Friday, December 5, 2014

Garlic Butter Buns

Today I returned to the traditional process of bread making - by hands - a great way to work on building arm muscles!  Not by choice, mind you.  I am on holiday and my in-laws don't bake, so naturally there is no mixer or bread machine in the house.  However, there is a newly acquired turbo broiler.  I wasn't sure how my bread will turn out baked in this little oven but fortunately they were all very soft and fluffy, phew! 

I followed this bread recipe and topped with some garlic butter with some chopped spring onions.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Siu Mai [ 烧卖]

Siu Mai (烧卖) is a very popular Chinese dumpling served as part of a dim sum brunch during Yum Cha.  It is very easy to make at home and you can make a large batch and freeze them.  

Ingredients: (Makes 21)

500g minced pork
300g prawns, deveined and cut into small pieces
3 mushroom (about 10g), soaked to soften then finely chopped
2 water chestnuts, finely chopped
2 stalks of spring onions, chopped finely

1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornflour
1 egg

1 tbsp finely chopped carrots

wonton wrappers, trim into round circles

  • In a big mixing bowl, combine minced pork, prawn, mushroom, water chestnuts and spring onions together. Mix in seasoning.  Stir well to combine.  
  • Refrigerate the filling for at least 30 minutes.  
  • To wrap the siu mai, place a tablespoon of filling in the centre of each wonton wrapper. Bring up edges of the wrapper and shape the dumpling by pressing down the filling and smoothing the surface; then flatten the bottom.
  • Press some chopped carrots on the siu mai as garnishing.
  • Place siu mai on a greased steaming bamboo basket and steam over high heat for about 15 minutes.  
  • Serve hot with chilli sauce.

To freeze uncooked siu mai:

  • Arrange siu mai on a tray lined with clingwrap.  Place them into the freezer for at least an hour.  
  • Then transfer the frozen siu mai into a freezer bag or container.  Continue storing in the freezer.
To cook frozen siu mai:
  • Arrange unthawed siu mai in a steamer and steam for about 20 minutes (depends on the size of siu mai) over high heat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blueberry Chiffon Cake

Recipe  from  Honey Bee Sweets' Fresh Blueberry Chiffon Cake with slight changes.

5 egg yolks
100g fresh blueberry compote (See below)
60ml fresh orange juice
80ml Rice Bran oil
50g sugar
130g cake flour
3g salt

5 egg whites
70g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
  • Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale.  Gradually add in oil, water and blueberry compote. Beat until well combined.
  • Sift flour into a mixing bowl.  Gradually whisk in the egg yolk  mixture in a slow and steady stream.
  • In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, add in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the flour/egg yolk mixture in 3 batches. 
  • Pour batter into an ungreased 20cm tube pan. 
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until cook.
  • Remove cake from the oven and invert the pan to cool.
  • Unmould the cake when it is completely cool.

Blueberry compote:  
100g fresh blueberry
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan and cook under low heat.  Stir to combine and cook until blueberries start to break down.
  • Continue to stir gently until it thickens.  Remove from heat and let it cool.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Vanilla Butter Cake

Butter Cake
Butter Cake

I am not one of those people who can memorise recipes, especially cake recipes.  However, this is the only one recipe which I can remember.  Easy, just remember the number 6! 


6 oz butter, softened
6 oz caster sugar
6 oz self-raising flour, sifted
6 eggs (about 55g each), separated
3 tbsp lemon juice or milk (optional)

1 tsp vanilla paste


  • Lightly grease a 20cm cake tin. Line the base with baking paper.
  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  • Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat butter until soft.  Add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy (mixture should looked pale).
  • Beat in egg yolks, one at a time and make sure that each egg is completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next one. Add vanilla paste and beat until combined.
  • Fold in flour alternately with the lemon juice, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir until just combined and the batter is smooth.
  • With a rubber spatula, gently fold about a third of the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it; then fold in the remaining whites until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Pour batter into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for about 45 - 60  minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  • Leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Homemade Curry Powder

Ingredients:  [Yields about 45g curry powder]

20g coriander seeds
15g cumin seeds
15g fennel seeds
15g or more dried chillies, remove seeds
1 clove
1 star anise

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp tumeric powder

  • Put all the ingredients (A) into a sieve and rinse with water.  Drain thoroughly.  
  • Then place the spices into a frying pan (without oil) and toast the spices on low heat, tossing constantly until fragrant.  Leave to cool in the pan.
  • In a grinder or blender, grind the toasted spices into fine powder.  Add in ingredients (B) and continue to blitz until combined.  
  • Sift the ground spices through a fine mesh-sieve, and return the coarser remains in the sieve to the grinder and grind again.  Discard any residue that cannot pass through the sieve.
  • Store in an airtight glass jar.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Cake


2 eggs
100g oil
100g brown sugar
40g caster sugar
165g (1 cup) grated zucchini
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

190g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
30g pecan, chopped
50g mixed dried cranberries & blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 170 deg C.
  • Beat eggs until frothy.  Gradually add in sugars and beat until thick and pale.
  • Then beat in oil slowly while the mixer is still running. 
  • Add in vanilla extract and beat to just combined.
  • Add in grated zucchini and mix until just incorporated.
  • With a spatula, fold in ingredients (B).
  • Bake in a lined 20 x 10 cm loaf pan for about an hour or until cooked.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Butter-Pandan Marbled Cake


250g butter, softened
180g caster sugar
4 eggs (60g each), room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
190g plain flour
60g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
60g coconut milk
1/2 tsp pandan paste

  • Preheat oven to 170 deg C.  Grease and line an 8 inch round cake pan.
  • Sift plain flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together.  Set aside.
  • Beat the butter until soft.  Then add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • With the mixer on slow speed, alternately add in the flour mixture and coconut milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Divide batter into two portions.  Add pandan paste into one portion and mix to just combined.
  • Place a spoon of the plain batter onto the middle of the cake pan and top it with a spoonful of the pandan batter. Continue with alternating batters, making sure to keep placing them into the centre with each addition.
  • Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

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