Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Wishing all my family, friends and readers and wonderful New Year filled with peace, love, joy, health and prosperity!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Char Siew

This is a recipe from Makansutra. Have tried many char siew recipes and although they tasted ok, the oomph factor was still missing from those recipes.

So when I saw this recipe, I just had to try. And instead of using pork belly (I did use pork belly second time round) I used pork ribs and it turned out great.

This recipe is a keeper, so for all those out there still looking for a good char siew recipe, try this!

And for my muslim friends, if you are reading this, you can try with chicken thighs and omit the Shaoxing wine.

Char Siew - Recipe from Makansutra


2kg Pork neck (cut into long strips)
1 thumb of Ginger (peeled and puréed)
10 cloves Garlic (finely minced)

Char siew marinade/sauce:

5 tbsp Soy sauce
5 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Five spice powder
8 tbsp Honey
4 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp White pepper powder


1) Heat up all the char siew marinade sauce ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil over low fire till combined. When it becomes slightly thickened and sticky, it’s ready. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2) Mix in the garlic and ginger.

3) Marinate the pork neck strips with this sauce for at least one night.

4) When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200˚C.

5) Remove the meat from the marinade and shake off of excess sauce. Put the strips in a foil-lined pan (for easier clean up later), leaving a bit of space around each piece so that the meat roasts as opposed to steaming it.

6) Cook the char siew for about 30 minutes, turning the meat over halfway through.

7) Meanwhile bring the leftover marinade to a boil for about 5 minute. Brush this sauce onto the pork while grilling (every 5-10mins) until the char siew gets nice and charred. Optional: you can brush the meat with a bit of honey the last 5 minutes of cooking for extra sweetness and gloss.

8) Slice the char siew into bite-size pieces, drizzle the remaining char siew sauce over and serve immediately with the carb of your choice. Just add slices of cool cucumber. Makan time!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcake

This cupcake has been on blogsphere for ages and I only made them sometime in summer. Although the actual recipe calls for adding custard cream filling, I decided to add lemon curd instead and that worked so well.

I think this recipe is from Nasi Lemak Lover. Made this ages ago, so don't really remember where I copied it from.


50g egg yolks (3 eggs)
1/8 tsp of salt
20g corn oil
20g milk
25g self-raising flour

105g egg whites (3 eggs)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
45g castor sugar

Custard cream filling:
30g non-dairy whipped fresh cream
1tsp custard powder
*just mix these together

1. Whisk egg yolk with salt. Add in oil and milk and mix well.
2. Sift flour and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture.
3. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy and then add in sugar and beat till soft peak.
4. Fold in half of the egg whites into the mixture and mix well. Then add in the other half and mix them evenly.
5. Fill the mixture into the cups
6. Bake at pre-heated oven at 160c for 20mins. Leave cool.
7. Make a small hole at the middle, pump the custard cream into the chiffon. (I used a piping bag with a nozzle and piped the lemon curd into the cupcake)
8. You can either chill before serving or have it straight after filling in the cream.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Vanilla sponge cake

Think I got this recipe from Zu and I agree with her, the sponge is so soft and light. This is a keeper.
I had an order again from my friend to make a simple sponge cake with jam. 

This is for the same lady that I made the mango mousse for. Yep, 1 year has gone by already and this time she asked for a bigger cake as she said the last time I made the cake, she nearly could not have any!
And as this was a last minute order, I could not make anything elaborate.


150g cake flour/superfine flour
1/2 tsp (2g) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1g) salt
10g milk powder

60g cooking oil
50g water
4 (75g) yolks
80g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

4 (150g) whites
90g castor sugar (original 100g)
1/4 tsp (1g) cream of tartar

1. Sift ingredients (A) and put it aside
2. Whisk yolks and sugar till it turns lemon colour
3. Add oil, water and vanilla and mix till well blended
4. Add ingredients (A) and mix it slowly till it forms a smooth batter
5. Whisk (C) till stiff
6. Fold in 1/3 of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture and gently stir, then fold in the remaining egg white mixture and mix well gently
7. Pour batter into a lined 9" round cake tin
8. Bake in a preheated oven 180C for 35-40 mins or till it springs back when touched
9. Once cooked, remove from oven and invert the cake on the wire rack until completed cooled
10.Remove from mould and decorate it
* I cut the cake into 2 horizontally and added jam and then covered with butter cream.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A fire in one of the rooms

Tues, 10 Sept - I am preparing documents to take with me for our annual CEO conference. This year it is to be held in The New Forest - about 90 minutes drive from my house.

Then at about 12 noon, I get a call from Pat asking me to go home as he said that one of the rooms in our house had caught fire. We don't have a smoke detection unit at home but we do have a security alarm. The smoke was so bad that it triggered the burglar alarm which in turn called our key holder. He then came over to our house, walked round but found nothing amiss. He then called Pat to tell him about the call and asked if he should go in to have a look. When he told Pat there had been a fire, Pat thought he was winding him up. He eventually believed him and got Danny (the key holder) to call the fire brigade. By the time Danny came, the fire had burnt itself out and thank God the fire was contained only in one room! It was a miracle that the fire had not spread.

Good thing for us is that the station is 2 minutes away and then arrived soon after. They ran into the house with their hoses "blazing" but Danny managed to stop them from spraying water.

So to continue, here I was in a bit of a panic and trying to get all my papers ready .... managed to do it in record time and set off home.

As they say, pictures speak louder than words, so here are the pictures.

In the daytime in natural light, the damage didnt look too bad in our bedroom, but in the evening, when we thought of going to bed, that's when we realised that the smoke damage was worse than we thought !

Monday, 16 September 2013

Mango Mousse Cake

This is such a late posting. I made this cake on request of a friend for her friend's birthday last year and I just realised that I had not posted it yet. As this was a gift, sorry the cake was not cut to show the inside.


Chiffon Cake Base recipe:

4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
40g castor sugar
drop vanilla extract
75ml corn oil
110ml warm water
150g cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
40g castor sugar

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 165C.  
2. Mix the egg yolks with sugar until smooth. Add oil and water and combine very well. Sift in cake flour, incorporate all ingredients well until you get a smooth batter. 
3 Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites first for a while until bubbles form. Add cream of tartar. Add one third of the 40 grams of sugar at a time. Combine well between the adds, until stiff peaks form. 
4. Fold in the egg whites into the batter. Add one third of egg whites at a time in order to easily incorporate the egg whites. 
8. Pour batter into clean baking pan and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked.
9. Invert cake and leave to cool. Then cut cooled cake into 2 or 3 layers.

Mango Mousse recipe
350ml Non Dairy Whipping cream
300ml Mango Puree, unsweetened
180g Mango, diced into cubes
1 tbsp + 2 tsp gelatin powder
60ml hot water

Mango Puree Topping Recipe
100ml mango puree, unsweetened
2 tsp gelatin powder
50ml hot water


Dissolve gelatin in 60ml hot water. Keep warm for use later.
Whip cream till 70% stiff or mousse state.
Add gelatin solution into mango puree and mix well.
Add mango gelatin mixture into whipped cream and combine well.
Prepare a cake ring or a springform pan or a cake pan with removable base.
Put 1 layer of cake on to cake pan and top it with mango mousse filling. Add in the mango cubes and top it with some mousse just enough to cover the mango cubes. Chill in fridge for 10 - 15 mins.
Put in the other cake layer and pour all the mousse over it. Chill for 45 mins - 1 hour.
In the mean time, dissolve 2 tsp gelatin in 50ml hot water for mango puree topping. Add gelatin to mango puree and mix well. Strain mixture.
When the mousse is set, arrange sliced fruits on cake and spoon the mango puree topping over fruits and cake.
Chill cake for 3 hours before serving.
I trimmed my cake to be smaller than the pan so that the mousse will flow down and cover the whole cake

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mooncakes - traditional and snow skin with lotus paste

Homemade Lotus Seed Paste Recipe

500 grams lotus seeds (skinless)
½ tablespoon alkaline water 
4 cups water
300 - 400 grams white sugar
200ml sunflower oil
1 tablespoon maltose (about 15 grams)

How to make lotus seed paste
1. Place lotus seeds in a saucepot and cover with boiling water. Add alkaline water and cover. Steep for 20 minutes. Drain and wash lotus seeds well in clean water. 
2. Remove green centre then cook seeds with water till soft and tender.
3. Blend the lotus seeds (and enough cooking water) in an electric blender until very smooth
4. Heat up a wok or a non-stick frying pan, melt half the sugar amount until it turns light golden.
Pour half the oil in a nonstick wok, add half the sugar. Cook until the mixture turns a golden caramel. Add lotus seeds paste or puree. Stir continuously.

5. Then add remaining sugar and oil, a little at a time. Cook until thick and then stir in maltose. Mix well and continue to stir until lotus paste leaves the sides of your wok.
6. Take a tiny ball of paste and flatten out; if it does not feel sticky, the lotus seeds paste is ready. Remove the paste to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool completely.

 *from 500 gm of lotus seeds, I got about 2 kg of puree.

Ingredient: (made 9 mini mooncakes)- recipe from Do What I like

100g plain flour
30g peanut oil (I used sunflower oil)
65g golden syrup (Abram Lyles)
1/2 tsp alkaline water

lotus seed paste
salted egg yolks (optional)
roasted melon seeds (optional)

Egg glace:
1 yolk + 1 tsp water lightly beaten and strain

Method:1. Mix peanut oil, golden syrup and alkaline water together in a big cup and sit this cup in a bowl of boiling water. Stir till mixture is well combine. Remove and leave aside to cool till warm state but not cold.
2. Sieve plain flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in the warm syrup. Mix till a dough is formed. Cover the mixing bowl with a wet towel and rest the dough for 30 - 45 minutes.
3. Divide dough and filling according to the size of your mould. Shape the dough into a round flat sheet with sides thinner than the centre.

4. Wrap in the filling and mould it into a ball shape. Coat it with flour.
5. Divide dough into 15g pieces. Shape each dough into a ball. Roll each dough over some flour. Dust hand with flour and flatten each dough into a small disc (about 5cm in diameter). Wrap it around the filling and shape it into a ball. (always dust hand with some flour to avoid the dough from sticking).
6 Lightly dust the wrapped dough with some flour. Place it in the mooncake mould and press the mooncake out. 

7. Place mooncakes on a lined pan and spray the mooncakes with some water. Bake at 180C - 190C for 10 minutes.

8. Remove from oven, cool the cakes for 5 - 10 minutes then apply egg glace and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes or till golden brown. As every oven varies, please standby to check on your mooncakes. If you are doing standard size mooncakes, the baking time might be longer.

8. Store cooled mooncakes in an airtight container and serve only after 3 days.

 Snow skin 
150 gm fried glutinous rice flour [kao fun] - sifted
110 gm icing sugar - sifted
50 gm shortening
150 ml iced cold water
yellow, green, pink and chocolate colouring [optional], you can keep it plain or a single colour according to you own preference

1. Mix together sifted flour and icing sugar, then add in shortening.
2. Use rub in method to mix flour, sugar and shortening together into fine grains.
3. Slowly and gradually add in ice cold water.  Mix well and knead with hand till  smooth.  Cover and leave to rest for 15 - 30 minutes.  [Notes - If making different colours, divide into a few portions and add in colouring, knead till well combined then rest the dough for 15-30 minutes]
4. Take a portion each of the colours to weigh 20 gm. Flatten into a disc and wrap it around the filling and shape into a ball,.Dust the wrapped dough with kao fun and place in the mould and press out.
Place onto plates or containers and refrigerate before serving.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Rainbow cake

Baked this cake for my grandson's 3rd birthday. His mum didn't have any special request and I have been wanting to try and make this cake for some time, so it was the perfect time to do it.

Didn't know which recipe to choose, so in the end used a sponge cake recipe. I had to double the quantity to get my 7 layers of the rainbow because I only had 3 tins, had to bake it 3 times to get the 7 layers.

200 gm butter, softened
200 gm caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
200 gm self raising flour
For the filling:
400 gm icing sugar
150 gm butter, softened
2 tsp single cream
For the icing:
500 gm icing sugar
a little water to bind the icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C/Gas or 160 deg C/fn. Grease 2 deep 20cm sandwich cake tins. Line the base of each with greaseproof paper.*
2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a bit at a time, sprinkling in a bit of the flour to stop the mixture curdling. Sift and fold in the remaining flour. Divide the mixture into 4 bowls equally and add in your chosen colours.*
3. Then pour into baking tins and bake for about 15 mins then test with skewer. Leave the cakes in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave until cold.
4. Make your 2 batch of cake and repeat. You will have 1 extra layer - go on have that! :-)
5. While the cakes are cooling down, make the filling. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, then use to sandwich all the layers together.
5. Make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then mix in 2-3 tbsps cold water to make a smooth icing. Pour the icing onto the top of the cake and quickly spread it over the top and sides. Leave the icing to set before serving.

Starting from bottom layer:
Violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and ending with red on top.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Kuih Bingka Ambon

I love kuih ambon and I have tried numerous times without success. The flavour was there but I just could not get the honeycomb. Tried so many recipes and they all didnt work.

Finally, last week, thinking that perhaps my yeast had expired, I looked at the tin and realised that I had been using yeast for hand baking rather than the quick yeast. So off to the supermarket I went and bought me another can. The other reason for my kuih failing was because all the recipes asked to cook the cake with bottom heat first and then end off with grilling the top. But my oven did not have bottom heat!, so brains clicking now - ha, grill it on my stove top grill!

150 gms tapioca starch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
5 egg yolks
300 ml freshly squeezed coconut milk or coconut cream (from can)
150 gms sugar
20 gms  pandan leaves or 1 or 2 tsps pandan paste

You do not need to use a starter dough for this recipe


1. Mix tapioca starch/flour, salt and dry yeast. Add beaten egg yolks and whisk till smooth.

2. Add coconut milk and sugar to saucepan. Stir over medium heat till warm. To test, dip  finger in and should be bearable to the touch.

3. Slowly pour coconut milk into batter, stirring all the time.

4. You can either use pounded pandan leaves to get the juice or a teaspoon or 2 of pandan paste. Mix the batter thoroughly, cover and set aside for 2 – 3 hours. By the time, the batter will covered with tiny bubbles. There will be starch at the bottom of your mixing bowl. Whisk gently to mix

5. No need to line tin, I just brush oil all over the tin.

6. Using the bbq grill, turn it to low and cook the mixture until you see bubbles on top and also after it has stopped jiggling, move it to the oven with the top grill turned on at about 170 deg C for about 10 - 15 mins.

Tried again, this time for my mum and others who do not have a stove top grill. This time I cooked it on my stove top. It can be done but please put it on a slow fire and turn around often for the bottom to be evenly cooked. Once it stops jiggling, continue as per method 6 above.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Ngoh Hiang

Ngoh Hiang aka Lor Bak - updated with step by step photos

My this version of Ngoh Hiang is a cross between ngoh hiang and hae chor. A normal ngoh hiang only has minced pork and prawns but for this I've added fish paste and do I like it!

(Makes about 8 - 10 rolls)

500 gm minced pork or chicken
250 gm prawns (minced)
250 gm fish paste
1 onion - quartered
3 stalks spring onions
200 gm water chestnuts
2 eggs
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
cornflour slurry
2 sheets bean curd sheets (cut into 6 inch x 4 inch)
1/2 tsp salt

1. Place onion, water chestnuts, spring onions into food processor and roughly chop. Remove into a bowl.

2. Then add minced pork, minced prawns and fish paste and blend everything together. Add eggs, 5 spice powder and seasoning.

3. Wipe beancurd skin with a damp cloth to remove excess salt. Place an amount of mixture onto middle of skin. Tuck in short ends and then roll up and use cornflour slurry to seal the roll.

4. Steam the rolls (covered) for 8 - 10 mins.

5. Let the rolls cool completely, then cut into 1 inch pieces.

6. Dip open ends of the ngoh hiang in corn flour.

7. Shallow fry the ngor hiang pieces in very hot oil till golden brown. (Trying to be healthy here)

8. Enjoy and serve with sweet flour sauce (popiah sauce) and chilli

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Bubur Terigu aka Ta Mai

Actually I wasn't craving to eat bubur terigu. I happened to be at Sainsbury and passed by and saw this.

All of a sudden, in my mind's eye, I saw bubur terigu! Dont know whether it is or not, but it did look like it, so bought it.

Made it a total of 3 times just to get the perfect feel/texture.

Surfed the net and most people said to soak it for a couple of hours but it was about 9.30pm when I was wanting to cook it, so only soaked it for 10 mins and then started cooking it. Boiled it for about an hour and a half and then it was ready. Not too bad.

Next day I tried it again but this time using the slow cooker. Hmm... you can use the slow cooker but not cook it overnight. I did it from around 11pm to when I woke up at 6am and nah... too soft, not much bite.. but hey you may like it but it's not for me.

So last night tried again and yah, I think I got it right this time.

1 cup wheatberries
1 to 1 1/2 litres water
pinch of salt 
2 tbsp sugar or to taste
coconut milk to taste

1. Wash the wheatberries 3 - 4 times well.
2. Add 1 ltr of water first and bring to boil. Once it has come to boil, turn fire down to low.
3. You have to keep watching and stirring bottom of pan every 10 - 15 mins or so as the wheatberries catch at the bottom.
4. Add more water if it is drying out. 
5. Once the wheatberries have softened to your liking, add salt, sugar and coconut and it's ready!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Hols and food at home

These were a few of the foods I cooked while my mum, Liana and friends were here.

chix wings

ngoh hiang

sayoh lodeh

pandan cake

chilli stuffed mackeral

mee siam

ayam buah keluak

Chai tow kueh

Beef stew

Puttu Mayam

Sausages and mash

Boneless chix rice

Chwee kuih



Monday, 22 April 2013

Back dated post of our hols in Amsterdam

Dear Friends and readers

I am so, so sorry for being MIA for so long!

Firstly as you all know, was in Singapore end of Jan to mid of Feb, then got back and then to work. Then my mum and daughter and another couple came, all during the same period.

During the first week of my mum and daughter's holiday, we drove to Amsterdam while my friends went to Lake District.

Rented a 2 bedroom apartment and went to Kuekenhof to see the tulips.

Here are some of the pictures that we took while we were in Amsterdam.

Taking the train to France

View from our apartment in Amsterdam

Pat being goofy with mum


Can you spot the duck?

Cherry Blossoms

Floating Chinese restaurant in Amsterdam

With Clara (my ex classmate who now lives in Amsterdam) and her husband Arie

Sweet shop


Chocolate shop in Bruges