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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

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lace Crepes?

What is in a name? Everything or nothing? A rose by any other name smells as sweet, so the proverb goes :) Nah, I think there is something in a least for me.

When I saw how the humble Roti Jala (which most Malaysians would know) was 'christened' Lace Crepes over the Net, all I could say was Wow! How glamourous! Like how Cinderella became a princess overnight when prince charming swept her off her feet :) Exaggeration overboard? ...but standout in a menu it will I am sure :) Jala literally means Net and Roti is Bread, had I been the one to do the christening, the word Net will make its presence, it wouldn't have crossed my mine to replace it with something so intricate as Lace! So vain and uppity! Hats off to the one who thought of it !

Actually, this is very similar to crepe. Made from similar ingredients except that coconut milk is used in this one minus the butter plus some turmeric powder. The other thing is the appearance. While the crepe is like a thin piece of pancake, this one uses a mould to get the effect of a circular shaped net. Herein, lies the challenge, this is where one takes pride of her 'roti jala'; the more net like and the thinner, the better. Pretty obvious that there's not much claiming that I can do yet :(

The batter is poured into the mould and you twirl it in circular motion to create the net effect onto a hot non-stick pan. The trick for a beautiful net is to ensure the batter is thin and smooth (by pouring it through a strain first) and to put in a considerable amount of batter into the mould (3/4 full) so that it creates a force that makes a consistent flow through the holes otherwise you will get polka dots instead of nets!

These crepes are a delicacy of the Malay origin, typically served during festivities and eaten with curries. The serving dish is another thing that deserves mentioning, a modified version of a traditional Malay food cover (known as Tudung Saji). It has a serving tray attached to it. In a tropical country like ours, food has to be covered constantly to prevent flies from settling on them. The traditional Malay food cover has a net like material (yes, nets again) sewn on to small frames made from the mengkuang (from the screwpine family), before plastic ones reared its head that is...

Enough said, one thing that we Malaysians are truly proud of is the variety and diversity in our food, a heritage from our multicultural society. The taste? Delicious. I think besides making it look pretty, the holes serve a purpose too. It makes it lighter and less overpowering compared to a whole complete piece. It goes very well with curries. Little one had at least 10 pieces in total over lunch and again for tea. Need I say more?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

For the Joy of Sharing

A family member caught the bug! She was influenced by my baking adventures and has started on her own journey. When she sent me a photo of her first bake and how they added a little dash of their creativity into it plus the joy and excitement from her kids because they can now bring homemade bread in their lunch boxes, i was all warm and fuzzy inside, it felt so good! Congrats, my dear!

I know she's raring to make some buns of her own :) So, here's a simple recipe for milk based buns that you can use for any type of fillings. My last attempt was to use it for some garlic buns. and before that tuna. The garlic ones are yum, yum especially when you dip it into some creamy mushroom soup.

This recipe is a little catered to the breadmaker that we both own now, some adjustments maybe necessary.


300g bread flour
100g plain flour
30g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
260 milk
30g unsalted butter

Garlic Butter
50g butter, soften room temperature
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped)
2 tsp dried parsley (plus a little to sprinkle at the top)
- Mix everthing together until like a spread

  1. Place all ingredients in the bread pan of the bread machine (according to the recommended sequence stated in the instruction manual of the bread machine).
  2. Select the Pizza Dough function (Program No. 11) of the bread machine.
  3. Once the cycle complete, remove dough from the bread pan. Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume (around 1 hour)
  4. Remove dough, lightly knead it. Press out the trapped air as your knead (use your knuckles).
  5. Divide into equal portions and shape into balls, around 50g each (should get around 12).
  6. Cover with cling wrap or light damp cloth, let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Flatten each dough into a round disc. Put in preferred fillings. Wrap up and seal at the bottom.
  8. Put on baking tray, cover with wrap/damp cloth again and let it proof for another 30 minutes.
  9. Egg wash the buns and bake at preheated oven at 180C for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Remove and cool on wire rack.

If you want to make garlic buns stop at step 6 and follow the steps below.
  1. Flatten each dough into a round disc. Roll up Swiss roll style. Try making it into a longish oval shape.
  2. Put on baking tray, cover with wrap/damp cloth again and let it proof for another 30 minutes.
  3. Brush each dough with egg wash.
  4. With a sharp knife, make a slit lengthwise on each dough. Fill slit with garlic butter.
  5. Sprinkle a little dried parsley (optional).
  6. Bake at preheated oven at 180C for about 12-15 minutes or golden brown.
  7. Remove and cool on wire rack.
Good luck!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Say Cheese!

I guess there's no way one can run away from growing up in every aspect of life, it comes so naturally. In this case, it was getting into a tougher baking horizon (at least by my standards) after getting tired of the more classic bakes. I tried my hand on the Japanese Cheesecake. I love this cake, thanks to the ever innovative nature of the Japanese, their version of the cheese cake is so much lighter without compromising the cheesy taste, silky or creamy texture. For me, this is no piece of cake (pun intended :)) although other bloggers may disagree, you need to master the techniques of making a chiffon cake plus the know-how of baking with cheese. After what I thought could qualify as a decent chiffon (on the 3rd bake with 1 total failure) did I attempt this :)

Part 1 - The Sponge
Beating egg whites, this is one great challenge. Before this I didn't know that one could whack egg whites until they look like cream :) Seeing it turn into cream was quite satisfying (at least you know that you are on the right path), then came the next question, when do you stop beating? Some say beat until soft peak but others say stiff peak?? Assuming that you have decided whether to reach soft/stiff peak, the next question would be how to make sure it's there??? My first attempt went one full cycle and got back to where it started, the cream became watery again :(

The number of blogs that I read, pictures that I scrutinized, videos that I watched on youtube... it's amazing how the Internet is such a great source for self-learning. Having said that, my maiden attempt was still a disaster :(

Part 2 - Water Bath
Learnt something new here too, water bath for cakes! Never thought they needed baths! Cheese cakes need to be bake in a water bath by putting the pan with the batter into another bigger pan that is filled with water. This method ensures the the cheese is baked gently so that it won't darken, curdles or crack. With this comes the worry of water seeping into the batter. However, this is easier to overcome (with a trick or two) than beating egg whites to the right consistency for sure!

Final Worry
The final worry (with some other worries in between) would be whether your cake will shrink. Read that it's normal if it shrinks a little but not to the extend of half it's size and i dread those creases that it creates when it shrinks. It's so heartbreaking to see your beauty turn into an ugly duckling.

Fortunately, the first attempt didn't turned out too bad, the only setback was it shrunk more than what I hoped it would. But I am really glad i tried it, it tasted better than I thought it would. I tried this a second time, shared it with 2 friends and they loved it too. There's going to be a third time for sure as I have decided that this will be my choice for an upcoming birthday :) I hope it will be perfect by then.

I am not sharing any recipe for this one, simply because I am no expert and I made lots of references before attempting it. If you are interested to give it an attempt, try this one, it comes with tips and tricks. Good luck!

Friday, 1 April 2011

The King of Fruits is Back!

Durians! They are in season! Hate them or love them! Little one and I just love them. We love them fresh or in cakes, muffins, ice creams and desserts, you name it :)

Since the weather is so hot (but with some unpredictable rain showers), I chose to try making some ice cream. This is the first time I am trying to make my own ice-cream. Little one loves durian ice-cream, he always complain that there are only 2 sticks with durian flavour in the box of 6 King's Brand Ice-Cream Potong while it costs around RM5 dollars if it's sold by scoop.

We had some leftovers, so why not? The recipe looked simple enough. Moreover, it only yields 1 litre, so it's not too much of a waste if it didn't turn out well.

Source : Grace Kitchen
300g durian flesh (I weighed mine with seeds)
60g sugar
200g whipping cream
130g plain yoghurt

1. Blend durian flesh with sugar until it becomes a puree.
2. Mix yoghurt into the puree.
3. Whip the whipping cream until stiff and mix in durian puree.
4. Transfer into container and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Verdict :
Very flavourful ice-cream, the taste has not been any stronger compared to the ones we have tasted :). Yummy! Creamy too. Fairly easy, just need to whip them. I believe there will be more flavours to come.


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