blend with the orange juice. (Blend in the orange juice a little at a time to achieve the desired consistency). Smooth a heaped teaspoon of icing on each cake, but don't worry about completely covering. Top with candied oranges. Leave to set for about 1 hour.

Tuesday 30 January 2007

Lemon Bars

I finally made these lemon bars yesterday. Must say it tasted much better than the orange bars I made two weeks ago!

They are not as sweet since I cut down the sugar to 3/4 cup instead of the 1 cup called for in the recipe. They taste rather sourish when you take the first bite, but somehow, the sourish taste fades away after the second bite. It certainly has more "kick" than the orange ones ;b

Sunday 28 January 2007

Mint Chocolate Chips Cookies

Bought a packet of Hershey's Mint Chocolate Chips yesterday. It's the first time I've seen this here.

Made these mint chocolate chips cookies based on the recipe printed at the back of the package. The cookies are rather crunchy, not the chewy type. They tasted almost like my elder one's favour ChipsMore cookies. After eating the cookies, he commented that they tasted like mentos!

After note:
I have posted the recipe here for easy reference:

Hershey's Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

(makes 30)

2/3 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 & 2/3 cups mint chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy.
3. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
4. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in mint chocolate chips.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or just until set; do not overbake.
7. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Friday 26 January 2007

Apple Muffins

When I told the two boys I would be making muffins with apples, they got very excited and wanted to have a hand on it. They are only familiar with the usual bananas, strawberries and orange muffins. Hmmm...wait till I try making those carrots or pumpkins ones...I could already imagine how their expressions and remarks would be like ;)

The recipe is from a cookbook, "The 250 Best Muffin Recipes" by Esther Brody, which I borrowed from a friend, who is also crazy about baking. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, as I used plain flour instead of cake flour which is called for. I have also omitted the cinnamon and nutmeg as I know my boys will not like the taste of the spices. I replaced them with vanilla essence. I think I've also chopped the apples too fine...can't really taste them in the muffins...will get them coarsely chopped next time. Nevertheless, the muffins still turn out very soft and yummy, this recipe is a sure keeper. With the "occasional" help from the 2 boys (they popped in and out of the kitchen in between their "action-hero battles"), we have these delicious muffins sitting on our breakfast table this morning!

(makes 12 muffins)

280g plain flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
50g butter, soften at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped, peeled apples


  1. Preheat oven to 220 deg C. Grease or line muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt, blend well.
  3. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar, still creamy. Add in egg, gradually, mix well after each addition. Stir till mixture is creamy and fluffy. Stir in vanilla essence, mix well.
  4. Add flour mixture (in 3 additions) alternately with milk (in 2 additions) , starting and ending with flour. Mix only until well combined. Gently fold in the chopped apples.
  5. Fill muffin cups with batter till 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25mins, until muffins turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday 23 January 2007

Baked Korokkes

Baked these Korokkes or Japanese Croquettes for dinner today. Yes, they were baked, not deep-fried!

Thanks to Angie for sharing her recipe. I have no idea that korokkes could be baked until I read her recent post. I hate cooking dishes that require deep-frying. Cleaning is a major issue for me! This baking method really appeals to me. I wasted no time to try it out. I tweaked the recipe a little to suit the tastebuds of my kids, and used minced pork instead of tuna for the filling. This healthy version of korokkes will gonna be one of our regular dishes from now on.

Almond Tuiles

I have been wanting to make almond tuiles for a long time. I finally gave it a try yesterday. The recipe looks simple enough as it is not required to roll the tuiles. Well, making the batter is sure quick and easy, the tricky part is the baking. I didn't bake the first batch long enough, as such, they were not very crispy. I returned them into the oven to bake for another 5 more mins, and they turned dark brown :(

These biscuits absorb moisture very fast, so once cool, they have to be stored in airtight containers right away.

(makes around 22 tuiles)

80g caster sugar
40g butter
1 whole egg
1 egg white
40g cake flour
10g corn flour
150g almond flakes

  1. Melt butter and sugar over low heat. Stir till sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
  2. Add in egg, egg white and stir with a whisk to mix well.
  3. Sift cake flour and corn flour. Add to mixture. Whisk till well incorporated.
  4. Add in almond flakes, stir with a spatula.
  5. Scoop a spoonful of mixture onto a greased baking tray (or lined with parchment paper). Spread into a thin layer with a fork. The mixture should be around 6cm in diameter.
  6. Bake in middle rack of a pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 10-15mins or until golden brown.
  7. Remove tuiles from tray when it is still hot. Let cool on wire rack. Once cool, store immediately in airtight containers, otherwise the biscuits will absolve moisture in the air and will not be crispy.

Thursday 18 January 2007

Give me one more!

When we were out shopping for groceries the other day, my 5-year old squealed with delight when he saw a row of jelly crystals on the supermarket shelves. He loves jelly. He used to chant this jelly commercial jingle that goes: "Give me one, give me one, give me one more!" I promised him that I will make him some jelly puddings this week. I made him orange puddings today.

I used the recipe that was meant for mango puddings. I was not able to find any mangoes in the nearby fruit stalls these few days. They seem to disappear overnight! This recipe was given to me by my friend many years ago. You will be surprised at how simple it is to make delicious mango puddings! I replaced the mango chunks with orange chunks, and used a orange flavoured jelly crystals. The orange puddings turn out just as good, although I would still prefer the mango ones :)

Here's the recipe for the mango puddings.

(makes 9 jelly cups)

1 packet of Jelly Crystals (pineapple flavour)
1 cup of boiling water
1 can of Carnation Evaporated Milk (Full cream)
1 mango, cut into small chunks


Pour a cup of hot boiling water into a bowl, stir in the jelly crystals making sure the crystals dissolved completely. Add in the can of evaporate milk. Stir in the mango chunks. Mix well. Spoon into jelly cups. Chill in fridge to set.

That's it, as simple as that!

Tip: There is no mango flavoured jelly crystals, so the closest is the pineapple flavour. After filling the jelly cups, use a teaspoon to remove air bubbles which will form on the surface, otherwise there will be unsightly bubbles on the surface of the pudding when set.

Wednesday 17 January 2007

Coffee Kaya Muffins

It was very nice of my friend, who also loves baking, to lend me one of her muffin cookbooks. I wanted to try out this jam-filled muffins, but realised that I didn't have any yogurt in the fridge. In the end, I used a recipe from another cookbook, which is quite similar and I have all the ingredients on hand. The original recipe is called the strawberry cheesecake muffins. Instead of using strawberries and cream cheese, I used kaya spread (a sweet spread, made from coconut milk, egg, sugar, and pandan leaves) for the filling. As I only have a coffee flavoured milk in my fridge, I turned the recipe to coffee kaya muffins.

I made two versions of the muffins. One with kaya filling, the other with some chocolate chips. I used 2 different paper liners to help differentiate the two. To my amazing, despite baking them at the same time, with the same batter, the effect was totally different! The chocolate chips muffins in the cupcake liners almost "exploded", while the kaya ones looked rather flat.

When I first looked at this muffin, it reminded me of souffles...something which I would want to try out someday...

With my mix-and-match recipe, the muffins turn out to be very moist and fluffy. The muffin is not sweet, but the sweetness from the kaya and chocolate chips balanced off the taste just nice. My niece who came to visit us liked the muffins very much. I gave her a few to bring home for breakfast tomorrow. She told me she likes my almond biscuits, but she would rather eat them plain, i.e., without the almonds!

(make 12 muffins)

350g plain flour
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
115g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
250ml milk (I used Meiji's coffee flavoured milk)
85g butter, melted
kaya jam
a handful of chocolate chips

  1. Preheat Oven to 200 degC. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then stir in sugar and salt. Mix well.
  3. Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Stir in butter. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, gently mix to form a loose, slightly lumpy batter. Do not overmix.
  5. Spoon batter into 6 muffin cups, filling half full. Add 1 teaspoon of kaya to each, top with remaining batter.
  6. Add a handful of chocolate chips to the remaining batter. Stirring only once or twice. Do not overmix, otherwise the muffins will be tough. Fill the remaining muffin cups till 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 15 mins until well risen and golden on top. Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Monday 15 January 2007

Almond Biscuits

During the last Chinese New Year, I was treated to a jar of very tasty almond biscuits. They were homemade biscuits which looked very much like biscottis but were much thinner. In fact, if I remembered correctly, they were almost wafer thin. One of my family members bought them through a friend. I have been looking for these biscuits lately but they don't seem to be available in bakery shops or supermarkets. I was very happy when I came across this almond biscuits recipe from a Chinese cookbook. From the picture it looked very much like those biscuits which I have been craving for. I tried this out immediately after I bought a packet of whole almonds.

The recipe is rather straight forward and simple. The only difficult part is cutting the dough into thin slices. You will need to use a sharp knife to cut through the almonds without squashing the dough. Furthermore, the dough gets soften up rather fast in our local climate. As such, it is not easy to cut slices of even thickness.

The biscuits are rather crispy with a very light buttery flavour and not too sweet. I have given some to my sisters to try, will ask them for their comments. I do not know whether these come close to the original biscuits, as it was almost a year ago, I have actually forgotten how they tasted liked!


100g almond, whole
130g butter, soften at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
270g cake flour


  1. Soak almonds for 20 mins in warm water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cream butter with caster sugar until white and fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg gradually, mix well each time egg is added.
  4. Add in sieved flour together with the almonds. Mix into a dough. Shape the dough into a rectangular block and wrap with cling wrap. Chill the dough in the fridge till it is harden.
  5. Cut dough into thin slices (about 5mm thick). Lay on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven at 180 degC for 20 mins or until biscuits become golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

Saturday 13 January 2007

Orange Bars

Both my boys like lemons. Whenever they have fish & chips, they would reserve the wedge of lemon till the end of the meal. They like to lick and suck on the lemon! So when I came across the lemon bars recipe by Alice Medrich, I thought I would try it someday. A few days ago I bought some lemons specially to make the lemon bars. While I was gathering the ingredients, a thought suddenly came into my mind. Why don't I substitute lemons with oranges? Personally, I prefer oranges. I didn't foresee any problem since the only change was to replace the juice and zest of lemons with that of the oranges and cut down on the sugar. With that in mind, I set off making the orange bars.

Since this is my first attempt, I have no prior knowledge how the base or topping would turn out. While making the base, I was a little hesitant to add in the flour all at once. So I just added a little at a time. Small little lumps began to form. I got worried and thought maybe I should just throw all the flour in as the recipe didn't state that the flour should be added in gradually. Fortunately, once all the flour was added, with only a few stirs, a soft dough was formed. When the crust is baking in the oven, I prepared the topping. I wasn't sure whether I could let the topping "sit" and wait for the crust to be ready. So I waited until the crust was already in the oven for 15 minutes before preparing the topping. When the topping was done, I became worried whether the topping would set. With 3 eggs, half cup of orange juice and only 3 tablespoon of flour, the mixture was very thin. Luckily the topping was able to set within 30 minutes in the oven.

I was a little disappointed with my little experiment. They were not as thick and certainly looked far from those made by Evan. Even though I have cup down the sugar by half, the topping still tasted too sweet for my liking. My boys were all thumbs up though, kids simply like sweet stuff! I like the crust though, very buttery and crispy. As I have not tasted any lemon bars before, I have no idea how these orange bars would compare to the real McCoy? I will definitely try out making the actual lemon bars very soon.


113g butter, melted
50g granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
140g all-purpose flour

100g sugar
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1.5 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup strained fresh orange juice
2 to 3 tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil on all 4 sides. Preheat oven to 180degC. Position a rack in the lower third of oven.

  2. For crust: melt butter in medium saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is well browned at the edges and lightly browned in centre.

  3. For topping: while the crust is baking, stir together the sugar and flour in a medium bowl until well mixed. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the orange zest and juice. When crust is ready, turn the oven down to 150degC and slide the rack out without
    removing the pan. Pour filling over hot crust.

  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is puffed at the edges and no longer jiggles in the center. Set on a rack and cool completely in pan. When cooled, lift the foil liner and transfer to cutting board and cut into 16 bars. Sieve powdered sugar over bars just before serving.

Friday 12 January 2007

When a Cup is Not a Cup

When I first came across a brownies recipe which I liked, I wanted to try it. However, when I studied the recipe closer, it states that the amount of butter to use is half a cup. I was totally puzzled. How should one measure half a cup of butter which comes in a block form? Do I need to melt it?? During the earlier years when I helped my mum in her baking, we usually weigh the ingredients. We didn't use any measuring cup to measure butter or any dry ingredients. That recipe also calls for 1 1/4 cups of sugar. I thought well, I could at least use my liquid measuring cup to measure that. Luckily, with the help of the www, I managed to get the weight of half a cup of butter. I also realised that the measuring cup to measure liquid is not meant for measuring dry ingredients, such as sugar and flour. The weight of a cup of bread flour is different from that of cake flour. I was glad that I gathered enough information before venturing into making that brownies, otherwise, I wonder how it will turn out? I don't like to measure dry ingredients in cups, I prefer to weight them. Since then, I have created my own little conversion table. I have posted it here so that if you come across any recipes that calls for 1 Stick of butter, you would know that it's half a cup or 4oz, and that you need 8 whole eggs to make 400g of eggs. I do hope you would find this useful.

Conversion Table

Granulated Sugar (1 Cup = 200g)
Caster Sugar (1 Cup = 175g)
Icing Sugar (1 Cup = 125g)
Brown Sugar (1 Cup = 120g)
Plain Flour (1 Cup = 140g)
Cake Flour (1 Cup = 125g)
Bread Flour (1 Cup = 135g)
Whole Wheat Flour (1 Cup = 120g)
Oat Bran (1 Cup = 94g)
Cocoa Powder (1 Cup = 112g)
Butter (1 Cup = 225g = 8 oz)
Butter (Half Cup = 8 tablespoon = 4oz = 1 stick=113g)
Corn Flour (1 tbsp = 7g)
Gelatin Powder (1 tbsp = 9g)
Baking Powder (1 tsp = 5g)
1 whole egg (without shell) is about 50g
1 egg white is about 30g
1 egg yoke is about 20g

Instant Yeast (source from: 孟老师的100道面包)
1g = 1/4 tsp
2g = 1/2 tsp
3g = 1/4 + 1/2 tsp
4g = 1 tsp
5g = 1 & 1/4 tsp

Wednesday 10 January 2007

Bake it Better

I was telling my friend that I should really cut down my baking sessions to only once a week, as most bakes are very fattening. Yet, I could not resist the itch to bake something by mid-week. I made Orange muffins this morning at 6.30am right after my elder boy has gone off to school. I used the same recipe as the Oreo Muffins which I made earlier, and substitute the milk with orange juice and added in grated zest of an orange.

This time, I used a new set of paper liners. These muffin (or cupcake) cups are actually bigger than I thought. They have greater depth than the usual ones that I used. The batter could only fill up to 5 cups instead of the usual 6, and the cups were barely half-filled. As such, the muffins looked rather small in the paper cups. This recipe adopts the biscuit method (or the creaming method), that is, the butter is creamed with sugar before the other ingredients are added. As usual, my muffins came out with cracked tops. Don't you think it looked more like those chinese steamed cakes (huat kueh) instead of a muffin??

According to this website, Joy of Baking, "the 'perfect' American Muffin is symmetrical with a domed top. The surface of the muffin should be bumpy and the volume of the batter should have almost doubled during baking. The muffin should feel light for its size and when cut in half its interior should be moist and tender with no tunnels." Well, I consoled myself that my muffins did fit these description...they were light, moist and tender with no tunnels. Nevertheless, I am still not very satisfied with this and will continue to try out new recipes in order to achieve "my"perfect muffins!

Tuesday 9 January 2007

Banana Strawberry Muffins

A few months back, I was presently surprised to find a new stall that sells muffins at the hawker centre near my place. It is not very common to find a stall in hawker centres that sell nothing but muffins. The muffins are freshly baked and sold at the stall. I bought a few of them for breakfast and they were very tastey especially with a cup of kopi. Their muffins are rather big and have nice huge domes. I told myself I should try making these muffins somedays, and so since I got my oven, I have been trying out different muffin recipes.
These Banana Strawberry muffins are one of those earlier recipes which I have tried. Even though I have read up on how to achieve huge domes and followed the method recommended, my muffins still came out with cracked tops. These muffins were very fragrant and fluffy. The recipe is based on the standard method, i.e. the dry ingredients are mixed with the wet ingredients. The other method is the biscuit method, where the butter and sugar are creamed together before adding the other ingredients. Muffins made from the biscuit method are usually sweeter and have a cake-like texture. I suspect the muffins sold at the stall are based on the biscuit method as they are more dense and sweeter. By the way, ever since I started baking, I have stopped buying muffins from that stall ;)

(Makes 10 to 12 regular sized muffins)

110g butter, melted
150g sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
315g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh strawberries (cut into small pieces)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degC. Position rack in center of oven. Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
  2. Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan. Set aside. Mash the bananas.
  3. Whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter to the sugar mixture and stir to combine.
  4. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a spatula or whisk to mix the dry ingredients completely (to prevent having lumps of baking powder/soda).
  5. Gently fold in the strawberries, making sure they are coated with flour. This helps to prevent the strawberries from sinking during baking. Do not over mix or the strawberries will end up coloring the batter red.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. The mixture will appear very lumpy. Do not over mix the batter otherwise the muffins will become tough.
  7. Fill each muffin cup about two thirds full of batter. Fill any unused muffin cups halfway with water to prevent warping of the pan or uneven browning of the muffins.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Let the muffins cool for 10 mins in the muffin tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Do not leave the muffins in the muffin tin otherwise the base will be soggy.

Tip: To make high-domed muffins:

  • To bake high-domed muffins, fill muffin cups nearly full. Make sure that the recipe yields a thick batter. In a full cup, a thin batter will flow all over the oven before setting. The batter should be “spoonable” not pourable.
  • Preheat oven to 210 degC. A high temperature is needed to create a burst of steam which will lift the top of the muffin and quickly set the starches and proteins in the muffin. After the muffin tin is placed in the oven, set the temperature back to the required temperature setting.

Monday 8 January 2007

Horlicks Doggies Cookies

When I first came across these Horlicks Doggies Cookies, I simply knew I must bake them very soon! They are so cute! The original recipe was posted in AsiaOne. These cookies will be great as gifts for the coming Chinese New Year, so I tried making them with my 2 boys yesterday.

I did not show them any pictures on how the doggies would look like. I just told them to use the koko krunch for the ears, chocolate rice for the eyes and the chocolate chips for the noses. They came up with their own version of their doggies, for example, instead of having the eyes slanted (as done by other food bloggers), they made them straight, which I thought they look nicer. This gave the doggies an "innocent" look, while the slanted eyes made the doggies appeared a bit "sad". My younger boy made the ears "flying up" and for the noses, he placed the pointed end of the chocolate chips pointing outward, instead of the other way round. I thought their versions looked more like doggies while mine (which I followed how other food bloggers made them) looked more like koala bears.

The cookies are very crunchy. When the first tray was ready, my elder child ate 6 of them in a row! The father came along to join in the "feast" and half the tray was gone before the second tray was baked!

(makes about 48 cookies)

180g butter, soften at room temperature
80g Horlicks (original flavour)
200g top flour or cake flour
25g corn flour
25g milk powder
100g chocolate chips
some chocolate rice
some Koko Krunch

  1. Pre-heat oven to 140deg C. Line baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Sieve top flour, corn flour and milk powder.
  3. Cream butter and Horlicks for about three minutes at low speed. Do not overbeat.
  4. Put in top flour, cornflour and milk powder and beat for about one minute to form dough.
  5. Divide dough into 10g each. Put three chocolate chips into each piece of dough and roll into balls.
  6. Insert two pieces of Koko Krunch to form the 'ears', chocolate rice for the "eyes", and a chocolate chip in the centre for the 'nose'.
  7. Bake at 140 deg C for about 25 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take another 5 to 10 minutes more for the cookies to be ready.
  8. Leave to cool on wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

Sunday 7 January 2007

Oreo Cookie Monsters

As the males in my family are great fans of the oreo cookies, we usually have a good stock of these cookies in our kitchen. I was looking for recipes that calls for oreo and came across this wonderful creation by Angie of My Kitchen:My Laboratory. It's a oreo butter cake. Thanks to Angie for sharing her recipe. The cake was really delicious and moist. My kitchen was filled with this nice and sweet aroma of the butter cake while it was baking! Naturally, it was very well received by the oreo cookie monsters in the house ;)

Friday 5 January 2007

Strawberry Jellyhearts Cheesecake

Last nite, I made this strawberry jellyhearts cheesecake. I got the idea from Yochana's Cake Delight. However, I didn't follow her recipe, instead I used the biscuit base and cream cheese filling recipe from the no-bake oreo cheesecake I made earlier. Furthermore, the original version is suppose to be in squares but I made it into a round shape, just like a cheesecake. Initially, I thought it should be quite simple...just follow the same method as the oreo cheesecake and then top it up with jelly. I was wrong, I made 2 mistakes while making this cake!

Mistake no. 1: I didn't add the strawberries before putting the cake into the fridge to set the cheese mixture. I made the cream cheese mixture just before dinner, thinking that I could cut the strawberries and layer it after dinner. However, the cheese mixture was harden by the time I was ready to add in the strawberries. So, they couldn't "stick" onto the cheese layer. Well, I thought, it should be alright, since the jelly would cover them up and set them "down". Little did I know that when I pour in the jelly, the strawberries started to "swim" in the jelly liquid! So I tried to "pin' them down by pushing them into the cheese mixture. To my horror, tiny bits of cheese mixture came floating on the jelly liquid. That's mistake no. 2.

Mistake no. 2: I didn't wait long enough for the cheese mixture to set. You see, I thought since the strawberries couldn't stick onto the cheese layer, the cheese mixture must be very well set right? I was wrong, I believe it was because the mixture was not well set, as such, tiny bits of cheese started to dissolve when the the jelly was added.

My recovery actions were to spoon out most of the jelly liquid and put the cake in the freezer to freeze it. After half-an-hour, the strawberries were set with the help of the thin layer of jelly. I poured in the remaining jelly and let the cake set overnight. It was tedious to carefully spoon out the tiny bits of cream cheese. Luckily, the cake turn out quite ok. So, if you want to try this out, do take note of these 2 steps.


110g digestive biscuits(about 8 pieces), chopped into fine crumbs
40g melted butter

250g cream cheese, soften at room temperature
50g icing sugar
1 tablespoon gelatin powder
40ml boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 box Jelly crystal (strawberry flavour)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water

Some strawberries, cut into heart shapes

1. Mix biscuit crumbs & melted butter together and press firmly with the help of a spoon onto the base of a 18cm cake tin. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Place gelatin powder and boiling water in a bowl. Heat a pot filled with some water until just simmering and place the bowl inside the pot. Dissolve gelatin and boiling water in the bowl. Keep warm.

3. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese , icing sugar and vanilla essence until smooth & creamy. Blend in gelatin solution and mix well.

4. Pour the cheese mixture into the cake tin. Layer the strawberries on the cheese mixture. Chill for at least 3 to 4 hours.

5. Dissolve the jelly crystal in the cup of boiling water, followed by the cold water. Pour the jelly on the cheese mixture. Let it set before removing from the cake tin.

Thursday 4 January 2007

Going Bananas

When I first rekindled my love for baking, i.e. since the day I bought my little oven, I started off baking simple cookies and quickbread. This is the first Banana Bread I have baked.

With 2 pairs of helping hands, I was able to produce these 2 lovely loaves. I like to involve my children in my baking sessions. It's simply fun to have them around. My elder boy will read out the recipe and help me with the weighing of the ingredients, while the younger one will help stir and mash up the bananas. The elder brother will always keep an eye on the younger make sure he stirs the batter in one direction and adds in the eggs gradually. Since we made this banana bread, the little one has been declared the "official banana masher" in our kitchen.

This recipe is taken from Betty Crocker's website. The bread is very tasty and moist but I do find it a bit too sweet. Since it was my first attempt, I followed the recipe to a T. Will definitely cut down on the sugar next time. If the bread is not eaten fresh, it is best slightly toasted/heated again before serving.

(makes two 8 inch loaves)

110g butter, softened @ room temperature
250g sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 to 4 medium bananas (meshed)
Half cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
350g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired


  1. Move oven rack to low position so that top of loaf pan will be in the centre of the oven. Preheat oven to 180 degC. Grease bottoms (only) of two 8x4 inch loaf pans or one 9x5 inch loaf pan.

  2. Mix sugar and butter still creamy and fluffy. Stir in eggs gradually until well blended. Stir in bananas, yogurt and vanilla essence, beat until smooth.

  3. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts, if desired.

  4. Pour batter into loaf pan(s). Bake 8 inch loaves for about 1 hour, 9 inch loaf for about 1 hour 15 mins; or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

  5. Remove from oven and let the loaf cool for 10 mins in the pan. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Wednesday 3 January 2007

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

Today is the start of the new school year. How time flies! I have already been a stay-at-home-mum for one full year! After a fun-filled year end holidays, we are back to our normal routine life. I made this Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake with the help of my 2 boys during the school holidays. This recipe was taken from C W Cookbook 3.

Cream Cheese Mixture
250g cream cheese (soften at room temperature)
60g castor sugar
1 egg

Chocolate Mixture
180g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoon cocoa powder
120g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven at 150°C.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm round cake pan.
  3. Cream Cheese Mixture - beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg gradually and beat until well incorporated. Set mixture aside.
  4. Chocolate Mixture - Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated into mixture. Sieve all the dried ingredients together. Fold into the egg mixture.
  5. Pour half of the chocolate mixture into the cake pan.
  6. Pour all the cream cheese mixture and then the remaining chocolate mixture. Gently spread the chocolate mixture to cover all the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Bake for 45-50 min or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely and chill in the fridge before serving.

Monday 1 January 2007

Sweet Buns

I love bread. I have bread for breakfast almost everyday ever since I was young. This is my first attempt in making bread buns, like those "6-in-1" buns available at neighbourhood bakery shops. I have always wondered how they "join" or "mold" the bread into 6 buns. Thanks to the many food blogs out there, I was able to learn how this is done from step-by-step photos shared by bloggers. In case you are as ignorant as me, this is done simply by placing 6 doughs into one baking pan. The individual buns will join together after they are baked! Now, why I did'nt think of that?!

As I do not have a heavy duty mixer, I made the bread by hand. It is not easy. You will need to knead the dough continuously for at least 25 mins. The hard work did pay off though, the buns turn out to be very fluffy and soft. I was not very good in shaping the dough, they came in "all shapes and sizes" despite the fact that I weigh the dough to ensure each one was of equal weight.

I adapted the recipe from this site.

(make around nine 60g portions)

150g bread flour
150g cake flour
5g active dry yeast
3g salt
125g milk
1 egg
60g caster sugar
50g butter
(1 egg, beaten, for glazing)

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add in milk, egg and butter. Mix into a dough.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (see tip below) and the dough is elastic, smooth and non-sticky. It will take about 25 mins to knead the dough by hand. Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface. Do not be tempted to add more flour or even give up kneading! After continuous kneading, the dough will no longer stick to the work surface.
  3. Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to seal in the moisture. Allow the dough to ferment(or proof) until double in bulk. This will take about 1 hr. To test whether the dough has been fully proofed, press a finger into the dough and withdraw quickly. It should leave a deep impression and spring back very slowly. For an insufficiently proofed dough, the impression will spring back instantly.
  4. Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.
  5. Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Let the dough proof for the second time for about 30-45mins. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.
  6. Brush the top with egg wash. Add almond flakes on the top of the buns, as desired.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degC. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
To check whether the dough is fully developed, take a small piece of the dough and stretch it with your fingers. If it can be stretched into a thin layer without tearing easily, the dough is fully developed.