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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

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Blueberry Mania - Antioxidant Overload

Recently, i noticed that the stores were carrying blueberries from Chile. They are pretty big and most importantly on the sweet side which were quite rare. On top of that, they were cheaper than the American ones. What a bonus, good time to overload on some antioxidants!

I even went to the extent of contemplating whether I should buy some extra boxes and freeze them for future use. I actually did some research on how to freeze them :). Apparently, all one needs to do is to wash and dry them before putting them in one flat layer and smaller single usage volumes for ease of use.

These two new bakes are the results of the blueberry hoarding.

1. Blueberry with Lemon Sugar Muffin

Blueberry muffins are common but to have them with lemon sugar toppings made them special. Added to that, the recipe called for yoghurt making them soft and light. They were really yummy. I made them twice, the second batch was for a friend. For the second batch, I added part of the lemon sugar in between to give the muffin a more overall lemon tang because i felt that having it on top wasn't good enough for me! Having them on top means one can only enjoy the lemon tang with every bite if you have a mouth which is big enough to make a bite from top to bottom! Besides that, I used slightly lesser sugar (5%) and also baked it at 200C. I am not sure if it's my oven temperature but I realised that anything lesser doesn't give my muffins a nice dome. I am glad to say that it got good review from my friend and his family. Yeay! The recipe is listed below for my friend who wants to try making it at home :)

250gm cake/superfine flour (I used All Purpose Plain Flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
200gm sugar (I used 190 gm)
1 heaped tsp lemon zest
125gm blueberries

2 eggs
80gm melted butter
200ml plain yoghurt

1. Preheat oven to 180/170C (I used 200C)
2. Sift flour with baking soda and baking powder.
3. Remove 2Tbsp of sugar and combine it with the lemon zest. Set aside.
4. Mix the balance of sugar with sifted flour. Set aside.
5. Lightly beat eggs and combine with melted butter and yoghurt.
6. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs mixture.
7. Mix just to combine, never overmix.
8. Put in blueberries and stir lightly to mix only. Do not break the berries.
9. Spoon batter into muffin cups (approximately 12). Just make sure it's only 3/4 full . Top with some lemon sugar (3).
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Alternatively for step no. 9, you can fill half the muffin cup, put some lemon sugar in between before topping up with more batter and lemon sugar again.

2. Blueberry and Plum Yoghurt Cake

I gave in to this one because of the beautiful photos that I saw when i was reading the recipe for the muffins. Similar ingredients meant i won't have too much of leftovers lying in the fridge. There are many variations in terms of the choice of fruits that can be used for this cake. No nectarines lying around, I used plums instead. I was very happy when it turned out looking as nice as the ones I saw on fellow bloggers' blogs (Table for 2 or more and source). It actually lived up to expectation, pretty and tasty too! This time, a friend who tasted it asked me to make a whole cake for her because she couldn't get enough of it with the bit that I could spare :)


Source : Piggy's Cooking Journal who adapted from 手のひらサイズのベイクドケーキ

144g butter, at room temperature
100g castor sugar
2 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
144g self-raising flour
2 tablespoon yoghurt
2 nectarines, cut into slices (I used plums for this time around)
(Enough to go around )

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 2 small loaf pans.
2. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3. Beat the egg into the batter, followed by vanilla extract. Mix until just combine.
4. Mix in yoghurt, follow by flour. Mix until the flour just disappear from the batter.
5. Pour batter into loaf pan. Arrange fruits on batter according to preference.
6. Bake for 35 minutes or until tester inserted turns out clean.
7. Remove from oven and cool cakes on wire rack.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Pandan Kaya Bread Loaf

Back to breads :)

The inspiration came from my sister's green bread which got its color from Pandan paste. One would expect Kaya to be the main ingredient just from its name. But the recipe didn't call for any, how disappointing! Typical Malaysians just love Kaya on breads! Pandan and Kaya would be such a heavenly combination what more without having to do the spreading! Upon reading, I discovered that the bread called for Kaya elements namely, coconut milk, eggs and sugar.

The original recipe came from Alex Goh, a bread sifu in Malaysia but I was fortunate to find a recipe that was twigged to strengthen the Kaya element. I used my breadmaker to do the kneading, it's so much easier. All I had to do was to dump everything into the breadmaker and wait until it turns into dough and proofed.

The way this bread is made is quite interesting too (at least to me), the dough is shaped into little balls the size of a table-tennis ball, then stack on top of one another. I was quite worried it wouldn't rise but it did and it was quite amazing because it didn't look like anything before it was baked except for the some bumps on the surface. One could already smell the sweet smelling kaya when it was still in the oven. The only setback was it didnt look really green, the amount of pandan juice (must be increased) used was too little and i obmitted the green colouring too. The crumbles made the bread extra delicious and the twigging of the recipe gave the bread a strong hint of Kaya.

Overall, I was pleased with the result. Little one gave his thumbs up too!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Chinese New Year Party

Final post to close off Chinese New Year! More for my for future reference. At least, I can try to avoid serving the same dishes next year!

We had some guests over for lunch. The collage shows most of the dishes that were served on that day. For appetizer, we had lobster balls with red dragon fruit to create the striking colour effect. Love the red for the ang ang (aka red for good luck) effect!

The mains include hokkien style steam glutinous rice, mee siam (not in collage, forgot to take a photo of it), cereal prawns, special sauce pork ribs, grilled pandan chicken and rendang chicken.

For dessert, cendol jelly and baked nian gao.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Happy Birthday & Happy Valentine's Day Sweetheart!

It's the birthday of the other important man in my life :) Plus it falls on the eve of the day love is widely celebrated! On this day, I am reminded of how glad I am to have him in my life. May God bless this man with good health and allow us to continue living happily ever after in this humble lives of ours...This is the first time I made him a cake. He didn't realise that it was homemade until i told him so! That itself has 2 sides to it doesn't it, guilty that it took so long since we have been together for close to 18 years but on the other hand i was secretly pleased because it meant the cake didn't look too bad albeit indirectly!

It's also my first attempt in making a cake with cream on it. Members of the family do not really fancy creamy cakes but i wanted to go another mile in my cake making adventure!

So this was it, a Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake with layers of vanilla sponges. The original recipe used blackberries but i changed it to strawberries instead. I was anticipating a slightly darker pinkish tint, should have added more strawberries. The other thing was i used a round pan instead of a square one. Simple decoration, strawberry halves all around the cake, that was the best that i can do for now :) Overall, the cake turned out well. The cake shrunk a little causing the pan to be slightly bigger than it. As a result, when i poured in the cream, it wrapped up the whole cake! Not sure if it was a mistake of mine or whether it was meant to be this way because the photo posted on Reese's blog showed the layers! Anyway, i kinda like the wrapped effect, must be a blessing in disguise to reward me for the effort put in :) Thank God

Anyway, this photo will show you the layers :)

I foresee there will be more birthdays cakes in the future!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Nien Nien You Yi

More Chinese New Year stuff since the celebration can continue until the 15th day! Something simple but symbolic of the chinese auspicious greeting Nien Nien You Yi. The greeting literally means Every Year in Abundance meaning we wish that the party being greeted has everything that he needs in abundance! Sounds a bit greedy doesn't it? But how wonderful it would be if we have everything in abundance!

The fish is symbolic of this greeting simply because the words "You Yi" sounds like "Have Fish". So, I made some jelly in the form of the fish with some moulds that i bought from a bakery product shop nearby. The moulds look very cute to me, in 2 sizes enough to create an entire fish family!

This one I made for my MIL as her prayer offerings. She was very happy indeed :) So was better half when he saw his mum's response! Yeay! The joy at the receiving end made the effort worthwhile. Cubed canned peaches gave the orange colour, wolfberries the red, raisins as the eyes and pandan with coconut milk made up the green pond.

This is the 2nd set of fish jelly. This one was made to serve guest who came visiting to my mum's home. The green from this one came from cendol. Instead of just serving cookies alone, we offered them a fish jelly. Happy to say that they were well received. Something different, lite and cooling, apart from being auspicious! Besides, someone commented that they looked like pieces of jade!

Worth considering if you are expecting guest at home or if you need to bring something for a potluck. Can almost be assured that your guest will be impressed :)


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