Saturday, 29 October 2011

Banana Blueberry Buttermilk Bread

Banana Blueberry Buttermilk Muffin/Banana Cranberry

I haven't been baking lately as I have been trying to be good and lose some weight before going to Singapore. Saw this recipe online but cannot for the life of me remember where now, but as it looked low fat, thought I'd give it a go and I do not regret making them.

These are so gorgeous and moist and healthy too! First round made them with blueberries and tried them a second time but this time using dried cranberries and they taste just as good.

Took them to work and my colleagues loved them.

3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat buttermilk*
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
11/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I omitted)
11/4 cups blueberries or cranberries, fresh or frozen or dried

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Whisk buttermilk, brown sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in mashed bananas.
3. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
5. Bake until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Let cool for about 2 hours before slicing. **

* I used yoghurt.
** I baked them in muffin cups for about 20 mins.

Banana Cranberry

Banana Blueberry

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs

I love Japanese cream puffs. They are soooo good. Cream puffs has been on my list of things to make but with me trying to go on a diet, have not been baking much. But my friend D baked some and did not like the texture she ended up with. So I told her that I would try to bake some and if my puffs were soft, I would share the recipe with her.

Made them some time ago, and today had a craving for them, so decided to make them again but this time made them bigger to look like those that you get in Japan.

Custard cream filling

6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and put into the milk
1/2 cup of flour and cornstarch combined (or one or the other alone), blended and sifted
2 Tbsp custard powder
2 Tbs unsalted butter

1. Heat the milk with the vanilla bean slowly. (You can also use vanilla extract instead, in which case you'd add about 1 tsp. at the very end.)

2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and salt with a whisk until the mixture is a pale lemony yellow. This indicates that the sugar has melted into the yolks. Add the flour-cornstarch mixture.

3. Fish out the vanilla bean from the hot milk, and add the milk in dribbles to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Heat over a low to medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 2-3 minutes until you can't detect any floury taste. Add the butter, and the vanilla extract . Let cool with a piece of cling film on top of the custard to prevent a film from forming on top.

Make the custard filling several hours or before making the choux pastry in advance.

In the meantime, make the choux buns.
For the choux pastry
200ml/7fl oz cold water
4 tsp caster sugar
85g/3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz plain flour
pinch salt
3 medium free-range eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the oven to heat.
  2. For the choux pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
  3. Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
  4. Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency - you may not need it all.
  6. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet. Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger - this helps to make a crisper top.
  7. Place the baking sheet into the oven. Before closing the oven door, pour half a cup of water into the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven, then quickly shut the door. This helps to create more steam in the oven and make the pastry rise better. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown - if the profiteroles are too pale they will become soggy when cool.
  8. Remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Prick the base of each profiterole with a skewer. Place back onto the baking sheet with the hole in the base facing upwards and return to the oven for five minutes. The warm air from the oven helps to dry out the middle of the profiteroles.
  9. For the filling, lightly whip the cream with the orange zest until soft peaks form. When the profiteroles are cold, use a piping bag to pipe the cream into the profiteroles.

Verdict: Hubby and I both think they do taste like the ones you get in Japan. Yumms.......

Friday, 21 October 2011

Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise Birthday Party

My friend Sham had planned a surprise birthday party for his wife about a month ago. He didnt even tell his mum or sister in Msia about it as he wasnt sure they could keep mum. Apart from us his invited guests, the other person he told was his eldest daughter!

On the day of the birthday, he went to work as usual and then went home to pick his wife and 2 other girls up and said they were going out to dinner. All along the way, he keep teasing his wife saying that he did not manage to get a present for her and she had to make do with dinner.

We were all told to be there (Hotel Villa in Leinster Gardens) by 630 pm and they would then get there for about 7pm. While we all gathered in the room to await her arrival, her eldest daughter went out to wait for them and she would text us to let us know that they were on the way to the room. We turned the lights out and when she walked in through the door, we all shouted Suprise and sung her a Happy Birthday song. She was so shocked and very, very pleasantly pleased!

This was what we were served.

Made her a birthday cake and a cupcake bouquet as well.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cupcake Bouquet

Cupcake Bouquet

In tomorrow's post, I will tell you about a party for a friend. This is a cupcake bouquet that I baked in addtion to the birthday cake.

125gm Castor sugar
125 butter
125 self raising flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2-3 tbsp milk (optional, just in case mixture is too stiff)

Preheat oven to 200 deg C
Cream butter and sugar till creamy, then add eggs and finally flour and vanilla essence.
If mixture is too stiff, add a tbsp of milk or 2.
Spoon into cup cake cases and place in oven for around 12 minutes depending on size of cup cake, turning the cake trays halfway through and bake for another 8 - 12 mins.

Vanilla butter cream
125 gm butter
250 gm icing sugar
5 ml vanilla essence
1 tbsp of water as required

Cream the butter and then slowly add in the icing sugar and vanilla essence and mix till it is light and fluffy.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is the cake that I made for a friend's birthday party to be held on Friday.

This recipe is from Lindy Smith. I made previous cakes also using her recipe but it was the mud cake recipe. So this time as I was making a cake for a colleague and she wanted a chocolate, I thought I would try this and yes, this is good too and moist and it is heavy enough to be covered with fondant.

225g (8oz) unsalted butter
225g (8oz) good quality chocolate
1 (15ml) tablespoon instant coffee
450g (1lb) caster sugar or soft brown sugar
150ml (5 fl oz) water

4 large eggs
35ml (1.1fl oz) vegetable oil
100ml (3.4 fl oz) sour cream or you can use natural yoghurt or Crème fraiche

125g (4 .5 oz) self raising flour
125g (4 .5 oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda

1.Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C (315 degrees F, gas mark 2-3)
2.Line the 20cm (8in) deep cake tin with baking parchment
3.Slowly melt the butter, chocolate, coffee, sugar and water in a pan, once melted allow to cool.
4.Add the eggs, oil and sour cream to the chocolate mix and stir well
5.Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre
6.Pour the chocolate mixture into well and mix until thoroughly combined.
7.Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 1 hour 45mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean
8.Leave the cake to cool in the tin

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Chee Pao Gai

Chee Pao Gai (Paper wrapped chicken) - Healthy Version (Halal)

Saw this recipe on the makansutra website. But instead of deep frying, I baked it in the oven. Does not have the burnt bits as the deep fried version but I like the taste of this.

For my method, just follow the recipe till 1, then place in a preheated oven of 200 degs for about 20 mins.

Chee Pao Kai recipe (for four diners)
16 pcs of chicken:
Preferably small chunks like breast meat, chicken wings minus the tips, half a drumstick, or half-sized thighs.
Marinade: (one tbsp is about 15 to 18 ml)
3 tbsp Hua tiao wine
3 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Old ginger juice
3 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp White pepper powder
3 tbsp Light soy sauce
16 two inch long spring onions(scallions)
16 two inch long thin ginger shreds
16 pcs grease paper (7 inch square each)
One beaten raw egg yolk to seal the packs
(note: this recipe yields a heavier marinate flavour, you can reduce the marinate portions by 25% – or one tbsp less, if you wish)
Put all the ingredients together in a huge bowl and marinate the chicken and rest it in the fridge for 3 hours at least.

1. Marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours, best to do it overnight in the fridge
Next, place the paper, in a diamond shape format (with a tip pointing towards you) and set a piece of chicken at the bottom third of the paper and place a strip of ginger and scallion over it. Then wrap – fold bottom up just over the chicken, fold the left and right tip over it and finally fold the top tip and tuck it into the fold created.

2. Ensure you wrap the chee pao kai parcels snuggly so if does not come apart when frying
Be sure to dab the top tip with egg yolk so it sticks while frying.
Heat up the wok of vegetable oil to about 180-200 degrees. Then gently lower the chicken parcels in with the thicker paper side facing down first. Fry for 4-5 mins and turn the parcels every minute. When done, drain oil, cool and serve.

3. The packs do not score much on the visual scale, but it explodes with flavour when you open it

4. It should be all juicy and fragrantly sweet