Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mixed Fruit Cake

My last memory of fruit cake was more than 15 years ago, when I was working in KL. My flat mate, Lora, a bubbly american baked this for us. I remembered it was dry, dense and terribly sweet which I didn't quite enjoy, to be honest. Since then I never bother to waste my calorie on another fruit cake.

My colleague requested for a fruit cake last xmas. I bought the mixed fruits and promptly basked them in a glass jar with cointreau with a view to bake it in time for xmas. But that never happens with the hectic travelling, deadlines, and 2 birthday cakes to go in Dec.

Since I now need to clear some space for the CNY bakes, I decided to bake this off. And I had to do it in the morning cos once I start my medication at noon, the splitting headache will comes. Well, then it's time for afternoon nap! That's why medical leave is for... for beauty sleeps!

I am just glad that I had used a good recipe - this requires mixing of the batter with meringue. A little more troublesome to whip up the meringue but the result says all!

Mixed Fruit Cake
adapted from Gourmet Living Magazine Dec/Jan 2010 (contributed by Yeo Li Li)

180g mixed fruit
60ml cointreau

290g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp all spice powder

250g butter
100g brown sugar

5 egg yolk
1 tbsp maple or golden syrup
2 tbsp cointreau

5 egg white
50g castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

  1. preheat oven to 170C. Prepare cupcake cases or loaf pan. Line loaf pan with greaseproof paper if using.

  2. soak A overnight or longer. I soak mine for a month at room temperature. Though it is not necessary, I want to point out that it will not go bad/mouldy... so no need to store it in fridge.

  3. sieve B together in a mixing bowl.
  4. cream C together until creamy, light and fluffy. Slowly add D and mix well.
  5. whisk egg white & cream of tartar in E until big bubbles form. Continue to beat at high speed, adding castor sugar slowly until soft peak. Mix 1/3 of the meringue into butter mixture (in step 4), add 1/3 of the flour mixture (in step 3). Repeat until all the batter is well mixed. Fold in drained mixed fruits.

  6. Pour batter into baking pan or cases. Gently tap the cake/loaf pan on the table top to release any air bubbles. The original recipe do not have this step, and I found big bubble in my cake which is not so nice. Bake, bain marie, for approx.45 min for cupcakes, 80min for loaf pan.

  7. When done, spray the balance cointreau on the surface of the cake. It keeps the cake moist and it keeps better than cake without this step. Skip this step if the cake is to be served to children.

    see the air bubble on the side of the cake?


  • While most fruit cake requires double lining the pan, I bought a thick steel pan which is for making fruit cake. It enables the cake to bake evenly without teh extra lining. Of course, you can still get nicely baked fruit cake with normal pan - just need to wrap the outside with baking papers (or old newspapers).... I only bought the pan out of whim!
  • bain marie (water bath) provides steam in the oven so that the cake will be moist.
  • Cointreau can be replaced with any liquor brandy, rum etc.
  • While the alcohol increases the flavour and shelf life of the cake, do not ever serve spiked-cake to kids; kids do not have a fully developed liver to handle the alcohol... if you must give them, lightly toast them in the oven to burn off any spirit content.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thank God...

Weekend here.


This weekend means alot to me cos since the Jan 4 I had been ill on and off. Things turned worse when I had terribly high fever on 2 weeks ago. Doc was dead sure it was a virus flu, so I was sent home with Tamiflu.

For the next 4 days I hang my life on Tamiflu... which didn't see me get any better. Every morning I woke up with the same old fever + shivers. It is quite frightening when the chill comes; I will curl in the blanket and pray to god that I will survive the day! What could be worse than the fever & chill is the side effects of Tamiflu. I believe you have all read about the side effects in the papers. Just say that my luck sucks cos I almost all the possible side effects!!!

To cut the long story short, on day 5, I am referred to the hospital where I laid for a week. Thank god I survived long enough for the healthcare professionals to eventually find out what was wrong. hahaha.

We always say that health is important. But 只有在失去, 才知道如何珍惜。

So I am going to take life easier now.

I will bake less, and enjoy the company more.
I will blog less, and chat more.


Thank God for the incident to make me realise what is important.
Thank God for my family who travel half the island to visit me every day without fail.
Thank God for my colleagues and friends who visited me with all the nice goodies.
Thank God for everything!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia Bread (Bread Mix)

Once a while my itchy fingers will pick up the ready mix at the supermarket shelf. Not that I can;t make this from scratch, but the thought of assembling the various herbs (garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil etc) is quite daunting besides there's also economics considerations.

Instead of using those herbs once off, I suppose I am better baking with such bread mix. Excuse excuse and excuse. LOL.
It is really easy, just add water and olive oil. Knead and done.
The only problem I had at baking is that the proofing seem to take forever. I waited for 1.5hour, still the bread is pretty much the same size... so I kept it in the unplugged oven and went to bed.
The next morning, it seemed to be a little puffy though still far from being double. I told myself, Goner.
I went on to bake it nonetheless (but didnt want to waste time poking the signature dents on the bread). Fortunately, there's oven spring, and it rise further when baked.

The bread turns out to be very flavourful and yes, very heady aroma of herbs. I took the whole tray to work as I have no time to wait for it to cool and cut it.

It was quite well received at the office. Very quickly, the happy souls at 4 West spirited away all the bread! I was only left with the cooling rack and knife to take home :-(

For Sales

Clearing my stuff. These are all new, unopened ones. pls leave a comment (will not be visible to others) if you are interested and I will contact you.

1. Edible Ink Marker.

Can be used for writing on cookies, dried royal icing and fondant.

Pack of 4 in an unopened package. Bought from BIY. Want to sell at $10.00

2. Vegetarian Gelatine *SOLD*

Can't remember where and how much I paid. unopened box with 4 sachets inside.

Want to sell for $1.

3. Wilton Sugar Crystal.
Contains 4 colour: Green, Red, Blue, Yellow. Unopened with shrink wrap in tact. Bought from BIY at $11.50. Want to sell for $8.00

4. Sandwich cutter
Can't remember where and how much I paid. Want to sell for $8.00

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Moist Butter Cake

Since the last failed butter cake, I have been looking and trying... Was happy that I finally found the ONE just before Xmas... So glad that I am able to make amend to my last mistake!

Thanks to Ju at The Little Teochew !

Moist Butter Cake

195g all-purpose flour - I used cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
170g unsalted butter, softened
225g sugar - I use 180g
1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
12 tbsp whole milk (180ml)
Optional: A splash of cognac

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Butter and line a 9-inch cake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy for about 2 minutes.
4. Beat in egg, egg yolk, vanilla and cognac (if using) until well-combined.
5. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk.
6. Switch mixer to medium and beat for 10 to 15 seconds, just until batter appears uniform.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula or knife. Tap the pan gently against the work top for tapped air bubbles to escape.
8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it a skewer comes out clean.
9. Leave to rest in pan for 5 minutes before serving.


  • The cognac adds a classy flavour to the butter. But I will skip as I am after the distinguishable butter flavour esp so if you have used a good butter like Lurpak or Golden Churn.
  • Using the cake flour gives the cake some lightness, I find.

Overall this recipe is a keeper given the texture and lightness achieved with only 1 egg (2 if you count the additional egg yolk).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lemon (Cream) Cheesy Balls - Eggless

The recipe comes from another new book by a Malaysian publisher. I like to buy Malaysian's book cos I find our taste are more similar. I know i can follow the amount of sugar in the book yet not end up with sugar overdose!

Also, they are so much cheaper when bought in MY. Since I was in KL for business, I thought getting a few of these. This book there cost RM20 which works out to be a little over $8. It goes for $14 in SG!!!

Lemon Cheesy Snowball

130 gm. Butter
80 gm. cream cheese
50 gm. icing sugar
1 tbsp. lemon essence

150 gm. plain flour
30 gm. potato flour


  1. Preheat oven to 120-140C.

  2. Beat (A) until light and pale.

  3. Sieve in (B). Use a rubber spatula to fold lightly (do not knead). Scale at 7gm each portion, shape into rounds very lightly. Arrange on lined baking trays.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25min. Remove from oven, dust top with icing sugar, cool well and store.

My notes:

  • if you follow the instruction and divide the dough into 7g each, you will get 80psc. I go for the easy way; using the cookie scoop, I get only 35pcs.

  • Becos of the much bigger size, it took me double the time to bake my tray of cookies.

  • I added 20 drops of real lemon juice, still I do not taste the lemon very much. In fact the whole cookie is quite bland - there's not much of cheese or lemon or sugar.

  • This is a melt-in-your mouth type of cookie.

The first recipe from the book is not-so-fantastic. I wish the instructions can be clearer. E.g on the oven temperature, the author gave a range 120-140C, and says in the book "every oven has different setting". Excuse me, I thought we should be talking of the calibrated oven temperature. The author could have used the oven thermometer to provide the exact temp required, and not depend on what the knob says. Aiyoh...professional baker.

I have 4 more recipe to go... Let's see how the rest fare.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chocolate Chunk Cookie

Ever since I received Kenwood Chef as a gift from J, I never do anymore manual creaming anymore. The mixer is incredible, and with the flexi-beater , I didn't even need to stop to scrap the sides of the bowl! God send!

It makes me want to bake more. More More More. I bake much faster than the rate of consumption. Tubs and tubs of cookies go to the people around me. Haha, good for my karma, I hope *LOL*

I made this cookie twice in a roll cos the first time I find they ain't crispy enough, so I gave to people who like chewy cookie.

The 2nd time, I change the proportion of brown/white sugar, and also flatten the dough slightly. Yes, the temperature was also reduced by 10C. Now I have buttery and crispy cookie! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Recipe from The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread via

Excerpt from JOB: “If you are in the mood for a crisp and buttery chocolate chip cookie this recipe is for you. It comes from an excellent book , which features sweet treats from the very popular New York bakery, Amy's Bread. The baking soda used in this recipe aids in the browning of the cookies plus counteracts the acidity of the brown sugar. Chunks of semi sweet chocolate are used instead of chocolate chips to give these cookies a more intense chocolate flavor. You can use any combination of bitter, semi sweet or white chocolate or even those delicious toffee bits. These cookies are giant sized, but if you want to make smaller cookies, keep in mind you will have to reduce the baking time.”

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar - I used ½c
2/3 cup (140 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar - I used ¼c
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract - I used 2 tsp
1 1/4 cups (210 grams) chocolate chunks - I use chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place one oven rack in the top third of the oven, and one oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and egg yolk, beating until well combined. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
  5. Form dough into balls, using 1/4 cup (55 grams) for each cookie. Place six balls of dough on each baking sheet. Gently flatten each ball of dough into a 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) round. Bake the cookies for about 15-17 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time.
  6. The cookies are done when they are light golden brown in color and just set. They will still seem a little soft but they will firm up as they cool. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Black Bamboo Charcoal Bread

After the last indecisive bread , I finally got down to make a proper one. The charcoal powder is tasteless, so only the look is different. Taste and texture is dependent on the bread recipe you used.

The flavour of the month is Alex Goh's Magic Bread . I only replace the 20g of flour with bamboo charcoal powder

Here's the recipe for anyone who is up for the black beauty!


Basic Sweet Bread dough
Recipe from Alex Goh "Magic Bread"

100g bread flour
70g boiling water

300g bread flour
80g plain flour
20g bamboo charcoal powder
80g sugar
6g salt
20g milk powder
9g instant yeast (I used 25g fresh yeast)

175g cold water
60g cold egg

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.
  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. (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 realised that people here are not so used to the black food. I packed it for Sheen breakfast. In the evening, he came back to tell told me his teachers and friends stared... one kind teacher came to check if the bread is ok for consumption. *LOL*

Monday, January 4, 2010

Blessed is the man...

who hears many gentle voices call him DAD!
Dad, who was born on Jan 1st some seventy years ago, has the honour to grace my first entry in 2010!

Haha, I am taking my birthday cakes to the next tier, literally. You see, my mum is vegetarian, I need to ensure the cake is eggless so that she does not miss out on the chump. Yet, my nieces hinted that they would really loved to have the black forest cake. And so, I married the "constraints" to make this tiered cake.

The bottom is the eggless vanilla sponge with sliced peaches, and the top, yeah, the cocoa chiffon with black cherries.

I hope to do better next round: The top is far too tall - all becos I got the portion mixed up. There were too much batter for the 6" pan, and I tried to fill it up as much as I could =p

But Dad being DAD, always have praises what their kids could do... no matter how crappy they are!