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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

iL Bicerin

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chamonix - Mont Blanc

Chamonix- Mont Blanc

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Legumes Soup With Reblochon Cheese

Inspired by what I ate in the Alps...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Martha Stewart's Red Velvet Cupcake

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pulut Hitam Pound Cake

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Penang Char Kuey Teow & Clove Hall

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fusilli Pasta With Broccoli and Anchovy Sauce


Read about this here

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend In Venice

Venice 24

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pandan Angel Food Cake - My Last Entry In Blogger


This will be my last entry in Blogger. You will be redirected to my new address after this weekend. 

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Pandan Flavoured Kuih Lapis

Pandan Lapis3
New Post Alert.... Pandan Flavoured Kuih Lapis... A reminder to check out my new posts HERE.... 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tish Boyle's Hot Milk Sponge Cake


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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fried Rice With SPAM and Parboiled Rice ... & Migration Announcement

Spam Fried Rice2

I have finally done it, migrated to my own URL....  Please follow this link to read more about my new Fried Rice Dish... See you at my new home! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Angel Chiffon Cake

Light as feather, soft as a whisper.... that's how I would imagine an Angel's kiss to be and that is exactly how this cake felt to me. I now wish that I had the sense to make this earlier. Thanks to the left over egg whites from my Mocha Kueh Lapis and to the fact that I could only spare 15mins to potter around in the kitchen, I decided to settle on this straight forward chiffon cake recipe.


The recipe uses only egg whites, a smidgen of salad oil (I used canola oil) and a light dose of powdered sugar to yield a cake that is so moist and tender with a hint of barely there sweetness. The subtle taste and the pale white colour of the fine pored cake evokes a sense of serenity and poise that is so synonymous with its name. I imagine this to be delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Another big plus for those who hate cleaning up after baking, this recipe is a breeze to clean for there is no oily, buttery, creamy mess. The meringue and the batter rinses out instantly with a tiny drop of washing detergent.

So have you been touched by the Angel yet?

Angel Chiffon Cake
Recipe (For a 17cm Chiffon Cake Mold)
40ml Salad Oil (Canola/ Grapeseed oil)
80ml Milk

70g All purpose flour ( I used top flour)
1/3tsp Salt
1/4tsp Vanilla extract

200g Egg white
70g Powdered sugar (Icing Sugar)

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix oil and milk together with a hand whisk.
3. Sift flour and salt into (2) and mix well with hand whisk until a smooth paste is formed and no lumps are visible.
4. In another clean mixing bowl, add egg whites and powdered sugar. Mix with a mixer fitted with a balloon whisk until soft white peaks are formed.
5. Add 1/3 of meringue from (4) into (3) and mix well. Add the remaining meringue and fold to combine using a rubber spatula.
6. Pour batter into chiffon pan and bake at 170C for 40mins.
7. Remove cake from oven and cool by standing the pan upside down.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bourke Street Bakery's Chocolate Ganache Tart

Till date, I have made 3 different tart recipes from Bourke Street Bakery's cookbook. My favourite being the ginger brulee tart. The short crust pastry in BSB's cookbook is one of my favourite as well. Hence, it is only natural that I return to them again. To be honest, I did not enjoy this Chocolate Ganache tart as much as I thought I would....



I think the reason for that is primarily due to the fact that the chocolate ganache used here is made with milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate - supposedly the characteristic that sets it apart from other chocolate ganache tart.  "Milk chocolate isn't as rich, making it possible for even a non-chocoholic to consume a full tart in a few quick mouthfuls..."  My curiosity was piqued by this statement that prefaced the recipe... but this time, curiosity did not pay off for me.
To be fair, I am not a milk chocolate lover. I have always preferred my chocolates to be dark dark dark... with various interesting undertones and overtones... like wine appreciation. Milk chocolate, even one from the industries' best names, just feels flat... all I could taste was a milky sweetness... but different strokes for different folks, I know there are many out there who enjoys their chocolate milky and sweet. Like my boyfriend, who to my greatest surprise, actually likes white chocolates! I am one, who fails to see the point in a white chocolate.

So this is one for those many different folks out there who enjoys a sweet milky chocolate with their tart.

Chocolate Ganache Tart 
Recipe : (From Bourke Street Bakery)
1 qty      Sweet short crust pastry
850g      Good quality milk chocolate, finely chopped.
500ml    Pouring cream (35% fat)

1.  Follow the instructions here and roll out the pastry and use it to line 8cm round fluted loose bottomed tart tins. This quantity will make 20 tarts. Set the tart cases in the freezer for at least 20mins.

2.  Blind bake the tart cases in a preheated 200C oven for 20-25mins or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3. For chocolate filling, put the chocolate into a stainless steel bowl. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat- this needs to happen quickly so the cream doesn't evaporate and reduce in volume.

4. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until well combined.

5. Pour the chocolate mixture into a jug and pour into the baked tart shells until filled to the brim.

6. Allow the tarts to set at room temperature overnight in a plastic airtight container. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creamy Mushroom Pasta With Sausage


As you may already suspect by now, I love pasta - it may even be safe to say that I enjoy all food Italian. I had concluded many years ago when I visited Rome twice in a short span of 3 months, that one has to be really unlucky to get bad food in Italy.
I look forward to July when I would be vacationing in Turino and Milan.

In the meantime, I am happy to whip up a quick and tasty pasta dish in my humble kitchen.


Originally a vegetarian recipe featuring just mushroom, I tried to perk it up with sausages.
The white wine cuts through the creaminess to keep the dish refreshingly light. I am now totally enamoured with cooking with cream and white wine. You can find this similar pairing in my last pasta dish, Spaghetti with Creamy Garlic Prawns which was equally delicious.

There is really nothing much more to say about this easy everyday concoction. I leave you with the photos and the recipe. Bon Appetite!

Creamy Mushroom Pasta With Sausage
250g. Spaghetti
100g. Sausages sliced
60ml. Olive oil
600g. Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
2. Garlic cloves
125ml. White wine
300ml. Cream
3tbsp. Finely chopped Italian parsley
30g. Grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta to al dente and set aside.
2. In a frying pan fry sausage until cooked.remove and set aside.Heat olive oil in the same pan and fry mushroom for 3 minutes until softened. Add crushed garlic cloves and fry until fragrant.
3. Add white wine and simmer until 50% of liquid has evaporated.
4. Add cream and chopped parsley. season with salt and pepper.
5. Add cooked spaghetti from (1). Toss well to coat. Add sausage and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pistachio Marble Pound Cake

Pistachio Pound9

This is for all the pound cake lovers out there. I fail to track the number of pound cake recipes I had worked through Tish Boyle's The Cake Book. I think very soon, I would find myself baking through the whole Cake Book - it is just so reliably good.

Pistachio Pound7

Pistachio Pound2

This recipe is modified from Tish Boyle's Rich Marble Pound Cake With Chocolate Glaze. I have chosen to skip the frosting and keep it simple. I have also chosen to marble it with a pistachio flavoured batter rather than the chocolate one featured in her book.

Pistachio Pound8
The effect is quite lovely as I had imagined. In place of the dark brown swirl, the jade green marbling instantly brightens the otherwise plain pound cake and makes it look... brand new. Talk about a cake-makeover!

I am going to keep this post short as I am rushing to tie things up before I leave for my travels again. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the pound cake!

Rich Pistachio Pound Cake
Pistachio Pound7(250)

342g/3cups Cake Flour
2tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
500g/1.5cups Castor sugar, divided (Please reduce this to 300g- original recipe is too sweet)

20g Natural cocao powder (I replaced this with 50g Pistachio paste)
90ml Water

340g/3sticks Unsalted butter

1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
5 large Eggs
120ml (1/2cup) Whole milk

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 325F/ 190C. Grease the inside of a 10inch bundt pan and dust with flour.
2. Sift Cake flour, baking powder and salt and set it aside.
3. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter at medium speed for 2 minutes until creamy.
4. Add sugar and continue to cream for 4 mins at medium to high speed.
5. Add vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time and mix at medium speed until well mixed.
6. Add sifted flour mixture in 3 additions and alternating it with 2 additions of milk.
7. Mix cocoa powder with water in a small bowl. Add 3 cups of the batter to the cocoa mixture and stir until blended. (I added my pistachio paste here instead of the cocoa mixture)
8. Spoon 1/3 of plain batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth it to an even layer. Spoon 1/3 of the chocolate (pistachio) mixture over the plain layer and smooth to even out. Repeat until all batter is used up finishing with the chocolate layer.
9. Bake at 190C for 60-75mins or until the skewer comes out clean.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baked Banana

When I first saw this recipe in Chef Gregoire Michaud's Never Skip Dessert last year, I had eagerly bookmarked it. I remember thinking to myself, this is like a creme brulee in a banana - as opposed to the banana in creme brulee which I had made before... :)  The clever quirkiness of this dish appeals to me and the recipe seems easy enough. Chef Michaud had included a Yuzu Thyme Ice Cream as a second component to this dish. I decided I can cut myself some slack and serve it with a store bought vanilla ice cream. Easy peasy, no?

But little had I expected to work through a whole bunch of bananas and still not get a decent shot at this.... Don't get me wrong, the preparation of the baked banana was simple enough and it tasted delicious with a crispy crust of caramelised sugar on top.
What stumped me was that wretched scoop of ice cream! Getting the ice cream to thaw to just the right texture to get a perfect quenelle proved to be especially tricky! By the time I got the ice cream to thaw / freeze right, the bananas had wilted out on me. Then, by the time I baked a second batch of bananas, the sky turned impossibly dark as stormy weather set in.... I had no choice but to do this again the next day and this time round, I decided to just skip the scoop of ice cream altogether.

This is a great great way to serve a tropical dessert. If you like bananas, the sweetness of the fruit pairs really well with the vanilla custard.
Be sure to use a ripe banana to ensure the best flavour and do not get alarmed when your banana turns black in the oven. I actually find it quite cool to plate a charcoal black banana.... :)

Baked Banana
Recipe : (from Never Skip Dessert by Gregoire Michaud)

3 pcs         Large curved bananas

150gm      Milk
150gm      Cream
40g           Sugar
1.5pc        Eggs
1 pc          Vanilla pod (scraped to get vanilla beans)

Method : 
1. Boil milk, cream, sugar and vanilla beans.
2. Strain this into eggs and mix well
3. Preheat oven to 190C.
4. Slice the banana length wise in half.
5. Remove the pulp from the banana. Chop up the pulp and lay a few pieces in the banana skin.
6. Place the banana on a baking tray and fill it with the custard cream.
7. Bake at 190C for 20mins.
8. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar. Using a blow torch, caramelise the sugar.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mocha Kuih Lapis

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I say, I am becoming quite good at this! This is my third Lapis and all three times, they have turned out deliciously successful.
The first two cakes were baked during Chinese New Year. The strangest compliment I've received was when a friend told me that my Lapis was really good because her dog had liked it.....  Apparently, Snowy her dog, has extremely discerning taste. She would not just eat anything given to her and apparently she loves buttery desserts.... I am not an animal person so I have no idea whether that is normal.

Back to the Lapis. I baked this again because my father's 76 year old Malay doctor friend had been refusing to charge him when he went to see him for a skin condition. My father had been unwilling to go back for a follow up session because he knew the doctor is not going to charge him again. ( For those who are not familiar - this is an Asian thing. We feel indebted when we receive free things from friends.)  To force my father to go back to the clinic again, I volunteered to present the doctor with a Lapis when we go back again.

To be quite honest, at one point, I did wonder if it would be appropriate to present a 76 year old man with a cholesterol laden sweet but I went ahead with it anyway because, the Lapis is generally perceived as an indulgent treat and is extremely popular with the Malays (and non-Malays alike).  In fact, I have not met anyone, who does not enjoy the Lapis.

Coincidentally I saw Rima's gorgeous Mocha Lapis post last week. It was the most perfect lapis I have ever seen in my life. The texture looked exceptionally gorgeous. I was literally brimming with excitement until I saw the recipe.... The 9 inch cake uses 45 egg yolks, almost 1kg of butter and a mind whopping amount of sugar. I baulked and chickened out.

I decided to take a few elements from Rima's recipe and came up with a modified, recipe.
I am still extremely pleased with the texture of this Lapis and I hope with more practice, my lapis would one day look as good as Rima's.

Mocha Kuih Lapis
Recipe : 
(makes a 8″ square)
375g      butter
1            vanilla pod
180g      full cream condensed milk
5            whole eggs
12          egg yolks
200g      fine sugar
3g          baking powder
130g      cake flour
20g        butter milk powder (you can substitute this with milk powder)
2tbsp      mocha emulco
1tbsp      cocao powder
1. Preheat oven to 230 C using the normal top and bottom heat to heat up the entire oven. If your oven has grill function with temperature control, use that.  
2. Line the bottom of a 8″ square pan. 
3.Cream butter, vanilla seed (scraped from vanilla pod) and condensed milk together until light and fluffy. Set this aside.
4. Beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and baking powder together until ribbon stage.  Add the butter from (3) into the egg mixture and continue to beat at high speed.
6. Sift flour and fold into the batter.
7. Divide batter into 2 portions. Add mocha emulco and cocoa powder into one portion. Mix well to combine.
8. Heat the empty cake pan in the oven for 2 mins. 
9. Remove pan from oven and spread a portion of batter in the pan. (Measure your batter for every layer to ensure that your layers will be even) Level batter with a spatula and grill for 3 mins or until dark brown. 
10. Remove from oven, press cake layer to remove excess air. Spread another portion of batter, level it and grill for 3 mins or until dark brown. 
11. Repeat 9 and 10 (alternating 3 layers of plain batter with 3 layers of mocha layer) until the batter is finished. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spaghetti With Creamy Garlic Prawns

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This one is for the serious aromatic lovers - garlic, leek and parsley- this recipe has it all in generous portions.

I am thankful that I am not allergic to to any of the aromatic vegetables. I have a colleague in Italy who is allergic to garlic and I don't know how he overcome meal time challenges at one of the gastronomic capitals of the world. I imagine it to be pure torture.
I am also fortunate that I happen to love the distinctively pungent aromas of wonderful herbs and vegetables such as garlic, parsley, coriander, celery etc. I well up in frustration when friends I dine with reject herbs with a strong smell. I try hard to be tolerant but it will always remain beyond my comprehension.

In a world laden with processed food and additives, garlics boost our immunity and minimise heart ailments. Leek on the other hand,is a great source of fibre and has laxative, antiseptic and anti-arthritic properties.


Cooking a recipe like this will have all your neighbours thinking that you are a great cook. The aroma is intoxicating and evokes imagery of sizzling gourmet food. It doesn't hurt when the recipe is really easy to manage.
So who's afraid of the aromatics???

Spaghetti With Creamy Garlic Prawns

2 tbsp Olive oil
16 Raw medium size prawns, shelled and deveined
30g Leek chopped
40g Garlic, minced
1/2tsp Chilli flakes
125ml Dry white wine
50ml Cream
250g Spaghetti
3 tbsp Chopped flat leave parsley

Method :

1. Season prawns with salt. Heat half the oil in a frying pan and prawns to the pan and cook at high heat for 2-3 mins or until cooked. Remove from the pan, cover and keep warm.

2. Start cooking pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente. (I used tagliatelle which required me to cook for 12mins hence I start early here)

3.Heat the remaining oil in the same pan, add the leek and cook, stirring over medium heat for 2-3 mins or until softened. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and stir for 1 mins.

4. Pour in the wine and simmer for 4 mins or until reduced. Add the cream and simmer for 3 mins or until just thickened.

5. The pasta should be ready and drained by now.

6. Stir parsley into the sauce and season with salt to taste. Return drained pasta into the pan and stir to coat.

7. Divide among serving bowls and top with prawns.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Jam Topping Sponge Cake

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Jam Sponge4
When I was growing up, cakes did not look anything like what we see today - we almost never saw anything with fresh cream and one can totally forget about intricate entremets. What we had then were rustic, simple and predictable. I recall that we would always look forward to marriage celebrations among family friends, waiting for the day when they would personally deliver the red invitation card and the box of engagement cake. Yes, those were strange times when the bride/ groom family would be running around distributing dozens of boxes of cakes and wedding invitation cards. Depending on how close one is to the family, one may get either one or two boxes of wedding cakes.
Jam Sponge9

Jam Sponge6
The contents of those cake boxes were almost always the same- typically an assortment of 10 slices of sponge cakes frosted with delicious butter cream. Some would be crusted with chocolate rice, others would be dotted with colourful jams.  Quite often, the ones with chocolate would get snapped up first after which we would reach for those topped with jams... The tradition has become simplified over the years. Nobody runs around distributing cakes on their engagement day anymore. Instead these have been replaced by cake vouchers which one can redeem from the bakery stores.

Jam Sponge8
When I spotted these in Alex Goh's Creative Making Of Cakes, I knew that I would have to make these just  to revisit childhood nostalgia. My cake is not completely the same as what we used to have.The sponge cake is more refined, the butter cream is fluffier and lighter and the jam tasted less artificial than what I used to have 30 years ago...(even though I tried to buy the cheapest jam I could find off the supermarket shelf) but it still managed to give me flash backs of those pink floral cake boxes tied with raffia ribbon and those lacquered red invitation cards...gosh, I have not seen those in ages!

If you are from the same era as I am, you will love this. Memories are the world's most potent ingredients...

Jam Sponge4(250)
Jam Topping Cake  (Adapted From Alex Goh's Creative Making of Cakes)
150g                Sugar ( A tad sweet, I would reduce this to 120g next time)
15g                  Cake Emulsifier
5                      Eggs
130g                Flour
1tsp                  Baking powder
40ml                 Water
85g                   Melted butter
Desiccated coconut
Strawberry jam
Butter cream for frosting. I used left over butter cream from here.

1. Preheat oven to 190C. Mix (A) until well blended in a mixing bowl. Add (B) into the same bowl and start to whisk with balloon whisk until thickened.
2. Add (C) and continue to whip until light and fluffy. (ribbon stage - with the help of the cake emulsifier, this can be achieved very quickly and it stays very stable)
3. Fold in (D) and mix till well blended.
4. Pour the batter into a 12 inch square tin lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake at 190C for 20mins.
6. Remove from oven. Lift cake out of baking pan (so you should cut the parchment paper such that it overflows and allow you to grip the edges to lift the cake out of the tin) and leave to cool on a wire rack.
7. Peel off parchment paper when cake is completely cooled. Cut into 2 equal slices.
8. Sandwich  the 2 slices together with butter cream.
9. Using a 3 inch round cutter and cut the cakes into rounds. (alternatively, you can just slice into rectangular slices which will reduce wastage)
10. Coat the outside of the rounds with butter cream and cover with desiccated coconut.
11. Pipe a ring of butter cream at the top of the cakelet. Fill center with your favourite jam.


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