Friday, January 23, 2009


Happy & Prosperous Lunar New Year to All.
My bakery is closed for the rest of the month so that this exhausted baker can take a break!

See you back in February. In the meantime, do enjoy some family time with your loved ones!

Cookie Avalanche

I have been churning out jars of cookies from my lil' kitchen recently. All the cookies recipes that I have dog-eared in the last few month finally get tested out. My family are not so keen in cakes and cookies... so these cookies were packed and given as gift to friends and relatives!

The last one (hopefully so) is the cashew nut cookie, a recipe that adapted from here.


  • use cashew nuts instead of the premium macadamia nut (see boss, I am also affected by the economic downturn)

  • eggless - replace egg with 60ml of Bailey's.

Cashew Nut Cookies

280g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
120g unsalted butter, softened
100g fine sugar
50g light brown sugar (do not replace with white sugar)
60ml Baileys
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
50ml grapeseed oil
250g lightly toasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped


  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.

  2. Beat butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar for a few minutes till fluffy.
    Beat in Baileys & vanilla essence gradually to butter mixture (with the mixer still on).
    Add cooking oil. Beat till well combined.

  3. Add butter mixture to flour mixture & nuts. Fold till combined. Do not overhandle the dough.

  4. Preheat oven till 180°C.

  5. Scoop 1 teaspoon of dough and shape into a ball. Arrange dough on the tray about 2 inches apart.

  6. Bake for 14 minutes till golden brown.

  7. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 100pcs.

Notes :

Interestingly though the recipe is quite the same, the cookies looked rather different. The last one spread more. This one looks puffier and with the cracks which I think adds character. If cookie has gender, this is a macho man!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Strawberry ShortCake

I modified a shortcake recipe to use up the dried strawberries that I have bought awhile back.

125g butter, softened
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. strawberry emulco (avail from Phoon Huat)
1 ½ cup self-raising flour } sifted together
1/2 cup icing sugar } sifted together
½ cup. dried strawberries, chopped

1. Cream the butter until light. Stop when butter drop from the spoon with a gentle flick. If it is overcreamed, the cookie will spread too much. Add milk & emulco and beat until combine.

2. Add sifted flour & sugar mixture and mixed until all the flour is no longer visible. Add in the dried strawberries. Shape it with a cookie scoop or measuring spoon for even shapes.

3. Place on a lined baking pan and bake in preheated 175C oven for 15 minutes or until lightly brown on edges.

The colour looked impossibly red before baking:

the colour is muted when baked:

The candy that was placed on top melted. tsk.


The cookie is crispy type (the way I like), but the strawberries bits part are chewy. The strawberries taste is not very distinct, even the dried strawberries does not really very berry. But the colour makes a interesting snack for kids. Sheen specifically asked me to pack these in his school bag!

Peanut Butter Cookie

Carrie is a young passionate baker... I was quietly impressed by this lad when I saw her stuff. I was busy pat-tho at her age!

This recipe was taken from one of her post... it was one of the simplest recipe I have seen - there only 4 ingredients: peanut butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla ess. And it is vegan!

I love all things SIMPLE, and so I go:

When I was stirring, I suspected it was a goner cos the dough was very very dry.

When it was baked, I knew I was rrrright!

The cookie was hard like a stone. If I'd attempt to bite it off, I may need a new set of dentures!

Well, this could be attributed to the different type of peanut butter... each brand has different make up... and these will directly affect the cookie when used in baking. Do check out her brand of pb if you like to try it out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pineapple Tarts

No New Year is complete without pineapple tarts. Yet, I have morbid fear in making these; Hard work, Hard work, Hard work and more hard work...

  • Hard work making the pineapple jam,

  • Hard work rolling out the dough and

  • More hard work trying to shed the extra weight gained from these little devilish tart.

Last year when I made these, I told myself "last time liao, next year no more... siong!" This year I said the same to myself as I cooked the pineapple... haha. It is such a tradition, oh my oh my dear pineapple tarts!!!

It is so cumbersome; as I am shaping these little tarts, I told myself whoever darn complain how expensive pineapple tarts are, I will ask them f***off =p

See, the stress is so much that even the ladle couldn't handle:

Sigh. But what needs to be done, needs to be done...

I won't post the pineapple jam recipe here cos there are many many many on-line recipes that you can use. Personally I do think it's the pineapple rather than the recipe that will make a difference in the final result of your jam.

I am sharing the melt-in-your-mouth dough which is eggless to encourage bakers to use less egg:

Eggless Pineapple Tarts
360g plain flour plus extra for dusting
40g icing sugar
300g cold salted best quality butter
1 tsp vanillin

1) Sift flour, sugar and vanillin. Mix Well. Cut butter into small cubes and add to flour mixture. Continue to cut the butter with your spatula, and coat with the flour until they are really tiny. Use fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it combine to form a dough.

2) Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper if not using the individual paper case.

3) Divide the dough into small balls. Put a pineapple jam on it and wrap the dough around the jam. Repeat until all the dough or jam is used up.

4) Place a clove on each tart to make it look like a tangerine. this step is optional.

5) Preheat oven to 190C.

6) Bake for 5 mins at 190C, then next 15min at 160C. Allow tarts to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

my notes:
  • icing sugar prevents the dough from spreading too much in oven.

  • vanillin is the powder form of vanilla extract. It reduces liquid into the dough which is already very soft by itself.

  • Use the best quality butter you can afford for this dough. They make a difference. Best is the tin -type of butter

  • rubbing in-method: you will not get to the 'breadcrumbs' stage as the proportion of butter to flour is too high to stay as breadcrumb.

  • No point to chill the dough; When it is out of the fridge, it is too hard to be rolled and moulded. Once it is soft enough to be rolled, it will be sticky again. Just get use to it. You will.

  • Divide the dough into equal portion ensure you get evenly sized tarts. I used 10ml pineapple + 10ml dough. This gives you very thin dough.

  • I bake my tarts in a small paper liner - it helps to retain the shape better. If you do not, reduce the baking time by a few minutes.

  • Becos this is eggless, the tarts are softer (and weaker) than those with eggs since egg actually strengthen the structure. The paper liner here will help to ensure the tart stays better in the container too. Also, the colour will appear paler; if you prefer a richer colour, add some egg yellow colouring (avail at Phoon Huat).

recipe adapted from Delicious Asian Sweet Treat by Oi Lin

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cornmeal Cookie

Look at the clean neat edges... no spreading!

The original recipe came from Nic's Baking Sheet. I decided to replace the citrus fruits cos I already have the orangey cornflakes cookie. I don't want all my cookies to taste similar.

Also no cranberry cos I am going to make this into rollout cookie. The presence of cranberry nibblets may add challenges to cookie cutting.

I looked into my "inventory", and settled for Rum.

Cornmeal Cookies
adapted from
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp rum
2 cups ap flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla and rum
    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking power and salt.

  2. Working in two or three additions, mix flour mixture into butter mixture by hand or with a mixer at low speed. Dough will be crumbly. Press dough down with your hands, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (I left it overnight).

  3. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Roll out the dough between 2 grease proof paper. Cut with cookie and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cookies will not spread very much at all, so there is not need to leave a lot of space.

  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until just browned on the bottom edge.

  5. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.

  6. Store in an airtight container.

Cookie rolling & cutting is quite tedious for me... so for the rest of the dough, I simply roll it up like a log, and sliced. Coating the log with some hundreds and thousands adds a playful touch!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cornflake Cookie

This cornflake cookie has been on my to-bake list for the longest time. When I first saw the recipe at Florence's blog, I chop-chop bought a big pack of cornflake which have been atop the kitchen cabinet for few lonely months.

The timing was just right when I picked up some pretty paper liners and "gourmet butter" Elle & Vire (on offer at Shermay - $16 for 1kg) decided to add this to my Chinese new year goodies.

Changes that I made:
  • This is made eggless, as I always do to my cookies.

  • I rolled the cornflakes on the outside, just coating the cookie, as oppose to adding it to the cookie dough.

  • I added more stuff (orange water & liqueur) to accentuate the orange flavour. Right choice!

  • I doubled the portion and got about 60 pcs.

Cornflake Cookie

Adapted from Florence : Doing What I Like

220g butter (room temperature)
100g castor sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla paste (avail from Sun Lik, see pic on right)
1 tbsp orange water (avail from Shermay)
1 tbsp Cointreau (an orange liqueur, optional)
zest from 1 orange
300g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
60-70g cornflakes, lightly crashed

1. Sieve flour together with baking powder and baking soda.
2. Cream butter with sugar and salt till creamy.
3. Add vanilla paste, orange water and cointreau and mix till well combined.
4. Stir in the orange zest.
5. Fold in the sieved flour mixture. Mix till you get a soft dough.
6. Divide dough into equal pieces and shape into ball.
7. Roll the ball in a bowl of crashed cornflakes to coat it fully.
8. Bake at 175C for 18 - 20 minutes or till golden brown.

Out of the oven!

Love it - another keeper!

Saving for my tea!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chocolate Pyramid Cake

I am clearing my annual leave prior to the next assignment... and took the opportunity to spring clean my cabinets for the upcoming CNY! I found a Betty Crocker Cake Mix lurking at the back of my cabinet. I must have bought them more than a year ago, before baking-age. I have clean forgot about it. Fortunately it has not expired so I used it up on the day.

The recipe was given by my colleague Jas...

Double Chocolate Bundt Cake
1 box Choc Cake Mix
1 package "Jell-O" instant pudding Chocolate flavour
1 small sour cream light (I used yogurt)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

  2. In mixing bowl blend all the ingredients using electric mixer until smooth, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Grease and flour a cake pan. Important otherwise it will be hard to get out of pan.

  4. Pour batter into pan and bake at 180 to 190C for 45 to 50 minutes.
    Test the cake to see if done depending on your oven it could take another 5-10 min.

  5. Let cake sit for 5 minutes to settle and then turn onto cake plate.

The original recipe was to bake it in a bundt pan but I made mine in loaf pan cos I was thinking of trying out the little pyramid which I saw in Alex Goh's book.

The cake is very moist, dark (I added my valrhona cocoa powder cos I like strong cocoa taste), and soft. So soft that it was almost impossible to make this pyramid. In the end there are some tears in the cake of which I tried to patch up using the buttercream. Heehee.

The process is not difficult but will be quite wordy to explain here. If you are keen, it will be easier to refer to the illustration in Alex's book; a picture paints a thousand word!

My parting word, don't ever bother to attempt this pyramid with the cake mix. It makes you want to sit on the floor and drink bleach!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Insanely Crunchy?

The recipe was from Kitchen Capers. I was enticed by the name, "Insanely Crunchy Cookies", cos I love my cookies crispy and crunchy.

I followed the recipe exactly but omitted the egg.

I baked in 2 batches:
In the first batch I tried to use only 170C (cos low temperature yield more crispy cookies) but in the end the cookie spread alot in the oven. It went into the oven as a fat little ball, but came out like a deflated balloon.

In the 2nd batch, I turned up the temp to 200C in the first 3 min so as to set the shape first. It ended up flat like the prata too!

Possible culprit(s) are:

  • Omission of egg: apart from adding liquid, the egg white also provide strength to the cookie to hold the structure together. Leaving out the egg may have cos weakened the ability of the cookie holding itself together, hence the spread.

  • To mitigate, I may add 1 or 2 tsp more of flour to check it out.

  • The butter and shortening may have been overcreamed. Next round I will ensure that the mixture is just light,. Then stop.

Taste Test:

  • Both batches I made char very quickly hence the need to remove them from the oven before time's up. The thin cookie was a little chewy (where it was suppose to be crunchy).

  • The vanilla barely has it's presence. Next round I will add 1 tsp more.

  • Everything else is ok... well, anything contains choc can't be too bad agh.

I will only try this in my free time cos I am not really keen in this recipe; It uses vegetable shortening which means the unhealthy transfat. But in the spirit of learning and exploring I may just make another batch. :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cornmeal Cookie Premix

To be honest, I never quite like premix, be it cookie or cake. I do not know why, it's just a natural resistance. Perhaps I am a control freak who likes to know exactly what goes into my cookie. But after seeing Oi Lin's blog & Freda, a fellow coursemate at BIY, I decided to give it a go!

The cookie dough is quite sturdy, which makes it suitable for roll-out or cookie press. I shape it into rounds and slightly flatten it with fork to get the decorative lines

Taste Test:

My hubby commented that these cookies lack the aroma. Not sure if he meant aroma like Famous Amos :-)

Personally I think this is easy and convenient way to get a home-made cookies for busy mothers. I would probably try add some rum to it to see if the favour improves. Else, I will move on to play with other recipes!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

American Carrot Cake

The carrot has been sitting in the freezer for weeks... waiting to be baked. In my minuscule effort save the suffering egg-hen, I set myself a monthly egg quota. This quota has been used up due to several birthdays of late. Tsk.

I tried hard to find a eggless carrot cake. There ain't any. Don't ask me why. And for god's sake DON'T remind me of my failed eggless sponge!

When I entered the new month, first thing first was to clear this pathetic cup of carrot in my freezer! I make sure this is a worthy recipe to sacrifice the precious eggs

Carrot Cake
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 ½ cup plain flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. bicarb. soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
1 1/2 cup shredded carrot

  1. Beat sugar, oil and eggs for 5 mins. It should be whiter and fluffy, with its volume at least doubled.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, bicarb.and add to the sugar mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  3. Lastly fold in the carrots and nuts.
  4. Bake in a well-greased tin at 180 degrees C. My loaf pan takes 35min with heating core, and 20min for cupcakes,.

Baker's Notes:
  • It is moist and yummy. You can see the carrots bits - healthy and wholesome. Just like me.
  • Oil: Next time I will use 1~2 tbsp less as the liner was very oily. I would replace it with pineapple juice (or any other liquid) to compensate for the loss in fat.
  • Walnuts: I use only ¼ cup as I am not NUTS about nuts. Anyway, nuts contains good oil which your body needs. If you like the nutty texture, do ahead to use 1/2 cup!
  • Yield: 1 loaf pan + 6 cupcake.

Personally I like cinnamon... lots of it... so it's extra dash of cinnamon for me!

This cute one is for Sheen... needless to say!

The rest, I brought to my only sis!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crispy Coffee Almond Cookie

I had been churning out several "prototypes" of the Le Cafe wannabe in my little kitchen since November... some are outright horrendous that the entire batch went into the chute, and some are good but lack oomph.

After all my month's of R&D, I am happy when someone complimented the latest creation of the version 3.2:

I met up with my pals on the christmas eve (now you know how far back am I in this post), I also brought along some cookies from previous batch for tasting and comparison... Quite glad that the testers agreed unanimously that the latest batch is the best!

For cocoa powder, it is obvious that the valrhona is far superior than the others; when I compare cookie baked with other dutch-processed cocoa powder (side by side), this one has a deep dark hue and deep chocolate aroma!

This prompts me to go get the Cacao Barry, a premuim belgian cocoa powder. I have never used this before. I have been hear from many bakers raved of it's quality... I would save my comment till I've tried-and-tasted!
I packed this into small packs for my appreciative friend.

In return I got a big big present:
If you are reading this, pal, pls do not bother with the formalities next time... otherwise I very "pai-say" to send you my cookies.