Friday, August 27, 2010

Minted Pea Soup


Olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 baby cos lettuce, thoroughly washed & roughly chopped
400-500g frozen peas
Pinch sugar
1.5 cups vegetable stock
0.5 bunch mint
Salt & pepper
Spoonful cream, to serve


1. Saute leek & garlic until soft.
2. Add shredded lettuce & peas to the pan with sugar and a little of the stock.
3. When lettuce and peas are soft, remove to a food processor and puree until smooth, adding mint and as much stock as needed for a smooth mixture.
4. Return mixture to pan and gradually add the remainder of the stock until the soup is the thickness you like and season to taste.
5. To serve, add a spoonful of cream to the base of each bowl, then add the soup and swirl cream through.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Coffee Chiffon Cake

Baking chiffon cake can be quite addictive. I have plenty of reasons to explain:

First of all, it is a fun weekend activity (especially when you have a kid who likes to learn). Also, the entire baking process can be joyous and relaxing for a hard worker like me. Often, I take it (baking a perfect chiffon) as a good challenge as it surely requires a great deal of skills to get the fluffy texture right. Therefore, it exercises my patience and I feel on top of the world if I succeed in it. Of course, most importantly, it tastes brilliant - it is soft, light, fluffy and healthy as oppose to most dense and heavy cakes like mudcake and butter cake. Hence, Alex can enjoy his after dinner dessert in a more healthy way (well, at least I know what have I included in the recipe).

Enjoy baking a chiffon!

I must admit this chiffon cake is not perfect - it broke into two parts as I flipped it over onto a plate. However, the texture is so fluffy and soft that I just couldn't help feeding one slice after another.

Coffee Chiffon Cake


Chiffon cake tin
Electric mixer
2 large mixing bowls


6 extra large egg whites
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

6 extra large egg yolks
1/2 cup lactose-free milk
1/4 sunflower oil
1 tsp coffee essense
1/4 cup cane sugar
2/3 self raising flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder


1 Preheat oven to 170C.

2 Using an electrix mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. This may take between 10 to 15 minutes. Gradually add in cane sugar, cream of tartar and coffee essense, then continue to beat for another 5 minutes until stiff peak forms. Set aside.

3 Whisk egg yolks, lactose-free milk and sunflower oil in a separate mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually whisk in cane sugar. Fold in sifted flour and baking powder then mix them all together.

4 Fold in 1/3 of egg whites into the batter. Gently mix in all ingredients. Repeat the step with the remaining egg whites.

5 Transfer mixture to cake mould. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Remove chiffon from the oven and invert the mould immediately. Cool the cake on a rack or rubber mat.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Tower of Poseidon

Alex made me a lovely meal on our 6th month engagement anniversary. This dish deserves a five star rating in my opinion.

Balsamic and Marsala Wine Reduction Glaze

1 part Marsala wine
5 part balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

1 Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil until volume is reduced by approximately half.

Potato, Onion and Garlic Cake

4 boiled baby potatoes, mashed
½ purple onion, diced
1 small Mexican garlic, diced
1 egg, beaten with some milk
Sea salt
White pepper
Sprinkle of dried basil

1 Mix all ingredients and place mixture in 4 round moulds.
2 Preheat oven to 220C.
3 Bake in oven at 200C for 10 minutes and grill at medium heat for another 5 minutes.

The Tower of Poseidon

1 large fillet of Atlantic salmon, cut in half
8 asparagus, lightly boiled
Water cress for garnish
Sprinkle of dill tips for garnish

1 Coat each side of Atlantic salmon with sea salt flake.
2 Drizzle some olive oil in a pan.
3 Heat the pan on high (must be hot) and place fillet skin side down.
4 Cook until crispy then flip over (do not overcook).
5 Assemble the dish as per photograph.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Cake

The layer cake lasts us for nearly a week now and I haven't been baking any more since. My palate started to get more attached to sweet stuff than the savoury now. With no new recipe to share this week, I decided to pick one of my old recipes for chilled cake.

Virtually every member of Mr T's family knows about cooking and baking. Lisa is one of them who has many beautiful recipes to share. This recipe is a revised version of Lisa's original recipe. The outcome is so good I would strongly recommend everyone to try it! With this recipe, I used flaxseed oil in replace of salted butter. I enjoy sweet food but certainly not looking forward to gain too much weight!

Chocolate Truffle Cake

Makes 11 cakes


Muffin pan


Biscuit base:

6 Arnott Marie biscuits
3 tbsp flaxseed oil


100g Cadbury chocolate bar
300mL double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp brown sugar


1 Grind biscuits finely.
2 Add flaxseed oil to bind crumbs together.
3 Evenly press crumbs into each hole of a muffin pan.
4 Melt chocolate bar in a warm water bath.
5 Beat double cream, vanilla bean paste and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
6 Add melted chocolate into the mixture. Stir to mix thoroughly.
7 Place 3 tbsp of creamy mixture over the crumbs.
8 Chill in fridge for at least a day or overnight.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Indonesian Kueh Lapis (Horlicks flavour)

I have a mysterious love-hate relationship with Indonesian layer cake. It was once my most favourite childhood tea cake yet it is dauntingly difficult to make. The preparation work was draining but the end result was amazingly marvelous! I have long wanted to attempt this cake recipe that I got from Table for 2.... or more. I know Alex likes this cake as much as I do. Hence, on his birthday dinner tonight, I decided to challenge my patience, go through the hassels, finish off the cake I am most proud of.

So, what do you think? As I flipped the cake upside-down, I was puzzled to find the cake was very much burnt on the outside. I couldn't picture how bad it would be on the inside. Tonight is going to be a disaster, I thought. Though covered in cold sweat, I still managed to pull out my plan B, which was to decorate the cake lightly with dusted Horlicks powder and white chocolate fudge icing dots.

The important moment had come. Alex sliced his cake in front of his parents and to my biggest ever surprise, the middle of the cake was still fairly moist. The texture was very well defined still. Alex enjoyed it so much and so did his mum and dad. I am glad my luck was on my side. I needed more confidence in myself perhaps!

So, there we go! A lovely recipe for Indonesian Kueh Lapis. Enjoy!

Indonesian Kueh Lapis (Horlicks flavour)


Round / Square cake pan
Flat-bottomed glass


1 3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or butter)
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 can condensed milk
8 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1 3/4 cup self raising flour
1 1/4 cup Horlicks powder


1 Lined and greased the bottom of a cake pan (usually we use square pan but I used a round pan this time as I intended to present it as a birthday cake for Alex). Leave the sides ungreased.
2 Preheat oven in grill mode at medium temperature.
3 Beat sugar and grapeseed oil (or butter) until light and fluffy. Gradually add in egg yolks one by one.
4 Beat in condensed milk until smooth. Leave aside.
5 In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peak forms. Leave aside.
6 Fold in sifted flour and Horlicks powder (in 2 batches) into the egg yolks mixture.
7 Fold in egg whites. Mix gently to combine.
8 Warm the cake pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove then spread evenly 2 tablespoonful batter into the pan. Grill at low-medium temperature for 5-7 minutes or until the top layer turns brown.
9 Remove from oven and press gently to release air with a flat-bottomed glass. Brush top lightly with some grapeseed oil. Repeat the same process for second, third, fourth... layer until all batter are used.
10 Once you have finished the final layer, turn the oven to bake function. Cover top of the cake with aluminium foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crumbled Apple Slice

One of the girls at work made a beautiful crumbled apple slice and immediately I asked her for its recipe. I have been long dying to try this recipe and having a day off work today is just perfect for this occasion. One can easily buy this from the local supermarket but I still prefer to DIY as I have no confidence with the ingredients they used in the commercial products. The girl who gave me this recipe used a can of pie apple as its core ingredient and like I mentioned earlier, I do not fancy using pre-packaged commercial product, hence I figured another way to prepare my apple slices. How was the result? It was simple to make yet perfect to eat. I am definitely loving it!

Crumbled Apple Slice


Slice pan

Flour mixture:

1 1/2 cup self raising flour
1 1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup cane sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or 180g butter)
1 egg

Apple mixture:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
5 tbsp grapeseed oil
5 tsp cane sugar
1 tsp conc. vanilla extract
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder


1 Stew apple in a saucepan for 10 to 15 minutes until apple soften.
2 Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease an 18x28cm slice pan.
3 In large bowl, combine flour, coconut and sugar. Mix in grapeseed oil (or butter) and egg. Press half mixture evenly into prepared pan.
4 Cover base with apple mixture. Crumble the remaining mixture over apple.
5 Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Cool in pan. Cut into squares

Monday, July 5, 2010

Matcha Chiffon Cake

During our trip in Hong Kong, we bought many Japanese green tea as souvenirs for family and staff at work. We ended up stockpiling many of them at home as some of the people we initially intended to giving to were either not so keen on drinking green tea or were planning trips to HK themselves. So, today I baked this beautiful green tea (matcha) chiffon cake to cheer my beloved fiance, Alex instead. He likes chiffon cake very much.

This chiffon cake is easy to make once you are familiar with the steps and ingredients you need.

Green Tea (Matcha) Chiffon Cake


Chiffon cake tin


6 egg whites
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

5 egg yolks
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup cane sugar
2/3 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp green tea powder


1 Preheat oven to 170C.

2 Using an electrix mixer, beat egg whites until soft peak. This may take between 10 to 15 minutes. Gradually add in cane sugar and cream of tartar and continue to beat for another 5 minutes until stiff peak forms. Set aside.

3 Whisk egg yolks, soy milk and grapeseed oil in a separate mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually add in cane sugar, sifted flour, baking powder and green tea powder in sequence. Continue to whisk until well combined.

4 Fold in 1/3 of egg whites into the batter. Gently mix in all ingredients. Repeat the step with the remaining egg whites.
5 Transfer mixture to cake mould. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Remove chiffon from the oven and invert the mould immediately. Cool the cake on a rack or rubber mat.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bacon and Mushroom Scrolls

I made this savoury scrolls a while ago. The pastry came out so nicely from the oven I can almost smell the savoury aroma again through my memory. The recipe was so good that I definitely could not miss posting it in this blog. If my memory serves me correctly, Alex enjoyed the scrolls so much and he gobbled four of them in no time. I surely would like to try this recipe again and refine it further if possible.

I remember reading about how to make a dough. It highlights the importance of getting the water to flour ratio correct. The simplest recipe is as below.

Basic dough recipe


2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 sachet (7g) yeast
1/2 cup luke warm water


1 Make yeast mixture.
2 Combine flour, salt, sugar and water.
3 Pour in yeast mixture.
4 Knead for 15 minutes or until a smooth and elastic dough is formed.
5 Leave to double in size (usually 2-3 hours).

Once you have the dough, you can literally make any pastry as you like. The recipe as follows is one of the examples. I like this a lot!

Bacon and Mushroom Scrolls

Makes 10


Rolling pin


1 basic dough
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 slices short cut rindless bacon, fat removed and diced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
Sprinkle of mozarella & cheddar cheese
Sprinkle of mixed herbs/smoked paprika
Sprinkle of salt and pepper


1 Punch down dough and roll out into a rectancle shape.
2 Brush surface with olive oil.
3 Spread diced mushrooms and bacon evenly.
4 Sprinkle mixed herbs, salt and pepper and cheese all over.
5 Roll pastry lengthways to form a log.
6 Cut crossways into 2cm thick slices.
7 Leave to expand for another 20 minutes.
8 Brush pastry with beaten egg.
9 Bake at 280C for 15 minutes.

It is not hard to make afterall, is it?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Second Anniversary

On our second anniversary, Alex bought me a nice pot of flowers as a gift. He usually buys me either red roses or pink lillies and carnations, however, this time he had a more animated selection instead. The multi colour petals form a spectacular combination. It really made my day! In return, I bought him a box of French chocolates. They were made by Pascal Caffet, a top French chocolatier cum a world champion pastry chef. Enjoy the pictures!

The bud arches towards the sunlight

Some nice purple orchids beautifully nestled in between the leaves

Two French lilly buds

Are they related to carnation?

The handsome looking bird of paradise

Smiley face gerbera sunflower

My favourite carnation stood elegantly amongst the bouquet

Some nice looking yellow orchids?

Another beautiful carnation

The sunflower is looking really proud and happy

French lilly looks really elegant when it opens, doesn't it?

Purple flower adds another dimension to the bouquet

Even the bears like to hang around it

So comfy!

Last but not least, my zchocolate specially dedicated to the man I love

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lemon Lime Sauce

This is an extraordinary sauce with an extraordinary flavour. Alex made this specially to go with the extra large Steggle chicken we roasted together on last Saturday. I truly enjoy the light sweetness from the palm sugar that mingled with a hint of citrusy sourness from the lemon and lime. The sauce is perfect for white meat. Enjoy the simple yet sophisticated recipe!

Lemon Lime Sauce




Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 whole lime
Lemon and lime zest
2 small cubes of palm sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup of water
Corn flour to thicken


1 Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir to combine thoroughly.
2 Simmer over low heat for approximately 15 minutes.
3 Place the sauce in a small bowl and cool in the fridge or at room temperature until ready to use.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coffee Syrup Cake

Who can resist such a sweet temptation like this? Definitely not me! Believe it or not, baking a mudcake wasn't my proposed plan at all. Alex originally ordered a coffee chiffon from me. It was my bad for not listening properly. It was also my bad for making such a beautiful coffee mudcake by mistake. Opps!

Without much references at hand, I had to work on the recipe even more carefully. I estimated the amount of ingredients just right to give a tiny coffee hint, not too overpowering to compromise the overall sweetness of the cake.

This instant coffee bag was one of the dozen sent from Malaysia by Suh Ying, my bestest friend in uni. She claimed that this is the best Kopi O brand she had ever had in Malaysia. So, I believe in her.

After over an hour baking session, the cake turned out nice. Really delicious indeed. Alex would still pefer a stronger coffee aroma but I like it like this myself. If you too are a coffee freak, this is something that you should really try at home then you can make your own justification as to whether you like mine or your own version better.

Take another look at the glossy finishing. Irresistible!

Crunch on the outside. Moist in the middle.

Coffee Mudcake


Electric mixer
Round cake pan


(A) dry ingredients:

1 cup self raising flour, sifted
1 cup low GI cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder

(B) wet ingredients:

1 cup grapeseed oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chocolate soy milk
1/2 cup coffee water**


1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup coffee water**
2 tbsp margarine
1 tsp vanilla essense

**To make coffee water, add boiled water to instant coffee bag and brew for approximately 10 minutes.


1 Preheat oven to 180C. Line and grease a round cake pan.
2 Combine (A) and (B) in two separate bowls. If necessary, beat (B) using an electric mixer until fluffy.
3 Fold a little (B) into (A) at a time, gradually fold in the remaining. Mix until fully combined.
4 Bake at 180C for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake to cook in oven for another 30 minutes.
5 Meanwhile, prepare the icing by combining all ingredients together in a saucepan. Stir on high heat until well combined. Turn the heat down to low upon boiling and keep stirring the mixture until a smooth and thickened paste is formed.
6 Remove the cake from the oven. Cool, then turn out onto a plate or a wire rack.
7 Spread icing over the cake surface and sprinkle a handful of almond nuts to garnish.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Banana & Almond Milk Shake

When I was at school or uni, whenever my girl friends and I visited Hudson or Gloria Jeans, I had never missed ordering a glass of chilled milk shake. I liked milk shakes back then and even more so when I grow up. Milk shake is easy and fun to make at home and virtually costs nothing significant to make it. All you need is your own selection of fruit plus ice cream and some milk. Of course you can make it as fancy as you wish by mucking around with the ingredients of your choice. Most of the time, we still prefer using banana.

I used Ciara brand of almond milk in this recipe. I have never heard about this brand before. We randomly selected it from the top shelf of the long life milk aisle and it was marked as clearance stock when we bought it. This product must have been planogrammed so poorly that no one even notice its existence. Although the brand may sound a little dodgy, we still intend to give it a good try. This morning I had a few sips and decided that it tastes fantastic. There is nothing wrong with it at all.

We have tried many different combinations before. This time I am going to make my milk shakes a lot simpler by using only two key ingredients, the banana and the almond milk. Adding ice cream can somehow create a frothy texture. I like it most of the time. Sometimes Alex don't, depending on the flavour I make.

Banana & Almond Milk Shake

Makes 2 milk shakes




1 red tip banana
1 1/2 cup almond milk
2 scoops french vanilla ice cream
1 tsp concentrated vanilla essense


1 Blend all ingredients starting from banana then gradually add in other ingredients.
2 Pour into two tall glasses and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cashew Nuts Cookies

Nutty cookies are one of the easiest to make. Traditionally the Chinese use peanuts but I chose to use cashew nuts simply because the long forgotten packet of peanuts had turned soggy sitting in the cupboard. Cashews are what we still freshly left. On our daily routine, we use a lot of cashews in stir-frying dishes and as casual afternoon snacks but very rarely in baking. So this is absolutely my first baking attempt using cashew nuts and I hope they would turn out well.

This packet of salted cashew nuts is a typical Woolworth brand you can easily find in the supermarket. It is a home brand but still expensive to pay. When I bought them, they were already oily and salty so I did not need to use much oil and salt in my recipe. The recipe is by far, as tested before in the peanut version, still fairly simple but great. The only difference I imagine between the two is the end results, i.e. the fragrance, the taste and the texture!

Bear in mind that because cashew nut is double the size of a peanut, the crushing, pounding or grinding job, whichever way it is, should require double the effort. I tried to grind it as fine as I could using the orthodox method, mortar and pestle, but still yielding coarse pieces everywhere. I did not mind a bitey texture at all, I am just surprised to see how challenging it is to make them into a smooth and super fine mixture like what I achieved with the peanuts.

The cookies did not turn out smooth but slightly crumbles. I reviewed my steps and nothing suspicious rang the bell. In fact, like I mentioned before, it could be the cashew nuts had not been ground to perfect. Nevertheless, the end result was still marvelous! The cookies still turned out fine. They still had the crunch on the outside, soft and delicate on the inside. Most importantly, the roasted nutty smell was so fragrant that it still lingered around the kitchen! I was quite excited then I gave Alex a call at work. He (and I) certainly wish the time could fly quicker so we both can enjoy the yummy cookies together.

Despite all the troubles, I still enjoy spending an innovative afternoon to experiment on a new ingredient with an old recipe. I hope Alex will enjoy them when he comes back from work this evening.

Cashew nut cookies

Makes 15


Mortar and pestle
Baking tray


3/4 cup salted cashew nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
Handful of salted cashew nuts, halved


1 Preheat oven to 200C and prepare a well greased and lined baking tray.
2 Grind the salted cashew nuts until fine and place them in a large mixing bowl.
3 Sift in the flour and sugar. Mix them together until well combined.
4 Add a little grapeseed oil into the nut mixture at a time. Knead the mixture with your finger tips until well combined. Gradually add in more oil as needed until you can roll up the mixture into a small ball.
5 Place a half tablespoonful of mixture on your palm at a time and roll them into small balls before placing them on the baking tray.
6 With a chopstick end, press gently on the top of the balls to make a round indents.
7 Place the halved cashew nuts in the middle of indents and bake for 15-20 minutes.