Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Over

Soon enough, xmas is over. 2009 will be over in about 10 hours!

This is the last of my xmas bake for my good friend DK, using allergan-free cupcake recipe from Martha Steward's new book CUPCAKE.

I made a promise to myself that if I buy a book, I must bake at least 5 recipe from the book. In a way, it is meant to break myself from the habit of buying too many book without really using it. It does not help when i am only allocated 3 shelves in the book cases, and it is already overflowed to the bedside table, dining room, living room... Let's see if I do better in 2010.

I also wished that in 2010 I will bake more and buy less. I often get enticed by the ingredient, baking pan or a fondant cutter... and to use it only once. Many accompished bakers have done alot more fantastic stuff with half of what I own, I bet!

I also wish that I will learn to take things easy - the recent being forgetting to take a photo of the Xmas cupcake which I made for Sheen's celebration. I had not success convincing daddy J to go to school to take the photo for me. I brood over it for 2 days... cos I thought they look too good to have missed the photography session. LOL!

How about you? How have your year been, and what's up for the next decade?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chocolate Moulding Class at Artistiq Sugarpaste

I guess I should have known better that this is a chocolate moulding class when I signed up. For only $60, I should not expect to learn about tempering chocolate - a process where temperature control forces chocolate into one particular crystalline form so that when molded it forms a stable solid with a smooth shiny surface.

But again, if it is simply melt and pouring into the mould, I have already done it with Sheen before.

Since I am already here, I might as well have some fun!

These are included in the course fee - 2 chocolate mold + 1 small pack of colour choc candy:

I made these 2 lollies in the class:

and 2 of the bear lollies. Oops, I broke the ears:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Class at Culinary Adventures

Early this month, I attended a culinary class with my colleagues. It is quite interesting cos it is the first time in my life that i was told NOT to follow the recipe strictly when baking.

For example, the recipe calls for 185ml fresh milk. I only added 50ml, the Irene (the instructor) told me it's enough.

The same go for flour, cocoa powder etc. Everything is added based on "agatation" cos there's no weigh scale for us to check the weight.

How interesting, we add, stir, and whisk with only our instinct. Everything was 跟着感觉走 ! I was so eager to taste the cake once it was out of the oven cos it is the first time I make an "aga" cake. Strange as it can get, the chocolatey cake actually turned out to be yummilicious!

However I do see others flopped. I can see the butter bubbling on the surface of the cake while they are being baked. To me, that's pretty much like frying the cake, then baking!

Whichever the case, I had good fun with J and HI at the class. Thanks Ladies!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Butter Cookie

Time really flies... I can't believe it's already Christmas. I have some really nice cookie cutter that I was waiting to use for the xmas cookie but my energy level is not to the elaborate process of cookie art. So I took the easy way out bu making the spritz cookie.

The recipe comes from Betty Saw's Cookie Galore. But i made some major modification to it. I am too lazy to type it out. If you want the recipe, pls leave a comment and I will get down to it soon.

Instead of the piping bag and tip which Betty uses, I used the Cookie Press thinking that this could be easier to manage.

Mistake. It is just as tricky, if not more. Many times, the dough will not drop from the press. Other times, part of the dough dropped. Even more times I had to scoop the dough back into the press!

Having said, Sheen and I had a fun afternoon doing this. He was always eager to help me put the M&Ms, quinns, or sprinkles over the plain cookies.

For me, I had fun seeing how the pretty cookie take shape as they wiggle thru the metal plate.

haha, I burnt the cookies towards the end... cos I was just too tired to watch the oven closely.

Once I empty the cookie jar, I will certainly be back playing with these plates as the crumbly crunchy cookies are so light and buttery. I can already see myself using this recipe over and over again!

UPDATED 25/12:

Butter Cookie
240g butter, cut into cubes
90g icing sugar
270g Top flour (or Hong Kong Flour or Cake Flour)
2 tsp vanilla essence
Some full cream milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cream butter in mixer till fluffy. Add 2 tbsp of milk & vanilla essence. Mix until well combine.
  3. Sift icing sugar over butter, followed by flour. Mix till combined. Do not overmix.
  4. This is the tricky part: Check the consistency of the dough - it should be soft enough to be piped thru the cookie press. If not, add 1 tbsp more milk until it is soft enough.
  5. Fill the dough into cookie press and use as per the press instruction.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes till cookies are light golden brown. Allow cookies to cool.

Recipe Notes:

  • This is a very simple recipe which needs the best butter you can get. I use Lurpak.
  • Press and bake immediate.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marble Black Bamboo Charcoal Bread

What happens when you can't make up your mind whether to use the black charcol powder?

I stared at the powder, and remembered seeing my neighbour drinking the ashes of a talisman. :-)

Anyway, by the time I decided to try it out, the bread is almost done with 1st proof. So I just try to knead in the as much charcoal powder as I could.

Luckily it turned out to be quite ok. More importantly, Sheen loves it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

High School Musical Cake

This cake is for my lovely niece Gwen In who turned 8 last Saturday.

She loves HSM, and specifically asked for a HSM birthday cake. I gladly obliged. But this will probably be the last time I make a icing image cake unless I can find a more reliable printer. *

Happy Birthday Fortunately, her smile and appreciation made all the efforts worthwhile!

Since Sheen had some free time on Sat morning, we decided to make some choc coated marshmellow for the small party!


My grouse:
For some reason still unknown to me me, the lady whom I ordered the icing image (with pre-payment) decided to do a disappearing act on the day of appointment. I waited for 2 hours at the workshop near her bugis... Thanks to her neighbouring shop who was kind enough to offer me a seat in his comfy shop that I was spared of the oppressive heat.

She is an on-line baker who have just set up her business, and I wanted to order from her to support her enterprising causes. Now I think I am just too gullible: Her charges ain't a cent cheaper than the more established store, and I had to make interbank transfer first.

All these are trivial now. I was left to fumble and scramble to fulfil my niece's birthday wish!!! I joking told a colleague, when push comes to shove I will print out the picture on the A4 paper. Just tear it off before cutting the cake. hahaha :-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Rant and Rave

This was a long overdue post.
I have been so busy last few weeks arising from organisational change. I had to call up each and every staff to explain the situation, why and how... and the toughest part, managing their morale and emotions.

This is the first time in my career that I faced a gloom prospect, going thru' the same pain that most other firms are or had.

I am a half-glass-full person, I look at the bright side that the organisation is treating each and everyone with respect, and therefore gracious enough to provide the long notice period, and to provide alternatives to them.

Myself, i am just as drained at the end of each day. I am so stressed out by the time I leave the office. And I wanted to blog about it cos it does wonders for me to; I feel much light and relax. But I can't. I knew some funny poeple from the workplace spies here to fuel their next lunch gossips... you know who you are!

WhatI did: I blogged, then saved it in the draft. Only now when it is less sensitive that then I can click "publish". *tsk*

I made this batch of cookies after reading a post by a talented blogger/baker, Ovenhaven. She gave useful baking tips which really yield the nice crunchy cookies I soooo loved. If you read the angmoh recipe books, 99.95% of the recipes lead you to the chewy cookies. And the whole trouble is that I never like the chewy type. To me, they are like stale cookies. You know, like those left out in the dew for a night...

So I am quite thrill to use her method and got crunchy Sonoma's cookies, finally!

Incidentally, apart from following Ovenhaven's tips, I also double stack the cookie tray in the oven so that the cookies does not burn too fast, giving them more time to crisp up in the oven.

PS: This was intended for post in October but due to the work-related content, I kept it in the draft box until now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

my new mini bundt tube pan

Got this from Pantry Magic in Holland V. It is quite ex... but at the moment I felt I had to have it.

Well, just say that I have the same weakness like all passionate bakers!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Sheen's new hobby...

...he is into making jelly.

This 1st creation was sent to my sister's place together with the black forest cake. Here's another batch: Lychee Konnyaku Jelly.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Making magic again...

Here's another go at the Alex Goh's magic bread :
A little glitch in this session - i acccidentally overdosed the salt - put in almost double the requried quantity!

Though I tried to compensate with a little more yeast, still the proofing took forever. 14 hours to be exact - 8 hours for the 1st proof, and 6 for the final.

A lesson for us is to make sure we pre-measure out all the ingredients carefully. I was lazy so I added everything into the mixing bowl. But luckily, the bread turn out good and well after all the anticipation!

This is the one with sardine and onion filling:

Presenting My First Cake Order...

This is a birthday cake for my dear brother in law. And technically this is an order. My sister paid for it :-)

She originally wanted the hazelnut mousse which I made for Sheen's 5th birthday but I have no more of the ingredients on hand... so she settled for a black forest cos her girls love it.
I do not want to have a black forest that looks exactly like a black forest... so I did mine with a light twist.
The star in the centre of the cake symbolise this role in the family!
These are the words she wanted on the cake - its her hubby's b'day on the 10th day of the 10th lunar month. I made them on a fondant which she places on the cake when ready:

Since my piping skill sucks, I relied on the letter press. It's just a pity that the letter press is not as easy to use as i wish. Putting the letters into the holder itself is a labourious task!

Looks like i should really work on my piping skills to save all the hard work.


I like to thank Anncoo for passing on the reward.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This was a 30 sec job.

I saw an old pal's sms just as I was getting ready to leave home. I quickly grab the cupcake I have on my cake server, and slap on the hazelnut ganache and sprinkle the chocolate chips. That's it.

This is a scratchy cake for a good friend's birthday... but as the saying goes "it's the thoughts that counts!".

BTW, for the record, I did try to make something more decent for D. I piped "Happy Birthday, D-----" on the cake and was mms to him. But my handwriting is so horrible, I think I should not post this pix here to save the embarrassment :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chef Alex's Magic Bread

I had such a tiring day at ICA on last Tuesday. I was there since 10am, and didn't get the papers done until past 6. A torturously long 8+ hours!

Well, just a day before I am due to leave for another work trip, I discovered to my horrors that my passport is just 1 week shy of the required 6 months validity. After making a few checks, I decided to get a Temporary Travel Document from ICA. The doc was supposed to be a couple hours job, but I brought my luggage along thinking it would give me plenty of time to get into the airport and any possible delays at the Immigration department.

The first to get the TTD was the pass the interview. For this, I waited 2 hours for my number to be flashed on the board. When I entered, I the office still talking to another elderly couple. So I back out and waited patiently outside the door.

During the 3omin wait outside the door, I saw several numbers behind me already went in and out of the door. I was quite frustrated that I am still waiting despite having a earlier number.

Finally when the couple left the room, I quickly entered, only to find that the office is not in the room. So again I back off and waited at the door. I peeped my head in and out checking if the officer is back. Finally I decided to do my feet a favour by waiting in the interview room.

Then another guy who walked past saw my sitting alone, and asked why I am in the room. I explained, then he walked away without a word.

15min later, another staff entered. Only then I learnt that the officer had gone off for break without logging off. Alamak, I was made to wait for nothing just becos of someone's silly negligence!!!

Then, the canteen was closed for renovation - so I have no means to get lunch/refreshment in the long hours there. Most people walked out to the nearby coffeeshop but it is difficult for me with the full pack luggage. Good detox day for me, I console myself.

To cut the long story short, the day at ICA must have been 1 of the more stressful one in my 30 plus years! At the end of the day, I just have to call up to make arrangements to cancel my flight and hotel reservations.

When I got home in the night, I head to the kitchen to make bread. I need my therapy!

Fortunately, this recipe didn't disappoint me.

Basic Sweet Bread dough
Recipe from Alex Goh "Magic Bread"
100g bread flour
70g boiling water
300g bread flour
100 plain flour
80g sugar
6g salt
20g milk powder
9g instant yeast (I used 23g fresh yeast)
175g cold water
60g cold egg (I replaced with cold water)

60g butter

1) Add boiling water from A into flour, mix until well blended to form a dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Keep it into fridge for at least 12 hrs. (I only left it in fridge for 1 hour)

2) Mix B until well blended. Add in C and knead to form rough dough. Add in A and knead till well-blended.

3) Add in D and knead to form elastic dough
4) Let it proof for 40mins. (mine took over 90min, thanks to the year end rains and cold nights. Just make sure the dough double in size, no matter how long it takes.)
5) Divide the dough into required weight and mould it round. Rest it for 10mins and ready to use.

I made them in my new pullman loaf pan (baking time 50min @180C). Based on the calculations, I should need 665g of dough which it didn't really filled up the pan. I think it's becos I didn't wait long enough for the 2nd proof. They should have raised to at least 80% of the pan before putting into the oven. I waited for over an hour, then decided to call it a night while keeping my fingers crossed.

When I sliced the bread, the centre part is a bit dense, without the airy holes like the sides. Luckily it is only the centre... The overall bread is still good.

On the way to the airport on Wednesday, I brought the whole loaf to my parents. My mum told me over dinner just now that my dad finished up the bread on the very same day. He said the bread is too good... he had to have bread for dinner.

Music to my ears!

It is a great combination - sweetness from bread + spiciness from the otah!

For the extra dough I made them into sausage roll for Sheen. You see, i am still practicing hard on the shaping. Thanks to blessedhomemaker's help, I am making some progress in the pleating.

It's a wonder how much happier one can get after a breadmaking session! Magic indeed!

Flaky Mooncake

I made these teochew flaky mooncake when clearing the fridge - badly needed more storage space in preparation for Sheen birthday party!

I used the recipe from Anncoo - do see her blog for the photo illustration to get the layering. Actually the colour won't show up if you are deep-frying them. But it's a lot easier for me to differentiate the oil and water dough.

I fried some, and baked some. I felt so guilty to say that the deep fried ones taste much better! Yum!

Monday, November 16, 2009

That day I runied a Butter Cake

Few months back I was chatting with some colleagues about butter cake. One of the guys mentioned the old fashion butter, you know the know that is utterly rich, arteries-blocking type. And the other said Golden Churn.

That rings a bell. I have bookmarked a recipe from Florence. I made a promise to the group that i will make one for them.

It was months later that I finally get down to bake the cake. And gave it to my colleague TC when we met up at the Cafe.

I made 2 mini loaf - gave 1 away and kept the another one for myself. It was much later in the night I tested it that I realised that it was too dry and too hard. It shouldn't have been given out in the first place!!!

From here I learn my lession - never serve anything before I have tested it!

Sheen's 5th Birthday

I'm wishing you another year

Of laughter, joy, and fun,

Surprises, love and happiness,

And when your birthday's done,

I hope you feel deep in your heart,

As your birthday's come and go,

How very much you mean to me,

More than you can know

Author: Joanna Fuchs

The original plan was to bake a 10" round cake with edible image, plus another 10 cupcakes with the 10 aliens as cake topper.

This fondant omnitrix was meant to go on top of the main cake. But as I go along, I found that's just ain't enough space to put those cookie-cutter-alphabets on the main cake, leave alone the omnitrix. That's not the only problem.

First, the image sheet I got has only 8 aliens. Ghost freak and Echo Echo is missing. Don't ask why. I also don't know.

Then, the fondant topper didn't dry after 2 days of sitting in the aircon bedroom.

On Friday night, I re-made all the topper, adding gum tragacanth to fondant to firm it up.

After I am over and done with the fondant, I tried practicing piping the writings with fresh cream. Had I been able to make the words any eligible, you would have seen them here. Bo Bian, take out all the fondant tools again, and the letter press set. My saviour:

Fortunately all went well after a night of airconditioning.

Go on baby, make a wish:

Sheen is elated to get a big birthday present:

Happy Birthday to you... and to my 5 fabulous years of motherhood:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sheen asked for a Hello Kitty Cake for...

Sheen requested that I made a Hello Kitty for his "girlfriend" cos she likes Hello Kitty too:

He said "when a boy likes a girl, he has to make her happy!"

Yes of course, my boy.

Mummy gladly obliged!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bubur Terigu (大麦)

It is interesting how 1 blog can inspire the 2nd, then the 3rd... Haha, I made this 大麦 after reading her post, which she did after reading it in 阿豐 .

It's good isn't it? I hope more people will take time to cook for their beloved family. I was a little sad when my hong kong colleagues told me the "normal" family do not cook at home. That explains why all the restaurants in HK are doing a roaring business!

Anyway I derailed.

I bought the wheat from NTUC. Had wanted to use her recipe but was too lazy to write it down or to connect my notebook to the printer. I started to thumb thru my collection of the recipe book.
I settled on this from late Mrs Leong Yee Soo's "The best of Singapore Cooking".
Bubur Terigu

115g sugar*
285g palm sugar
225ml water
8 pandan leaves

55g quick cooking oats**
285ml water

680g grated coconut ***
¼ tsp salt **
285ml water **
285g biji terigu
1.7L water
Thickening: 3 tablespoon flour to mix with 170ml water
  1. boil A for 10min and strain
  2. mix B and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  3. squeeze coconut for no. 1 milk. Add salt and set aside.
  4. add 285 ml water to coconut and squeeze for no. 2 milk.
  5. soak biji terigu in cold water for 10min, drain. Pound to break up the terigu. Bring it to boil with 1.7L water. Cook until terigu is tender and swelling. Reduce heat.
  6. pour (1), (2) and thickening into the pot. Add no. 2 milk and boil for 2min. remove from heat.
  7. serve in individual bowl with a topping of 2 tbsp No. 1 milk. Serve hot.
My notes:
* I didn't use white sugar. Only use palm sugar cos it has a better aroma. Also I do not like it too sweet.

** I used rolled oats instead of quick-cooking oats cos this is what I have at home. It just take a few more minutes to cook.
*** I used Kara ready to use coconut cream. I always keep a pack at home for cooking in a whim!
Adding the oat may seem a little strange initially, I was glad I didn't omit. It makes the bubur more creamy and gooey. There's no oat taste at all, if you are concern.
Although I only made 1/4 of the recipe, it is still relatively huge amount for me since I am the only person eating these. Had wanted to bring some to mum, but only after cooking I found out that she has gone travelling! Wow, she more happening than me.
The balance went to my colleagues; they confirmed this is better than those sold in the dessert stall.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sol Playground Cafe

Like to share this child-friendly restaurant with the fellow mummies - Sol Playground Cafe at Turf City.
I used to go the Globetrotter at United Square - they have a separated play area for kids. The best part is that they are being monitored by few staff who are called "play assistant".

Unfortunately the restarant has long gone.

I was quite glad to stumble on the another fun themed restaurant when least expected. It is tucked at one end of the building.

We ordered Sheen favourite pizza, and he gladly sat all by himself on the kids' furniture.

While we were there, we found out that there are face- and hand-painting and balloon-sculpting activities on Sundays. Sheen asked if we can take him there on Sunday again...
Sure, my baby!

Cost of the dinner (including drinks) for my family of 3 = $120.
Freedom to eat in peace = PRICELESS!
Sol Playground Café
#01-21 Turf City, 200 Turf Club Road
Telephone 6467 8681