Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vegan Green Pea Cookie

I baked this for Chinese New Year earlier this year, cos it is probably the easiest cookie to bake.  Completely forgotten about it until I bake off this recently to use up the green pea powder, and brought them to SC's house during the dumpling making day.  His sis asked for the recipe!


These green pea cookie is not only easy to make, they are guilt-free too - uses sunflower oil instead of butter not to mention the goodness of veggies.

Green Pea Cookie
Recipe from here but amended with some personal preference.

  • 260 gm green pea powder (avail at Sun Lik)
  • 120 gm icing sugar
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 340 gm plain flour
  • approx. 200 ml sunflower oil 
  1. Sift flour with the salt and sift in the icing sugar.  Add in the pea powder and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.  Add oil sparingly and slowly mix till the dough does not stick to the hands.  I didn't measure.  Just keep adding until the ingredient comes together. Too much oil will make the cookie too frail and break easily. 
  2. Let dough rest for about 15 mins., covered.
  3. Roll dough into small balls and arrange them on a parchment lined baking tray.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 15 mins. 
  5. Cookie will be very delicate when just out of the oven and will crumble easily now. Allow cookies to cool on tray before removing them onto a wire rack  to cool completely.
  6. Store cookies in an air-tight cookie jar.

Note :Alternatively you can roll the dough to 1/4  inch thick, in between 2 plastic sheets and cut out with a cookie cutter. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Unbearable lightness of Keiko's Chocolate Cake - Die die must try

Life can get a little lonesome when you work from home too often.  I know what I am missing - the long coffee breaks when you argue over how the European crisis going to unfold next, the excuse of having extended lunch when the afternoon rain comes unexpectedly, the "alarm" telling you its time to go home when the building air con gets turn off (yes, when I work from home, things somehow goes non-stop until B arrives home, and that's well past 9pm).

To make up for the "loss", I took out my copy of Keiko Ishida's "Okashi Sweet Treats Made With Love" and went baking during my lunch break.

It is good enough to make me want to stay home and bake this everyday and chomp all day.  But again, I think if I do that, i probably end up never be able to walk out of my door - 4 eggs and 160g of sugar is far from being a recommended daily diet =p

Everything is good in moderation.  Pls try this once if you love japanese sweet - this is one rich chocolatey cake without the heaviness of cake that are baked with creaming method.  The meringue, when done correctly, always lift the cake!!! 

Chocolate Cake

35g pastry flour (I used cake flour)
50g cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
100g sweet chocolate 55% cocoa (I use Ikea's milk chocolate) 
80g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
50g superfine sugar
4 egg yolks

50g whipping cream (I use President)
4 egg whites
110g superfine sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 7" cake pan with parchment paper.  (I made a mistake of baking it in a muffin pan without the paper liner.  Idiot makes mistake, the smart one, please, learn from it) 
2. Sift flour and cocoa powder twice
3. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a double boiler
4. Once chocolate and butter have melted, add sugar, egg yolks and cream and mix well using a whisk. Set aside
5. Make meringue. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add half of sugar and continue beating for a few minutes, then add remaining sugar and beat until egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form
6. Add one third of meringue to chocolate mixture and fold with a whisk
7. Add flour and cocoa powder and fold in thoroughly
8. Add remaining meringue and fold until just incorporated.
9. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for about 50mins (or less if you are baking in muffin as i did). When cake is done, remove from pan and leave to cool on a wire rack

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Before it gets forgotten, I like to post this as an appreciation to my pal who invited me to his mum's house for some zongzi (粽子) lesson.

Thanks SC, I finally fulfilled my long time daunting wish to make my own dumpling!

The expert at work!

Line up of the stars!

Even their domestic helper can make chang!  I want her!

My generous host kept asking me to add more more more meat!

That's me - needed extra hand to make the cut.

After 2 hours of wrapping, they are ready for boiling.
So nostalgic, i remembered my grandma used to utilise the space in the corridor too.

enjoy the fruit after another few hours of boiling.  Yummy, really.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Spiced Nuts (Improved)

After the realising how easy (and tasty) is home-made nuts, I have been a little obsessed and been making them quite alot.  In the process, I fine tuned the amount of spices to add, and glad that this is now perfect for me!

One neat trick thing I learnt is that a little egg white will make the spices and whatsoever (salt, sugar blah blah blah) to "stick" to the nuts.  Simply lightly froth half an egg white and pour it into the mixture before sending off the nuts into the oven makes so much difference!

Updated with the recipe @ Jun 25:

Spiced Nuts
(Fills 3-4 jars)

1-2 tbs vegetable oil (preferably Olive)
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 star anises
3 cup of raw almonds (or any other nuts like cashew)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp each of powdered chilli, cumin and cinnamon spices
1/2 - 1 white, lightly beaten with fork until it froth - no need for mixer.  


1. Heat the oven to 160 deg C.

2. Heat oil in a wok together with cinnamon stick and star anises. When you smell the fragrance, turn off the fire and add salt and sugar. Add the raw nuts, stirring well to ensure even coverage.  When the mixture and wok is cool (important cos you do not want to cook the egg white), add the egg white and mix it evenly.  You may not need all the egg white.

3. Scatter powdered spices over the nuts & stir for even coverage.

4. Place nuts on an oven tray, spreading them out. Roast for 15 minutes or so. Keep a close eye on them as they burn easily.

5. Switch off the oven but leave nuts inside for another 5min. Remove and allow nuts to cool before storing them in clean jars. The nuts will harden upon cooling.

6. Wrap a Christmassy ribbon round the neck of the jars and you have a healthy gift to give away this season

Note: While honey or maple syrup may make the powdery spices "sticks" to the nuts, it will get very sticky (read: messy) as you eat.  Using egg white is a safer cleaner bet.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Foodie @ Alkaff Mansion

It's been a long 8-9 years since Alkaff Mansion was closed for renovation.  I remembered i wanted to hold my wedding there but gave up the idea cos money no enough then!

Perhaps that the reason why this place holds a special place in my heart; when I read about the reopening of the restaurant, I made a date.

Deja-vu...  Fort Canning?

this is a speaker in disguise!

Beautiful courtyard

the restaurant entrance?  You wait in style while the staff get your table ready.

This is a starter, on the house.  Can't remember the name but very tasty

fresh warm bread... complimentary too.

buddy's starter - Scampi

Mine - Pan Fried Mozarella with Parma Ham.  Thumbs up... you can hardly go wrong with anything ham & cheese!  

The cold cuts room in the middle of the restaurant where the ham and cheese are aged and stored.

a elegantly quiet place!

Pan seared Cod Fish
Grilled Baby Chicken - very well marinated!

Caramelized Almond Semifreddo with coffee sauce.  I could hardly eat anymore but just had to have a sweet ending!

nothing is done till the coffee is served!

Not cheap but compared to many fine dining like Ku Da Ta & Sky 57, this is affordable!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oreo Cupcake

I think this is the first cake since I am back to Singapore almost a year ago.
Glad I did cos this recipe is simple yet yummy...  Any Oreo lover shouldn't miss this.


250g butter
1 cup sugar (I reduced by 3tbsp)
2 cups self rising flour - sift
1 tsp baking powder – sift (I used double action cos that's what I have)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
8~10 oreos – crushed (with the cream)


  1. Whisk butter, sugar, self raising flour, baking powder, eggs and vanilla essence for 2 mins.. dont overbeat ok..
  2. Stir in ur crushed oreos and thats it.. 
  3. Pipe batter into cupcakes casing
  4. Baked in preheated oven of 170C for abt 10 to 15mins

Ready to go!
I added a piece of Oreo before topping it up with batter.

Source: Bisous A Toi

Initially I wasn't sure of beating every thing up together.  I was thinking about the gluten etc that will make the cake tough, but all work out in the end.
Crushing the Oreo is probably the messiest part if you are chopping by hand. You get crumbs all over the place and cleaning up is no fun.  Well, not unless you have a domestic help.  I don't have 1, so I do it in the food processor which is alot easier!
I baked to try out this thingy! *LOL*

If you are still skeptical about the method, here's another recipe that I have bookmarked for the longest time.  It takes a bit more work though...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quick and Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

B is a big fan of macaroni.

We have loads of these when living in London - you get the ready-to-(h)eat packs from supermarkets for very reasonable price.  So convenient that you can tuck in after few minute nuke.

B missed the gooey delicious dish and was always asking for me to bring back some during those dreadful business trips but they have really short expiry date so the supply is limited.  Today, we found a a cheater version of macaroni...

Cheater's Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Serves 2
1 can of white pasta sauce
1 heap rice bowl of elbow macaroni
some breadcrumbs (i made mine from toasted leftover bread)
some freshly ground black peppersome grated sharp white cheddarsome grated moserella cheesesome grated cheddar

1. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. This step is necessary to stop cooking and wash off excess starch in the pasta.  The pasta will soften further when the sauce is added and baked.

2. Prepare cheese sauce.  Usually I find the canned stuff to be overload on sodium, so I would lighten it with additional cream or milk (whichever I have in the fridge).  Pour the sauce and extra milk/cream/cheese (if using) into a wok and heat it until the mixture bubbles.  Add black pepper.

3. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce and toss the macaroni well.

4. Transfer the content into a oven-proof casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and moserella cheese. Bake in a preheated oven @170C, until the cheese melted and bubbling.

For extra treat, I added bacon, breadcrumbs, and brocolli.

I don't know but if B has a comfort food, this will be it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sunday Morning Pancake

B's love for pancakes begins with MacDonald's Hotcakes... we used to share many weekday mornings at Macdonald, with B enjoying dipping pancakes into the syrup while I put up with the horrid coffee (despite being branded premium toasted coffee!)  

We then tried making our own at home, using the ready mix.  You know, those powder mixture in plastic container which you just add milk and shake, and you have the batter ready in 30seconds flat!  QUick and easy,  but it hardens as soon as it leaves the pan.

So it was back to Mac again until I re-discovered this pancake recipe in my bookshelf "Homemade", by Clodagh McKenna .

As suggested in the book, I made the batter the night before and let you rest in the fridge.  It thickened the next day, and I read from somewhere that it is ok to add more milk to thin the batter if thin pancake is preferred.  It was just nice for me...  think thick and fluffy!

New-York-Style Blueberry Pancake
200g self rising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
70g caster sugar (I used 50g)
1 egg
300ml milk (I used whole milk, not skim)
50g butter (melted) + more for greasing the pan.
250g fresh blueberries ( I omitted)
maple syrup ( I used honey cos that's what i have at home)

1. sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

2. in a separate bowl, whisk egg and  milk together.

3. Pour the milk mixture into the center of the well of the flour and whisk together until it forms a batter. Leave the batter in a fridge for an hour before you use.

4. Just before cooking, stir in the melted butter which prevents the pancake from sticking to pan (and yes it works!)

5. Over medium heat, grease the frying pan (non-stick preferably!) with a kitchen towel so you use just enough butter (a tip i pick up from the auntie at Tangs homeware department. Have you seen her before?) 

6. Pour enough batter to cover the pan and swirl around to make sure you get an even spread, allow to cook for 1-2 minutes . Then Flip over the pancake with a spatula and cook for about another minute on the other side. Then place on a warm plate, cover with tin foil and put in a low heated oven. Continue again until you have enough made.

The recipe says it makes 10 pancakes, but i suppose it all depends how thick you want the pancake, and how big is your pan...  I do get enough to nicely feed my family of 3.

Why I can't get the nice evenly browned pancake like this?

This is pretty good for the minimal effort.  It is very buttery and tender, even when cold.  But I guess nothing stops me from experimenting with buttermilk instead of whole milk... read from some blog (like this) that it makes it even more moist.

When I get enough energy (and time), I would pretty much look forward to try out the one in KAF or even this one in Jamie Oliver - it calls for egg white to be whipped separately.  I believe this is what the atas (upmarket) like Strictly Pancakes does. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Foodie in London - IceBar London

 Throughout the time we lived in London, never once we visited the Icebar.  I tried to visit the place last Dec, but the Xmas holidayers filled up the queue that I gave up the thought.  I gave it another go when I was there last month. 

Despite the reservation I was told to wait in line since they operate on fixed time slot and I'd arrived early.  I was offered to have my meal at the restaurant while waiting for my session. I supposed the only difference in Icebar Bar and Icebar Restaurant is the what's being served.

So I went on. 

Ha,  no lor.  There's nothing ICE about the restaurant/lounge area!!!
It was toasty warm on there, which I welcome but at the same time a little disappointment!!!

First you will be offered the cloak room service where you can keep all your belongings and coat/jackets.  A fee of GBP2 will be added to your bill for using this facility.

Once seated, the waitress tried very hard to get me to order the starter/nibble, which I was tempted but knowing my capacity, resisted!

This is what I had.
Grilled pork loin, pork cheek, black pudding, spiced swede puree, confit red cabbage, red win jus (GBP18) with Rocket and Parmesan salad (GBP3.50).
Liquid wise, I had Kiwi Caipirinha (GBP 7.70) - I always love a good Caipirinha!

I was rather filled after the main, but the waitress strongly recommend this choc-ky dessert, and my will gave in!  Dark Chocolate Tart, Chocolate Bailey's Mousse, and Ice cream (GBP6) - very rich, and a good bitter capuccino (GBPx) went well with it.

You can see the Icebar merchandise for sale:

 Finally my turn to get into the Icebar.  You will be given a silver cape and glove to keep warm.  Uh only that this point I realised I left my warm clothings in the cloakroom so that's all have to keep me breathing!

It was indeed a special experience, everything is made of ice, including my drinking glass.  But I was freezing my butt in there.  You are allowed to stay for the entire session of 40min, but I had to get out after 15min!  It is too cold for me.  Well, for someone who is used to 30C all year round, -5C is C-O-L-D! 

I only remembered to take some pic when I was about to get out...

It reminds me of a friend who confide that she once booked a night stay at the Ice Hotel in the Nordics, only to be standing by the toilet all night.  Why toilet?  Cos that's the only place in the entire hotel with a radiator! 

ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL London/Below zero restaurant,
31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London
+44 (0) 20 7478 8910,