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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

Friday 28 February 2014

When Taps Run Dry, A Simple Breakfast

It's now coming into the 3rd week that i have not had continuous water supply at home.   This is the worst ever water woes that i have experienced in my entire life.  It is hard to even imagine what more face this kind of problem in this day and age living in an urban area!  At least if one lives in a village or jungle there are wells and rivers to draw from!  The first week was just hell, we were not warned at all causing us to frantically find ways to resolve water needs.  A lot of time was spent running around to relatives and friends' places for our basic needs like showering and filling up some water to bring home.   And there's the running around to laundromats and having meals too.  We went further off to ensure these eateries were not facing the same water disruption lest we get sick due to unhygienic reasons.    Then they started sending water tankers that came at the oddest hour, imagine staying on alert just to catch them.   Fortunately, the barking of my neighbour's 3 dogs is loud enough to wake everyone on the street up when they arrive.   Love you doggies!  But jumping out of bed at 3.30am, queuing up in pjs and sarongs with eyes half opened and stinky mouths may sound funny but it is definitely no fun at all at that point of time!  

It a crisis out there, people are affected both directly and indirectly and it could lead to more serious complications.  I am so sadden to read in the papers that a mum to be suffered a miscarriage and lost her pair of twins while carrying water back to her flat :((  I am fortunate that it's a little better now that we are getting water on alternate days for a period of around 6 hours.  For now it's rush hour when water flows! 

Initially we ate out when this whole water disruption thing started but have gone back to making our own meals since the problem is wide spread and we can't be certain if a place actually gets clean water besides it's a hassle to go way out for meals.  At least i am in control when i make my own food.  For now it's keeping it simple all the way, store bought bread for breakfast, one pot meals, steamed dishes or anything that needs minimum washing for main meals.  

After getting tired of just bread, i bought this pack of tortilla wrap one day.  Made this simple breakfast quesadilla, something that i could afford to make since there are only 2 dishes to be washed, the pan and the bowl for the egg :)  

A nice change that added some cheer to this subdued mood that we are in. Healthy, tasty and simple, done up within 10 minutes.

Fellow Malaysians, you might want to think of this as a healthier version of Roti Telur, much healthier without any oil used in the preparation, whole grain and tastier too with the addition of ham and cheese ;-)

Inspiration: Sea Salt with Food

  • 1 piece tortilla wrap
  • 1 medium size egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 slice of ham
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 3 tbsp grated mozarella cheese
  1. Heat up frying pan with just enough oil to coat the pan and fry the ham. Cut into smaller pieces then set aside.
  2. Place wrap in the pan and pour beaten egg on top of wrap. When egg starts to set, place ham (on one half of wrap since it's going to be folded) on top of egg followed by cheese.
  3. When cheese starts to melt sprinkle on chopped scallion.
  4. Fold wrap into half with spatula and gently pressed it down.
  5. Flip wrap over to get both sides slightly brown and crisp.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

A Sweet Treat of Hong Kong ~ Pai Pau

If one were to stroll along the streets in Hong Kong, one is bound to come across glass cupboards that are filled with a wide range of Hong Kong style pastries.  These cupboards are commonly placed near the entrance to the many cafes, restaurants or bakeries, making it convenient for customers who choose to grab a bite on the go instead of dining in.  Snacking is quite a culture there.  Well, of course looking won't do both you and them justice! Pick a traditional cha chaan teng (aka tea restaurants), order a few of these pastries and a cup of milk tea to go with them for a true Hong Kong experience :)

Chinese pastries with British influence is one of the must try food when one visits Hong Kong.  Among them egg tarts, pineapple buns, cocktail buns and pai pau. 

Pai Pau literally translates to row buns just like how they are made longish and baked closely together in a row.  Nothing big to shout about, these are typical Asian style plain sweet buns but they are cottony soft, creamy and milky.  You could eat them just like that which is how i prefer them.

If you look at the recipe, it's a no brainer why these buns are so soft, creamy and milky.  4 types of milk goes into it, cream, fresh milk, powdered milk and condensed milk!  Pretty high in fat content, huh?  I have made them on rare occasions only, mostly when i am trying to finish off some cream.  And for this time around, the other reason would be to support the Asian Food Fest blogging event, featuring Hong Kong and Macau for this month.

Reference: Do What I Like

  • 250g bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp powdered milk
  • 45g sugar
  • 1 egg yolk + milk to make up 120ml
  • 75ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk
  • 50g pre fermented dough
  • 40g butter 
  1. Place all ingredients in the bread pan of the breadmaker (according to the recommended sequence stated in the instruction manual of the breadmaker).  Select Dough function.  Once the cycle completes, let dough rise until double the size.
  2. Remove from bread pan then punch down dough to release trapped air.  
  3. Divide dough into 6 portions (around 93g each).  Shape into round balls and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Roll out dough  into rectangular shape of around 18cm * 5 cm. Roll dough up from the long side.  
  5. Place in a greased pan (The size of my pan was 23 * 28 cm).  
  6. Let dough rise until length is around 80% of pan. (I covered the pan with a tray to prevent it from rising in height.)
  7. Brush with egg wash (I used the remaining egg white plus 1 tbsp of milk).
  8. Bake at 190C for 18 minutes. 
  9. Brush with some butter for a nice glossy look and let it cool on rack.
Pre fermented Dough
  • 63g bread flour
  • 40ml water
  • 1g instant yeast
  1. Mix all the dough into a rough dough and let if proof for at least 2 hours.
  2. The above amount will produce 100g of dough. 
  3. Wrapped up the remaining portion with cling wrap and freeze for future use.
  4. The frozen dough must be brought to room temperature before using.
I have incorporate my slight variations into the recipe above which include using a breadmaker to do the kneading and dividing the dough into 6 portions instead of 8 as recommended in the original recipe.

Updated on 27 Feb 14 - My apologies for missing out step 6 in the original post. 

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: Hong Kong + Macau  hosted by Annie from Annielicious Food 

Thursday 13 February 2014

Mushy Gushy Lovey Dovey!

Warning! Mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey stuff ahead! 

It's Valentine's eve and it's hub's birthday and it's extra special this year because the 15th day of Chinese New Year which is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day falls on Valentine's Day!   So, it's hard not to be all lovey-dovey with a double shower of love :)) I read that it only happens once in 22 years.  

We don't really celebrate Valentine's but it never passes by unnoticed since it falls on the day after hub's birthday.

Happy Birthday, hubs! Had to make do with cupcakes as we have been facing water disruption for the 5th day now.  Terrible horrible it is!   We have not had a decent homemade meal since.   Decided to go with this One Bowl Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake after contemplating whether to buy one, after all it's just one (well, 3 actually for me) that requires washing when the job is done.

It really is a pretty simple recipe, this is my second time making it. Most of the time i do without frostings (don't really fancy it and the other reason being i am pretty bad at it) but since it's for a special occasion i gave it an attempt.  I followed this Pierre Herme salted caramel frosting that was recommended by Janine of Un Pastiche. It tasted  quite unique with some saltiness cutting across the overall sweetness from the buttercream and cake.

Mushiness overload with heart shaped sprinkles, red ribbons and a decorated fork to melt my sweetheart! 

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends out there! 


Chocolate cupcakes - Here 
Salted caramel sauce - Un Pastiche who adapted from Pierre Herme (1/3 of original recipe)
  • 50g sugar
  • 55g heavy cream
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 3g sea salt (best if you have fleur de del)
 Frosting- Un Pastiche 
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 25g salted caramel sauce

Salted caramel sauce: 
  1. Heat sugar in a deep saucepan (preferably stainless steel or light coloured pot so that you can see the colour change) and allow it to caramelize.
  2. When the sugar turns brown, remove from heat and add butter.
  3. Add cream and be careful of any splatters.  If the cream is at room temperature, it will not splatter as much. 
  4. Put the saucepan back onto the heat and cook until it reaches about 108°C on a candy thermometer.  Recommendation from Janine : If this is your first time making caramel, I would recommend the use of a candy thermometer for accuracy. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, it is the “thread” stage, which means that the caramel will form thin threads in cold water and it’s the stage right before the caramel darkens quite dramatically. Once you reach 108°C, remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool. 
  5. Add in the sea salt, and mix until it is completely dissolved. The sauce must be completely cool before you make the frosting.
  1. Ensure unsalted butter is at room temperature. In a large mixing bowl, beat the unsalted butter until light and fluffy. 
  2. Add in the sifted icing sugar all at once. Continue beating until all the icing sugar is well incorporated and the butter becomes slightly more ‘stiff’. 
  3. Add in the cooled salted caramel sauce, and continue beating until well incorporated. Scoop the frosting into a prepared piping bag. If the frosting feels ‘soft’, refrigerate for about 20 minutes before using. Pipe as desired onto the chocolate cupcakes. 
  4. Drizzle some salted caramel sauce on top of the frosted cupcakes if desired.


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