Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sheen's new toy...

Sheen was taken on a vegetable farm visit recently, and brought back a pack of Hydroponic Kit consisting of a sponge foam, net pots, packet of Kang Kong seeds and nutrient solution.

This is how we started a new hobby at home.

This is how it looked on the 3rd day. Some seeds already sprout. The gaps are the "early bloomer" which have been transferred to the net pot. Those are didn't sprout remain status quo for the next 2 weeks.

Incidentally, it's Earth-Hour today. I am joining the intiative with other cities around the world to turn off our lights for Earth Hour, from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Switching off our lights is a small act on our part, but that means we give our vote to Earth.

Did you?


Oh Chin Huat Hydroponic Farms (Pte) Ltd
14A Bah Soon Pah Road Singapore 769970
Tel: 6753-8011

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the secret of the muffin dome

I was a little obsessed about creating the dome on muffin. Today I am trying out the little trick that i learnt... and I think I am getting close!

As posted in the last post, the trick is to preheat the muffin tray. When it reaches 200C, take out the tray then fill it up with batter all the way to the top.

The muffin is still as moist and soft as the previous... Yum Yum.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

One Pot Rice

I used to be quite helpless at cooking rice despite it being my staple food. Some days I am lucky, but most of the time it is gluey and sticky. Then I started to pick up some tips from cooking class:

  • Rinsing rice helps get rid of any starch and impurities. Rinse until the water is clear and not cloudy.
  • Use 1 cup rice to 1.5cup water.
  • Remove the lid to allow steam to escape when the rice is cooked. This allows extra moisture to evaporate and for the rice to be tender and separated.
  • Fluff up the rice with a fork before serving.

This is the quick meal that I cooked up when Sheen asked for some food on a lazy Saturday noon.
I used ingredients like dried shrimp, chinese sausage, bak-kwa, chinese mushroom and mixed vegetables to come up with this one-pot rice in a flash.

Sheen likes it very much cos it taste just like his favourite glutinous rice, except it is using brown rice and with add veg!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Eggless Strawberry White Chocolate Muffin

I find myself going for easier & simpler (often healthier too) recipe of late. Muffin comes top of the list being fuss-less, egg-less and becos it uses oil (instead of butter), it is also healthier.

Grapeseed oil is my preferred veg oil as I read from a study that it raises HDL (the good cholesterol) and reduce LDL (yep, bad cholesterol).

It costs more than other veg oil as the grapeseed has a lower yield i.e. it gets a lower percentage of oil as compared to other oil-producing seeds, nuts, or beans.

Strawberry White Chocolate Muffins (eggless)
Adapted from To-Die-For Blueberry Muffin

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2/3 cup strawberry milk
75g cup chopped dried strawberries
75g white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease bottom of muffin tray or line with muffin liners.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and/or soda).
3. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add enough milk to fill the cup.
4. Add the wet ingredients (oil+milk) into dry ingredients (as in step2). Fold in strawberries & choc chips. Fill muffin cups right to the top.
5. Bake for 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Bake notes:

  • ensure the oven was very hot at >200C so that the muffin will not overflow. You may need a oven thermometer to do this - my temperature knob had to be tuned to 250C to reached 200C)

  • I had a nice dome out of the muffin this time round! But the white choc toppings got burnt after 10min, so I had to turn the oven to bottom heat only, and tent the muffin top.

  • I learnt that another trick to get those high dome rises is to heat the muffin tray inside the oven while it is preheating... I will try this next time round.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I eat pulot hitam out of my coffee machine...

I am kidding not. I was packing my breakfast this morning, and the raw black glutinous rice caught my attention. I just feel like having it today. I grab the pack and left for work.

While driving I was working out in my head; how to fix it with the microwave in the office pantry. When I step into my room, I saw the coffee percolater... why not?

The only problem is that it only turn mushy after lunch.... about the same amount of time required in slow cooker. Anyway, it was in time for my afternoon break so I can't complain!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My sad sad Vegan Tofu Cheesecake

This has been a constipated recipe that took me a long long while to figure out. Far challenging than I thought!

This is my fourth attempt at it and I am and embarassed to say that the recipe is still a WIP; the cake is still lack structure. The problem is either too little konnyaku powder or I have not processed this correctly. I stirred in the saucepan over low fire until it dissolved. I do not know if it's necessary to bring it to boil for it coagulate.

Sorry Chunpman , after the long wait this is all you get :-(


Vegan Tofu Cheesecake *

* Recipe still under construction. Use it at your own risk :-)


70g digestive biscuits (I made my own vegan shortbread)
30g butter (see note1)
250g siken tofu
180g pineapple juice
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp konnyaku powder
30g honey
50g lemon juice (3tbsp+1tsp)

1. preheat oven to 180C. lightly grease a 6” springform pan. (or 5" if you want it taller)
2. crush biscuit and press biscuit & butter into the pan. bake for 10min. leave to cool.
3. in a pot, heat pineapple juice to near boil. Dilute cornstarch with some hot pineapple juice in a bowl. Then add to the pot. Add konnyaku powder gradually, and stir until dissolves. leave to cool (~30min).
4. in a blender, combine tofu, honey, lemon juice with pineapple juice mixture and blend for 1 min.
5. pour the blended mixture onto the baked crust and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
6. serve cold, and enjoy plain or decorated with fruits.


Note 1: I must confess that using butter rendered this cheese non-vegan though it can be easily addressed by using margarine. My colleague told me he gets non-hydrogenated margarine (which means it contains no trans-fat) in Melbourne but I have yet to find them on our shelves.

Incidentally, I find it convenient to use the individually packed butter when the recipe calls for small amount. Each pack is 10g, so I just take out the number required each time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Macaron Tartlette: where's my feet?

I have to say upfront that I do not like to eat Macaron. It is so sacchariny sweet that acts on my sensitive teeth, making me grimace!

I only take this as a challenge... you know how tricky it is to make macarons; the batter cannot be too thick or too thin, cannot make on a rainy day, oven cannot be too hot, cannot use fresh egg (who keeps stale egg at home, btw) blah blah blah....

I thought the macaron tartlet will be just right for me since it is half challenge (macaron top) and half to savour (tart).

As it turned out, my macaron had no feet... which does not qualify as macaron... As to why there's no feet; I honestly do not know. I had followed the recipe to a T; egg white was aged for 48 hours, full quantity of sugar; weather was hot and sunny day....

Anyway while you are at this, take a look at Aunty's beautiful Tartlette. YES, it is mean to be this beautiful!

PS: Am not posting the recipe cos Aunty Yochana is conducting classes on these tartlette, so it is inappropriate for me to post the recipe.

Monday, March 16, 2009

now I know...

Mar 16
Weather: Drizzle

Sheen: Mama, why are you wet?

Me: It's raining, mama does not have an umbrella.

Sheen turned to J: Papa, next time raining can you give mama an umbrella?

Now I know... Sheen really loves his mummy!

Sheen can never have enough chocolate cake, so this is for my young man:

This pix is shot by the little baker himself... see his 2 little feet!

Microwave Claypot Chicken Rice

The recipe is from Su, a very talented young lady whose forte is actually baking. I always drool over her beautiful creations!

Ingredients :
1 cup rice
300ml water
1 tbsp chopped garlic
20gm salted fish (I omit)
2-4 tbsp oil

Ingredients A:
250g chicken pieces
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp thick soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
15 g shredded ginger
4 pcs black mushroom - quartered

1. Wash the rice and soak in water for 10 minutes.
2. Cover the rice and cook for 10 mins on power medium.
3. In a microwave-safe dish, brown the garlic and oil together for 2-2.5 mins on power high. Then add the salted fish and cook for 0.5 to 1 minute on power high.
4. Add Ingredients A to the garlic oil & salted fish, and mix well.
5. Pour this mixture on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 5-6 mins on power medium. Let it stand for 10 mins and serve.

  • I usually use the standard cup (180ml) which comes with the rice cooker. But looking at the proportion of water, I used the 240ml baking cup.

  • I used boneless and skinless chicken breast. to improve the flavour, I marinated it overnight with 1 tsp chinese wine, 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp abalone sauce. I'm not sure if this step does anything to tenderise the meat, but I would do it anyway.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sweet and Simple Bakes: Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sweet and Simple Bakes: Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies

I missed last month's SSB Cherry Bakewell Cake as I couldn't ditch my old habit of procrastination; I missed the deadline. This time round, I start early. You see, I am repentant :-)

The night when I felt inspired enough to get cracking, I got into some technical problem with this recipe; my cookie dough turn out to be dry and stiff... not sure if it is becos I replaced the egg with milk (I do that for most of my cookie, btw). As I was mixing, I dropped everything and went running to my notebook to seek help. The advice didn't come as instantly... so I there I sat staring at the bowl of cookie dough... Goner.

To cut the long story short, I went ahead to bake this (not a matter of option agh).

Man, glad I did... it was soft and chewy! Kahlua and vanilla extract were an aromatic combination. It may sound like an overkill, but I lurve it! It doesn't hurt knowing that the rolled oats has the health benefits (see below)!

The taste reminds me of Uncle Toby's Chewy Choc Chips... something that I used to munch on when burning midnight oil in office when I first started out in the engery sector. Those were the days... but no thanks, I do not reminisce the killing long hours. Now, I rather save the killer hours for the 2 Bs - Bevis & Baking.

Back to the cookie - I have to thank Maria and Rosie, the host of Sweet and Simple Bake for the lovely cookie.

Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Sweet and Simple Bakes

110g (4oz) butter, softened
110g (4oz) caster sugar
110g (4oz) soft brown sugar
1 egg - * I replaced with milk
2 tbsp water - * I replaced with kahlua
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g (9oz) porridge oats (rolled oats) - I only managed to stir in 200g into the stiff dough.
110g (4oz) self-raising flour
1 level tsp salt
110g (4oz) chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF), Gas Mark 4.

  2. Cream the butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until soft. Add the sugars and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the milk*, kahlua* and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

  3. Stir in the oats, flour, salt and chocolate to form a dough.

  4. Using your hands, roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place slightly apart on two baking trays.

  5. Bake in the oven for 12-25 minutes or until light golden brown but still slightly soft in the centre. Allow to cool on the trays for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool


5 quick benefits of rolled oats:

  1. Daily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can lower blood cholestrol, due to its soluble fiber content.

  2. It may reduce the risk of heart disease, when combined with a low-fat diet. This is because of the beta-glucan in the oats.

  3. Rolled oats have also long been a staple of many athletes' diets, especially weight trainers; given oatmeal's high content of complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fiber which encourages slow digestion and stabilises blood-glucose levels.

  4. Oatmeal porridge also contains more Vitamins B and calories than other kinds of porridges.

  5. Cooked oatmeal has a lower GI value (glycemic index) than has uncooked, because cooking releases water-soluble fiber from the grain. These fibers release glucose very slowly.

Nutrient Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pineapple Muffin with Wholemeal Strussel

This is the same recipe, but (i) replaced the fruits with pineapple, (ii) using the wholemeal flour(instead of plain flour) for the strussel, (iii) used an egg.

(i) the fruit is ok but it is too heavy.... all sunk to the bottom. Perhaps chopping it more finely will help, I wonder.

(ii) the intent to make it more fibrous by using wholemeal flour was a flop. It turned out to be so hard... so next time if you want healthier choice: go for 30min jog after the muffin or.... just look at the picture :-)
(iii) I think I will need to do a blind test for the "egged" & "eggless" version to see if it makes any difference to the flavour. Till then, I will gladly make them eggless.

Btw, I was glad to have achieved the peaky top that I adores!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

betty bake a better butter cake

It has been a while since I made some buttercream. An "addicted" colleague who absolutely adores buttercream gently reminded me that.

This is the same butter cake recipe. I just dressed them up with some buttercream and heart-shaped candies

I realised that my photography really CMI (cannot make it). How I envy other bloggers who can showcase their pretty cake with great photography. J counts photography as his hobby but had never offer to take any photo for me.... $#%&*!

Caffe Pralet

Finally I set my foot into Cafe Pralet, an extension of the culinary school Creative Culinaire.

The first time, it was a weekday afternoon, so the place was quiet and serene. Perfect for a lazy afternoon tea.

2nd visit on a Saturday afternoon. There were 2 big groups... so you can imagine the noise level in a carpet-less, curtain-less confined space!!!

Ambience apart, the food is really good. In 2 trips, we tried Low Calorie Laksa (on both occasions - I love it!), Herb Grill Pork Chop with Black Pepper Sauce, Chicken and Sausage baked rice, summer strawberry and country apple cake.

Laksa is as "lemak" as those you get in the 5 star hotel. The menu says half the coconut milk is replaced with milk. I do not know who much truth in it but I marvel that the right level of richness despite not having the element of coconut milk. Having said my friend thought it was too rich.

Pork Chop is a tad too tough for me though the seasoning, and the sauce were flavourful!

Baked rice is pretty standard fare.

The winner is the shouldn't surprise anyone afterall this is the chef Judy Koh's forte, ya?

The apple cake is so good.... it got me wander to the school next door to see if they teach this. The apple is so fresh and crunchy that willhave you thinking you are eating the apple whole!

Summer Strwberry is layers of featherlight sponge cake with starwberry mousse. I only wished she uses Korean strawberry which is a sweeter variant.

My take: Go during off-peak hours so that you can enjoy the excellent pastries in peace. The caffe also provide free wifi so you know where to go where Starbucks is full house!

Cafe Pralet by Creative Culinaire
Eng Hoon Mansion #01-03/04
17 Eng Hoon Street,
Singapore 169767
Tel: 63241663

Sunday, March 8, 2009

soft, fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth

I learned this cheese cake at Genius r us , a culinary school for parent and child, and a place which Sheen and I absolutely enjoyed bonding over... and the best part? I need not worry about the vomitous cleaning up!

The cheesecake usually requires some skills, so I am surprised when this class was offered to masak-masak baker.

It is basically a mixture of cream cheese, milk, and butter, flour, egg yolk being folded into the stiff-whisked egg white to create the volume and leavening. If this step is done correctly, the cake will be light and airy... not quite the same as what you get in the japanese restaurant but good in it's own way.

In the class, the kids jostled to do the mixing, and in their frivolous enthusiastic, they ended up mixing (instead of folding), and losing a far bit of air in the process. The end game was a rather dense and heavy cheesecake. Moreover some blending ain't properly done, so I get some bit of the cream cheese mixture at the bottom of the cake.

So yesterday I baked another one; double the lemon juice and added zest from half a lemon. It makes the cake more tangy. I like it cos it lightens the taste of the heavy cheese.

It was brought to a family gathering and was whacked like tornado has just visited!

  • Gwen-In can't wait for the rest to finish eating before the dessert was served.

  • Sheen savouring the whipped cream. To him that's Creme de la Creme.

My bake notes :

  • The dry heat in the oven will dry up the cake, and you won't achieve the cottony texture. An easy old way is to place the baking tray over a tray of water, somewhat like the water bath, to create a steamy environment that the cheesecake thrive on. This is known as bain marie in the books.

  • Pass the cream cheese mixture through a sieve before folding in the egg white will ensure smooth batter.

  • To ensure the cake does not sink when taken out of the oven, bake at low temperature. This gives a slow and steady rise, and ensure it stays there :-)

  • After it was baked, I left the oven door ajar (half open) for 30min. I am not sure if this step applies to japanese cheesecake but I did anyway to avoid possible cracks on the cake. BTW, I noticed my cake still have small cracklines...

Unlike the european and new york cheesecake, this version is really soft, fluffy, melt in the mouth and not too sweet. But.... i won't be baking this often cos it uses helluva eggs... half of my "monthly allocation"!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bubur Pulut Hitam (黑糯米粥)

"Au Bee Bay", as it is commonly called in Singapore, is made from black glutinous rice. This black (more like deep purple than black, btw) sticky rice is natually sweet that has fiber and loads of antioxidants.

Black glutinous rice is one of the most common grain enjoyed through asia, from China to Philippines, from Japan to Indonesia.

I used to think that this au-bee-bay is very difficult to cook, and often buy the ready-to-eat from the foodcourt. Those are really overdosed on sugar that gives me toothache. I was glad to find the recipe in Lily's blog.

Black Glutinous Rice Sweet Soup
250 g black glutinous rice
50 g white glutinous rice
5 litres water
150 g sugar (or to taste)
2–3 pandan leaves, knotted
Toppings: Thick coconut milk mix with ½ tsp salt

1. Wash black and white glutinous rice thoroughly and soak overnight (or several hours to soften the grain).

2. Put rice and water into a crockerpot and cook over medium heat until rice is soft and almost creamy.

3. When rice has reached the desired consistency, add pandan leaves and sugar. Simmer for a further 10–15 minutes over gentle heat. (Sugar should never be added in the beginning of cooking).

4. Serve with coconut cream.

  • This portion is really huge due to the g. rice swells and expands when cooked. For a family of 4, halved the portion. Any leftover can be kept in the fridge for 3 days.

  • White glutinous rice makes the soup smooth and creamy - soemthing I learn from Lily.

  • Pandan leave adds a sweet aroma to the dish.

  • Soaking make the rice softer but I didn't plan in advance, so I just wash and dump into the crockerpot. It'll take a longer while more to be cooked. I left it to cooke overnight, and next morning, ready to pack for breakfast!

  • I use rock sugar instead of granulated sugar - Chinese believes it is nutritionally superior to ordinary sugar and tastes better.

In Singapore and Malaysia, this is cooked with more liquid so that it is like a sweet soupy dessert. In Thai, it is cooked with more coconut and less liquid and eaten like a pudding.

PS: I do not know why I have this infactuation with the tai-ji symbol... I have been thinking about this whenever I eat the black porridge.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

urban legend chocolate cookie (eggless)

This is quite a passe recipe, actually. You must have heard this two-fifty story a million times but even if you couldn't be bothered with the origin, you gotta try this cookie. It is amazingly good! A good recipe is meant to be timeless!

I have adapted mine to be eggless, and less diabetic.

Urban Legend Chocolate Cookie

200 g butter, softened
100 g white sugar
120 g packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coffee liquor (I use kahlua)
1 tbsp milk
220 g all-purpose flour (I use Gold Medal Unbleached Flour, 10%)
180 g rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
300 g semisweet chocolate chips
100 g milk chocolate, grated
160 g chopped walnuts

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Measure oats into a blender or food processor, and then blend to a fine powder. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Slowly beat in the milk, coffee liquor, eggs and vanilla. You may use an electric mixer if you want.

3) In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, salt and baking powder. Stir dry ingredients into creamed butter and sugar. Add chocolate chips, grated chocolate, and nuts. Do this step with your spatula, not the electric mixer.

4) Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Use your hands to press them together - it reduces the spread. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookie will be soft when it's just out of the oven but will firm up (and crisp) as it cool.

My notes:

  • Do not overcream the butter. It makes them spread more and you will get very flat cookie. Stop when the butter is smooth and visibly paler in colour.

  • Using half butter and half margaring/shortening will reduce the spread (if you really must have plump cooke) but you add transfat to your diet.

  • Kahlua adds aromatic flavour to the cookie. The alcohol will be evaporated when baked, so there's no fear for teetotaler. Replaceable with milk if you are really concerned.

  • The cookie burnt very fast. Need to keep a look out for it. Don't bother with the timer, just sit by the oven. I wept when I had to throw away a tray of charred cookie.

  • The oat, besides adding texture to the cookie, is a very smart way to add fibre to our diet. The kids didn't even realise!

  • Grated chocolate is like "layering" the chocolate flavour in this cookie. I won't skip this.

  • It is very rich with loads of choc chips - don't even think of dumping cheap choc here! You can't get away!

PS: The choc chip is overwhelming but equally irresistible!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chef Pichet's Banana Cake

Claire told me that her banana cake based upon Pichet Ong turned out great... So it was the natural choice when I have some baby banana come to close of EOL (i.e. end of life).

She's right. I baked at night, and left it to cool on the rack while I hit the sack. The next day, in a hurry to leave for work, I forgotten to bring it out. When I got home 24 hours later (with the cake being exposed on the wire rack), it was still moist and soft.

But what if I have to choose to live with only 1 banana cake?

SSB's banana bread uses rub-in method (more mess but no need to wait for butter to soften), less fat (40%), and incredibly less ingredients than this one here. The crowning glory is the orange zest which adds a magical touch to the bread!

Pichet uses a combination of sweetener & liquid (honey, to achieve the texture and aroma.

Texture wise, both are equal winner. For the simplicity and shorter prep time, my vote goes to SSB!


Banana Cake

taken from The Sweet Spot, by Pichet Ong and Genevieve Ko

1/3 cup (78g) unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup (155g) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup (85g) honey
½ cup (72g) packed light brown sugar - I used 60g
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 cup (228g) roughly mashed baby banana (about 5 pcs) - I use ~200g
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup (130g) whole-milk yoghurt or sour cream - I use Yoghurt
1 cup (155g) semi-sweet choc chips (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Light butter a 8.5x4.5” loaf pan.

  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and set aside.

  3. Put the butter, honey, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 min. Scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl, add the banana and vanilla extract, and beat on med speed until the mixture looks “broken” or lumpy, about 1 min. The banana should be smashed, with a few small chunks remaining.

  4. Turn the speed to med low and beat in egg until incorporated. Turn the speed to low and gradually add in the sifted flour mixture, mixing just until no traces of flour remain, about 10sec.

  5. Add the yoghurt and mix until the batter has only a few remaining white streaks, about 5sec. Avoid over-mixing. Gently fold in the choc chips, if desired.

  6. Transfer the batter to the greased pan. Baked in the centre of the oven until the tester inserted in the centre comes clean, about 45 min.

  7. Cool cake in the pan on the rack for 5min, then unmould and cool completely on the rack.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

who wants to live forever?

D said to me: Sasha is fortunate to have outlived Oreo and Cookie.

Left to right: Oreo, Cookie, Sasha

Honestly I do not know if it is a good thing to live a ripe old age. Not especially when you have to grapple with the age-related illness like cataract.

It all started with one eye, and recently I noticed that the other eye also develop a white membrane... My sweetest cross-angora rabbit is now over 10 years old, really old going by rabbit's average life span of 6-8years, to even wonder why it happen.

These days, I ask myself alot more whys and whats than enjoying his company.
  • should I serve his fav alfalfa or the healthier timothy?
  • should I groom him or leaving him enjoyed quiet moments?
  • should he be operated or to breathe the fresh air in darkness? (advance medical directive wil be helpful here)
I am like a parent caught in between the good and evil. But writing is good. It makes things alot clearer. I'm gonna worry less, and enjoy the last bits of our time more.
And yes, I am going to bake him the bunny cookies tonight!

Late Oreo and Cookie (left), they are brothers from the same litter

The 2 brothers used to take turns to guard the food.
Sasha will get chased away when he tried to get near.

I love the fur-ball posture that Cookie enjoyed getting into.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Milo Chocolate Chip Cookie (eggless)

I learned this cookie from my blogger friend at Berry Food. Since Sheen loves milo, I thought he would love this... It is a simple recipe which can be easily made without an electric mixer.

I stick to most part of the recipe except these few changes:
  • omitting the egg, as usual

  • slightly less sugar (but 70g is actually alright... I'm just trying out)

  • instead of beating the leaveners with butter, I sift them together with flour and only added them in the final stage.


Milo Chocolate Chip Cookie (eggless)
adapted from Berry Food

110g butter, softened to room temperature
60g castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Milo
10ml milk
60g Hershey semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
150g Gold Medal Unbleached flour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp biscarbonate of soda
some M&Ms for decorations

1. Beat butter and sugar till smooth.

2. Stop when butter is smooth like this. This is not cake, so there's no need to beat till fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla extract.

3. Add in milo first then chocolate chips.
4. Finally sift in flour mixture (flour+ cream of tartar + tsp biscarbonate of soda), and stir until till well mix. The dough is quite stiff (you can see him from where he pivot his hand on the wooden spoon), but my big boy Sheen is strong enough to manage ;-)
5. Shape the dough using a small teaspoon and place on the baking tray. No pix cos I was shaping with him, so can't take picture with my messy hands.
BTW, this is a very stiff dough which makes shaping very easy. Decorate with M&Ms if wish. I use the normal eating M&Ms which is why it cracked after baking. It should be fine if you use a baking M&Ms.
Also, this cookie only spread a little so you can do some space planning on your baking tray. Mine was too far apart liao!
6. Bake @ 175c for about 15mins. You can't miss this cos when the timing is about to be up, your kitchen will be engulfed with the milo smell!

This is a short baking session which Sheen and I enjoyed on a weekday night.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

a bread which I can't brag about

I have not blogged about any bread recently not because I was baking any, rather they have been the same old bread. Then it strike me it's time to try out a new recipe... so I went to my trusted bread book - The Handmade Loaf which has lots of fantastic recipe made without breadmaker.

I picked out this sweet bun cos we were to have a Wii party at my sister's place and I think the kiddos can't resist a sweet roll.

It took an incredible amount of time to proof so end up I brought the dough to my sister's place, continue the proofing in the car booth :-)
As you can see here, my non-baker sister's house has a oven but no wire rack... so we improvised; resting the hot bun on a pair of chopsticks. This is still better than leaving it the baking tray cos the water will condense in the baking tray and make the bun sticky wet.

Sweet Brandy Buns
Source: The Handmade Loaf, Dan Lepard
For the Ferment:
125g whole milk
50g caster sugar
150g bread flour
1 ½ tsp fresh yeast, crumbled (I use 1/2 tsp active dry yeast)
50g double cream

Whisk all the ingredients into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place (20-22C) for 30min.

For the Dough:
350g bread flour
1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
100g butter, softened
1 medium egg
50g brandy
the ferment
extra brandy for brushing the buns
extra caster sugar for dredging the buns

For the Dough:
  1. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt together, then rub the softened butter into it until there are no lumps and the flour starts to resemble fine breadcrumbs.

  2. Whisk the egg and brandy into the ferment, then work the mixture into the buttered flour, squeezing it thru your fingertips. When roughly combined, cover the bowl and leave it for 10min.

  3. Tip the dough out on to a lighted oiled work surface and knead gently for 10-15sec. Return the dough to the bowl, leave it for a further 10min, then knead once more for a further 10-15 sec. Return the dough into the bowl, leave for a further 10min then knead one final time for 10-15sec.

  4. Give the dough a turn (see basic technique), and repeat after 30min and 1 hour. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking parchment (or use well buttered brown paper).

  5. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, each weigh rougly 80g. Round each into a bun and sit them seam-side-down on a baking sheet, evenly spaced.
    Cover and leave to rise in a cool place (15-18C) for 1.5-2 hours.

  6. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
    Brush the surface of the buns with the extra brandy, then dredge them lightly with the additional caster sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15min. Then reduce the temperature to 180C (350F) and bake for further 15min until the buns are golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack. When cold, place in a paper bag (or freeze) to help them stay soft.


  • The filling was my homemade kaya... for the first time, the filling didn't leak out from the roll.

  • Unfortunately this bread wasn't the fluffy & soft as I would normally expect from Mr. Lepard. It was ok when warm, but when cold, it was dense and heavy.

I was certain that I didn't anything on the recipe nor I missed a step. Tsk tsk. Gotta to do some homework to find out what's wrong.