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Girls' Best Friend

Bright and sparkly. Gemstones came to my mind when I was removing this Dragon Fruit and Orange jelly from the mould. Like a combination of gemstones...rubies, amber and diamonds, all in one!

Dragon's Eyes

The literal translation for the name of a small brown, juicy exotic fruit from the lands of Asia, known as Longan in Chinese, packed into these muffins


A taste from the humble beginnings, the Long Bean Rice brings back beautiful memories of the yesteryears

Light and Fluffy

Lemon, Yogurt and Cranberries~a nice blend of flavours in a light and fluffy chiffon cake

Bread Stories

Asian style buns ~ Popular as breakfast food or snack, sweet/savoury fillings wrapped in soft, cottony bread

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sis, I saved you from piling on the pounds...

Birthdays are meant for indulgence, aren't they? Even when it is not yours :)  Made these for  my sister on her birthday but since she's too far away, I had to do the eating for her as well.     

This is really chocolate overload, five to be exact, starting with it being a chocolate cupcake, followed by Andes chocolate baking chips sandwiched into the cake then topped with chocolate rice, M&M baking chips and a whole piece of Andes chocolate.  I feel the pounds even while writing this down! Guilty, but it was down right heavenly if you are a chocolate lover.  Sis, I did you a big favour by piling on the pounds to myself!!

The chips that she sent (which was meant for making some Christmas treats) came at the right time when I was still craving for the Andes chocolate cupcake that I saw at Amelia's just about a week ago.  There was no excuse not to try baking one for myself...oops for my sister, I meant :))

For the cupcake, I followed Amelia's recipe (almost to a T) except that I omitted the peppermint essence and 3 tbsp of Baileys.  The texture looks a bit heavy (unlike Amelia's) but wasn't really so when eaten.  Hmm, I wonder why, lack of moisture perhaps?   It was soft though.

As for the frosting, it was cream cheese as I wanted a contrasting color to make the little extra treats stand out.

Overall, this cupcake coupled with the frosting is just pure indulgence! The piece of Andes and M&Ms chips really topped it all!

Source : Amelia's De-ssert

Note : The below is half of the original recipe which yields 6 cupcakes 
  • 75g butter
  • 100g sugar (originally 110g)
  • 1 1/2 eggs
  • 113g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 125ml warm milk
  • Andes mint baking chips
  1. Preheat oven to 185C.
  2. Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda twice.
  3. Sift cocoa powder and mix with warm milk until well blended.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until creamy.  
  5. Add in egg and make sure well mix. Do not overbeat.
  6. Add in flour and cocoa mixture alternately.  Mix well for every addition.
  7. Fill cupcake liners half full.   Add mint baking chips and top with more batter until 3/4 full.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Source : Your Cup of Cake
Note : The below is a quarter of the original recipe with some variations

  • 60g cream cheese
  • 22g butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp milk or cream
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  2. Add sugar and cream, beat well.
  3. Pipe cream onto cooled cake and decorate as preferred.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Stop and Smell the Roses?

A reminder to stop and smell the roses? You don't see a rose? I hope not, I hope the bun in the picture can passed off looking like a rose.  One with big fat yummy petals :))  They are sweet smelling though  :)

Trips back from hometowns have always been bountiful, made these from some kampung grown bananas that Pa bought when he took little one for a ride on his old, trusty Hondacup. 

Decided on steamed banana buns or known as mantaus in Chinese found on Wendy's blog to use up some leftover bananas after eating them on its own and making a chiffon cake.  You will find some uniquely shaped mantaus over there, a very pretty pink rose mantau and croissant shaped ones among them.   But I didn't follow her method to make these roses, hers are far prettier which  means a lot more effort required.  I gave it a pass and used a simpler method.

I filled these buns with some peanut butter.  Had some fun shaping them.  Split between roses and the simpler proofing of round ones in tart pans.

Verdict? The banana taste was quite mild.  Buns were soft and light.

Note : Steps below are adaptions that i made to use my breadmaker for the kneading and it is also half the original recipe.

Source : Table for 2 or more

  • 150g bananas
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 35ml warm milk
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 25g soften butter
  1. Mash banana with fork and mix with baking soda.  Let it rest for at least 1 hour (Reason: To reduce acidity).
  2. Mix and dissolve yeast in warm milk. Set aside for 5 minutes then mix with bananas.
  3. Put all ingredients into breadmaker pan starting with liquid followed by sugar, butter, flour and yeast.
  4. Set to bread dough cycle.
  5. Let dough rise until doubled.
  6. Punch down and knead dough for awhile.
  7. Separate dough into 10 pieces of around 50g each.
  8. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Shape dough as preferred. 
  10. For rose like shape, after flattening dough into round shape, cut dough to make quarters but do not cut until the intersections.  Put in a small blob of peanut butter in the centre then wrapped with opposite sides of dough to create layers. 
  11. Let dough rise until doubled again before steaming on high heat for 12 minutes.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Soupy Days - Apples

I am a soup lady, I love soups :)  I find soups very comforting, a bowl of soup with some steamed rice would make a meal for me.  I remember as a kid, I love pouring my entire bowl of soup over my rice making it soft and soggy but very flavorful when the soup is absorbed.  Naturally, my family is also a soup family after being fed with soup every so often ;)

Chinese style soups are known to be nourishing and remedial in nature.     Vegetables and herbs are combined  according to their health benefits and boiled/double-boiled with some protein like pork ribs/lean meats to produce a rich and tasty soup.

Of late, I am in the mood to try out new soup recipes, 'new' in my home that is...compared to the ones commonly made like lotus root, old cucumber, arrow root, watercress, winter melon etc.  

Sweet soups are uncommon during meals, they are mostly savoury. So, I was glad that this Apple Soup was acceptable to loved ones.  Phew!

The natural sweetness from this fruit based soup coming from the apples and dates (red and honey) is refreshing.  I love the sweet and delicate scent too.  Snow fungus besides its health benefit provided some bites.   I did not add any salt to maintain the original sweetness of the soup.

  • 300g pork ribs
  • 7 dried red dates
  • 3 dried honey dates
  • 4 apples 
  • 1500 ml water
  • 10g snow fungus
  1. Boil water in a small pot.  Blanch pork ribs by putting it in boiling water for 1-2 minutes to remove scums.  Rinse after removing from boiling water.
  2. Peel and core the apples.  Cut apples into quarters.
  3. Wash red and honey dates.
  4. Wash snow fungus and soak in water until it blooms.
  5. Put apples, red dates, honey dates, snow fungus and water to boil in a pot.  
  6. Add ribs to pot of boiling soup.
  7. Reduce heat and let soup simmer for 1-2 hours.


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