Carrot Raisin Muffins (红萝卜葡萄干小松饼)

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INTRODUCTION

This is another simple, common muffin recipe to share with all.  It is the first muffin that I have tried making when I started my baking adventures ages ago long before I have the blog. Then, I remember telling my friends that selling muffins should be one of the most lucrative business because ingredients are easy to obtain and preparation is simple… Prices are not cheap either..

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Yes, all muffin preparation shall be simple mix and bake. One important thing about preparing good muffins is it should not be over mixed. The mixing shall be light and fast to prevent development of gluten and to incorporate air to the batter. Lumpy batter in fact is encouraged. I mix my muffins using fork or knife and please do not mix using a hand whisk..

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For those who are keen to know how to make a good muffin and differences between cupcakes and muffins, you may want to take a look at this article: TIPS TO PREPARING A GOOD MUFFIN. In the article, and for those who have encounter prepared some flat-top muffins,  it was mentioned that :

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“If muffin cups are filled more than 3/4 full the muffins will have flat, “flying saucer” tops. If sufficient room is not allowed for muffins to expand before reaching the top of the cup the muffin will flatten on top.”

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If you are unsure how the muffin tastes like, it tastes exactly like the traditional carrot cake possibly with a denser texture. If you do not like raisins, you can always used walnuts instead.

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Seeing most of my readers trying my recipes are using cupcake cups instead of muffin cups, therefore, for this recipe, I have used cupcake cups to illustrate as well. Cupcakes cups are shorter and much easier to get cooked as compared to muffin cups. The timing of baking is faster too.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare about 12 cupcake size muffins or about 6-8 muffin cup size muffins

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  • 150 grams of melted butter or cooking cooking oil
  • 150 grams of carrots (shredded)
  • 150 grams of castor sugar or brown sugar
  • 200 grams of self raising flour
  • 100 grams of raisin or chopped walnuts
  • 50 grams of fresh milk
  • 1 teaspoon of baking baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon powder (optional)
  • 3 eggs

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and get ready the cupcake cups or muffin cups.

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  • In the big mixing bowl. place the sugar, shredded carrots, self raising flour, sifted baking soda, raising and cinnamon powder. Stir until it resemble crumble like mixture. In another bowl, put all the wet ingredients (melted butter or cooking oil, milk and lightly beaten eggs), stir until well mix. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients (in 3 stages), use a knife or spoon or fork to lightly mix it until the flour absorb the moisture. Mixing should be light and fast and lumpy batter is encouraged.

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  • Transfer the batter to the cupcakes cups with about 3/4 full. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until the top turn golden brown and when a skewer inserted comes out clean. If you are using muffin cups, it will be about 5-10 minutes more and the skewer test is still the final test.

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CONCLUSION

This is the fifth in the new series of muffin recipes. It is my hope that by the end of the 10th recipes, readers will be able to design and prepare your own muffins based on the principles as conveyed in my post. Remember, it is a denser carrot cake and if you like, you can always serve your muffins with the cream cheese frosting. Overnight muffin are much tastier and moister than when it is just baked.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Updated post on 7-5-2014  

Processed with Moldiv

As some readers are saying that they do not have any oven, as such, I have tried to steam the muffins under heat in a cake tin .. It works very well. The cake is very moist.

Processed with Moldiv

Exactly the same recipe. As for the steaming time, it is about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the cake.. A final skewer test inserts into the centre of the cake comes out clean is still necessary. 

Processed with Moldiv

Unsure If It Is From Holland or Denmark &hellip ;. Danish Pastry Loaf (丹麦吐司条)And Fujisan Bread (富士山面包)

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UPDATED POST ON 5-OCTOBER-2014

Please scroll down towards the end for the preparation of Fujisan Bread..a type of bread prepared using the Danish Pastry Loaf.


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INTRODUCTION

While I was doing this Danish Pastry loaf yesterday, it reminded me of one attempt to prepare croissants about 15 years ago. I started to regret to prepare this bread loaf. As expected, it get messier and messier and it become so messier that I may have to refer to you the original website for the procedure of preparing the dough after first proofing and the pleating process….(Subsequent Notes on 5-10-2014: I have finally prepared some croissants using some pastry margarine and if you are interested you can refer to: Home Made Croissants (家居自制牛角包))

I  have obtained this recipe from the website (Stick Danish Loaf (6 x 6 x 20 cm)).

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Not to discouraging my readers, you need to psychologically prepare for the messy attempt as the butter melts very fast. It take a longer time to prepare this bread because you may need to chill the dough to let the butter harden before you can proceed. If your butter is leaked, the messiness starts. You have to repeat the process a few times until the dough is very thin. However, you can always used pastry margarine to prepare this… Chances of success will be much higher.

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However, once you take the first bite, you will not regret of preparing this bread. For readers who are residing in countries where the weather is colder, it may be easier to prepare this…At time, i am thinking, how I wished my kitchen is equipped with air conditioner.

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As usual, I can’t get hold of recipe of this so called “Danish” pastry loaf from Holland or Denmark website, just like I can’t find recipe of “German cookies” from German website. In my humble opinion, there is a possibility that it originates from Asia (most likely Japan) rather than Europe since most of the recipes came from Japan website.

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It is a buttery and aromatic soft bread and can be found in recent years in Singapore and Malaysian bakery. When I was shopping in a supermarket in Singapore yesterday, I saw this bread and its aroma making me taking a bold step to try making this bread.

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If you have never taste the bread before, it is a softer, bigger version of croissants.. You can either cut into pieces or like croissants, you can eat on its own. The family loves to tear the bread and eat on its own.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Stick Danish Loaf (6 x 6 x 20 cm)

Servings: Prepare a 9” x 4” x 4” Loaf

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  • 100 grams of cake flour or top flour
  • 300 grams of bread flour
  • 50 grams of butter, melted
  • 60 grams of sugar
  • 120 grams of fresh cream for whipping
  • 5 grams of salt
  • 10 grams of yeast
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 150 grams of butter (cold) – for second proofing) (PASTRY MARGARINE can be used )

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly greased a loaf tin of 9”x4”x4”

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  • Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Add in eggs and cream. In a bowl of a standing mixer, sift in all the flour, add sugar and yeasts, stir until well mixed.  Add the liquid mixture. Use  a tablespoon to lightly stir it to make it look like a paste. Transfer the bowl to the standing mixer, use medium speed to knead it until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the bowl. This will take about 20-25 minutes. If it is too sticky, add some bread flour tablespoon by tablespoon. If it is too dry, add additional milk teaspoon by teaspoon. Once done, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a round ball, covered with a clingy wrap and let it proof until double in size.

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  • Once it doubles in size, transfer to a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll into 32cm x 20 cm. Cut a thin slice of butter and place on top on half of the dough. Cover the dough using the the half. Seal the edges of the 3 sides. (Your can also refer to my croissant lamination in this post : Home Made Croissants (家居自制牛角包))

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  • Use a rolling pin to roll into 40 cm x 20 cm gently and as carefully as possible.  Fold the dough into 1/3 of the size overlapping each other. If the butter is too soft, you will need to chill the dough for 5-10 minutes until the butter hardens. (Your can also refer to my croissant lamination in this post : Home Made Croissants (家居自制牛角包))

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  • Once the butter harden again, roll it out into 40 cm x 20 cm and fold the dough into 1/3 size again. Repeat the same procedures for at least 3-4 times. If the butter is too soft and start to leak, you will need to chill the dough until you can handle. After 3-4 times, divide the dough into 2 portions or 3 portions or 5 portions with the ends of one side intact. (Your can also refer to my croissant lamination in this post : Home Made Croissants (家居自制牛角包))

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  • Pleat the dough in the best possible shape you like. Transfer to the lightly greased loaf tin. Let it proof until double in size and covered with a wet towel or clingy wrap.

  • Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius. Once second proofing is done, bake in the oven at 200 degree Celsius for 30-45 minutes until it becomes golden brown. Timing is for your reference and it depends very much on the shape of the height of your bread.

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  • To ensure that the bread is properly cooked, I will advise readers to be more systematic by inserting an oven thermometer into the bread. If the internal temperature reached 90 degree Celsius, the bread will be cooked. Since this is a bread with wet dough and rather high, this is the best precautionary measure. Otherwise, a skewer test can be performed prior to taking out from the oven.

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PREPARATION OF FUJISAN BREAD


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Do not asked me why the name of this bread is called Fujisan Bread. I am equally puzzled and the only thing I can think of is that it was usually dusted with icing sugar and the top part of the bread resembles the snowing Mount Fuji in Japan.

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I have seen the bread sold in Singaporean and Malaysian bakery at quite a hefty premium.. I do not know the name until recently I saw some Facebook bread group’s member who posted such a bread. I goggled and managed to get some recipes from some Chinese website.

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After analysing the recipe , I found that it is almost the same as the above Danish pastry loaf recipe though some called for the use of condensed milk.

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Since I have some pastry margarine sitting in my self and I do not foresee preparing croissants again in the near future, I have decided to prepare this bread. There is no changes in the recipe except that I am using pastry margarine rather than pure butter.

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I am very happy with the lamination of bread and obviously pastry margarine is definitely much easier to work with as compared to butter in our hot water of Singapore and Malaysia.

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  • Based on the recipe above get ready the dough. Once all laminating have been done, use a knife to cut the dough into small strips with about 1 cm  x 20 cm long. Take two strips and plait the stripes. seal both end and round the plaits with the ends sitting at the bottom. Place the bread dough on a muffin or other desired  baking cups. Let the bread proof until double in size.

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  • Once the bread double in size, egg wash the bread and bake in the pre-heated oven of 200 degree Celsius for 12-15 minutes. Baking time will depending on the size of muffin cups. The bigger the muffin cup, the longer will be the baking time.

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CONCLUSION

Unlike my other post, I dare not to tell you that this is a simple assignment. It can be messy in hot weather if you are using butter, but do not be deterred to trying it if this is your favourite bread.. Rest be assured that this is a fluffy, aromatic and buttery bread and your efforts will be paid off once you took your first bite.

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However, it will definitely much easier if you are using pastry margarine and you will impressed your friends the beautiful lamination in the bread.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Noodles Cake? Flour Vermicelli Steamed Cake or Mee Sua Kuih (面线糕)

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INTRODUCTION

I don’t know how many readers have eaten this steamed “noodle” cake before but I have my fair share of this kuih when I was in Sarawak. My mother in laws used to prepare this kuih years back when she bought a set of new utensils. She said the cookbook provided came with this special recipe.

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A week ago, one Facebook friend asked me to help her to translate her recipe (from a newspaper cutting from Sarawak) to English, that reminded that I have not eaten this kuih for a few years. Since my mother in law is with me in Singapore, I have decided to prepare this together with her.  The recipe here is our own version of mee sua kuih .

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Preparation is not difficult and as it is a savoury dish, variations are many.. For most of the ingredients, you can increase or reduce the quantities to suit your taste buds.

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When I posted the picture in some Facebook Groups, some members in Singapore said that they have taste before in Singapore  and surprisingly, in a Central Business District kuih stall at Raffles Place.. Most have totally never seen or heard of the kuih, and this is how I described to them about the taste and texture: “ It is just like a plate of fried mee sua but in different form” or “It taste like steamed yam cake or steamed carrot cake (depending on what you have put) but with a noodle texture”.

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House chefs who cooked flour vermicelli will know that this noodle is very sticky in solid form and  most of time, there were used only in soupy noodle dishes. By the same logic, with adequate but not too much water, flour vermicelli will expand and “adhere” to each other, making it possible to cut into pieces like any other cakes. Adding too much water will reduce the stickiness and unable to form the kuih. That is the basic logic behind the preparation of this kuih.

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For the benefits of the international readers who are not familiar with flour vermicelli. per Wikipedia:

“Misua (also spelled mee sua or miswa) is a very thin variety of salted Chinese noodles made from wheat flour. It originated in Fujian,China. The noodles differ from mifen (rice vermicelli) and cellophane noodles in that the latter two are made from rice and mung beans, respectively, and are typically a lot thinner than those two varieties. Misua is made from wheat flour. Cooking misua usually takes less than 2 minutes in boiling water, and sometimes significantly less. Misua is cooked during important festivities, and eaten in mainland China as well in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam,Brunei, Thailand, and the Philippines. Misua signifies long life in Chinese culture, and as such is a traditional birthday food. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misua)”

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 5-6 persons ( about 1 tray of 8 “ diameter steamed cake)

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  • 150 grams of rice vermicelli
  • 100 grams of minced meat
  • 5 winter mushrooms, soaked and sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons of baby shrimps
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped onion/shallots/white part of spring onion
  • 3 tablespoons of julienned red carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 2-2.5 cups of water

Seasonings

  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of light soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of chicken stock or any other prefer seasoning

Garnishes

  • Few stalks of Chinese celery, chopped until small
  • 2-3 tablespoons of deep fried shallots
  • Some sesame seeds

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly greased an 8 inches diameter round baking tray.

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  • In a pot of hot water, blanch the rice vermicelli until soft (About 3-4 minutes depend on brand). Drain and set aside. Immediately when cooled, it will become a lump.

  • In a hot pot, put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, sauté the chopped garlics/shallots and mushrooms until fragrant or golden brown. Add the julienned red carrot, small shrimps and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the minced meat (for the minced meat, to avoid it forming lumps when stir fried, add a few tablespoons of water before stir frying). 

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  • Stir fry until well combined. Add all the seasonings (Chicken stocks, white pepper, sesame oil, light soya sauce) and stir fry until well combine. Salt may be added to enhance the taste but it depends on the type of flour vermicelli that you used. Some flour vermicelli are very salty and salt should be omitted. However, you can still adjust the taste at the later stage.

  • Add the blanched flour vermicelli. Add adequate water just to roughly cover the vermicelli (my experience is about 2-2.5 cups of water). Stir until well combined. If it is difficult to stir, use a pair of chopstick to stir it until well combined. It is advisable that at this stage, you use a spoon to taste whether the seasonings suit your taste bud and do necessary adjustments in this stage.

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  • Add in some chopped Chinese celery, stir well and transfer to a lightly greased baking tin and pressed until compact. Steamed in a steamer under high heat for 15-20 minutes until the kuih dries up. Note that when hot, it may be very soft and still shapeless. When cool, it will set and become a kuih like structure. If it does not set, it will mean that too much water is added.  Add in the garnishes (chopped Chinese celery, sesame seeds, chilli and fried shallots) while it is hot and use spoon to press it. Cooled completely before cutting into small slices.

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CONCLUSION

Pardon me for not being humble that the whole family loved this rather unique kuih.. Once again, if you have never taste it, it is just like eating a plate of fried mee sua in another form. Whether it is nice or not will very much depends on your adding of seasonings to suit your family’s taste buds and how you sauté the ingredients to make it fragrant. Do give it a try..

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Baked Is Healthier… Isn’t It? Mini Baked Donuts (迷你甜甜圈-烘烤版本)

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INTRODUCTION

While I was window shopping in a bakery shop in Singapore, I saw a promotion on these mini donut trays, 2 of which is SGD19.80… I feel the urge to purchase the trays as I have failed once with my baked donuts because the holes had disappeared after my baking. I decided to buy the trays thinking of preparing some baked donuts or possibly used for agar agar or other mini Bundt cakes..

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To be fair with the readers who do not have these mini donut trays, I have prepared some of which is round in shape of the same size and you can always used the same method to decorate your cute small balls. Taste and texture of course are the same..They are just in different shape.

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These are the baked version of the donuts. They are different from the deep fried version.. Frankly speaking, the deep fried version is more aromatic and of course, every readers will know it is unhealthier.

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It is a type of bread but the recipe have much higher sugar, butter and eggs to make them more aromatic and flavourful. It is intended to eat as its own or with some simple glazing. It will definitely be a hit as a party snack due to its mini size.

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Glazing is definitely not my area of strength and in fact, I hate anything to do with glazing of cakes. I just prepared some with simple ganache and some with icing glazing for purpose of picture taking.

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Because of its mini size, baking and proofing were very fast… In fact, they were so fast that I have to bake it by batches as soon as it reached 2/3 height of the baking mould’s height.. It is definitely a fun attempt to do these mini donuts.

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They do look like bagels but this recipe yields a much fluffier and soft bread than the bagels that I have tasted before. In fact, on the second day of preparation, it is still soft and my wife and my mother in law have eaten these mini donuts without any glazing on. … It is a rather healthy snack….

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from:  Baked Mini Donuts

Servings : Prepare about 40-50 mini baked donuts of 15 grams each

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  • 50 grams of melted butter
  • 50 grams of castor sugar
  • 375-400 grams (about 3 cups) of plain or all purpose flour
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) of fresh milk
  • 6 grams of instant dry yeast
  • Pinches of salt
  • 2 eggs

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Add in eggs and  milk. In a bowl of a standing mixer, sift in all the flour, add sugar and yeasts, stir until well mixed.  Add the liquid mixture. Use  a tablespoon to lightly stir it to make it look like a paste. Transfer the bowl to the standing mixer, use medium speed to knead it until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the bowl. This will take about 20-25 minutes. If it is too sticky, add some flour tablespoon by tablespoon. If it is too dry, add additional milk teaspoon by teaspoon. Once done, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a round ball, covered with a clingy wrap and let it proof until double in size.

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

  • Once it doubles in size, divide the dough into 15 grams each. Take one portion of the dough and use the hand to lengthen it until it look like a thick string. Seal the edges and out on the mini donut tins. If you do not have a donut baking tin, just shape it round and put in a greased baking tin. Note that 15 gram is a guideline. The weight should depend on size of your donut tin but it should only cover about 1/3 of the height of the donut tins.

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  • Once the shaping had done, let it proof until double in size. Note that for this step, it is rather fast at it took me about 15 minutes on the day’s weather. Try not to proof until it reach the full height of the donut baking mould as it will rise further when baked. If it rise too high, when baked, the holes will be sealed.

  • After the dough is about 2/3 of the height of the baking mould (or the dough doubles the size), bake in the pre-heated oven at 200 degree Celsius for 5-8 minutes. This bread can get cooked rather fast so keep in an eye on the oven.

  • After baking, if you find that the holes in the donut are very small and some are sealed, take out the donut, invert it and press the small holes into the mould and the holes in the donut will become more obvious.

  • Decorate your mini baked donuts with your favourite icing or chocolate ganache. For simple icing, mixed one tablespoon of cream with 1/4 cups of icing or powdered sugar. Stir until well mixed and drizzle on the mini donuts and sprinkles some beautiful colour sugar of your choice. For chocolate ganache, you can refer here to here for a more professional type of coating. : Chocolate Mirror Glaze Recipe (镜面巧克力蛋糕装饰)

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CONCLUSON

As a down to earth house dad, I would not advise you to specially go and buy this special mould just to bake this. You have justification to buy it if you are going to bake it often for parties or use it to prepare other desserts. Otherwise, small balls shape donuts is equally attractive. I am never good at cake decoration and do use your favourite ganache or other frostings and come out with a version of your own.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Banana Cream Cheese Muffins (香蕉奶酪小松饼)

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INTRODUCTION

This is not a new recipe, but a recipe that have substantially modified to take into reader needs by reducing the quantity of the ingredients and making it easier to prepare the muffins. The old recipe is more fragrant and sinful due to different proportion of ingredients used. However, it is tougher to prepare due to its watery batter than some readers do not get use to the batter texture. It is still a very good recipe and for those who wanted to try, you can refer to this post: Banana Cream Cheese Cupcakes–One Number Baking Ratio Adventures No. 10

The kids love these muffins. The reason is simple because there is a scoop of sweeten cream cheese inside the muffins. In fact banana is a good moisture retainer and cream cheese provide a smoothen effect for the muffins.

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Some readers are asking me why my muffins rose beautifully. I  believed that muffins should look like volcanoes. It shouldn’t be flat top like a cupcake because of its different way of preparation.

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Muffins are theoretically uses less fats, simple mixing, more compact and leavened (raised) by eggs, baking powder or baking soda. Egg in itself is a raising agent and besides eggs, baking powder and baking soda is of critical importance to assist in making the muffins fluffy. The quantity and types of these raising agent will generally depends on how heavy is the batter… For lighter muffins, I have resorted to the use of self raising flour alone whereas for those batters such as sweet potatoes, banana I will advise to use baking soda too.

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If you do not have self raising flour , in general, you can add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 0.5 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup (about 150 grams ) of plain or all purpose flour (source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/self-rising-flour/)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepared about 6-8 muffins depends on the size of muffins

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  • 150 grams of melted butter 
  • 200 grams of plain or all purpose flour
  • 150 grams of castor sugar or brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 grams of ripe bananas 
  • 20 grams of milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon spice mix (or the spice mix for cakes)
  • additional banana for decoration toppings

 Cream Cheese Fillings

  • 150 grams of cream cheese, soften
  • 80 grams of icing sugar or powdered sugar

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and get ready 6-8 muffin cups.

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  • Put the soften cream cheese in a bowl, add icing sugar, either manually or use a machine to beat it until light and fluffy. Set aside for later use. Put the banana in another bowl, use a fork to mash it until puree form. 

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  • Add the eggs, milk follow by the melted butter to the mashed banana. Lightly beat until an emulsion is form. Set aside for later use.

  • In another big mixing bowl, sift baking powder, baking soda, brown or castor sugar, plain flour and cinnamon powder or mixed spice. Make a well in the centre, pour the banana egg mixture to the centre of the flour. Use a FORK or SPOON  to stir until well mixed. A bit lumpy is acceptable for muffins. Over stirring or mixing will result in chewy muffins as gluten have developed.

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  • Fill half the muffin cups with the batter. Scope a tablespoon of beaten cream cheese and place on the centre of the muffin batter. Top up the cups to about 80% full with the remaining batter. Have some slices of banana on top of the muffin. Bake at the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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  • Make sure all the batters have cover the cheese and so that there is no chance for the hot cheese to leak out. Otherwise, it will resulted in an elephant muffin like this.

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CONCLUSION

Those readers have tried my old recipe love the muffin very much. Do give it a try if you haven’t.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Old School Of Cookies That Bring Fond Memories– Daisy Biscuits, Biskuit Semperit, Biskuit Dahlia, 挤花饼干

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INTRODUCTION

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is approaching and our Muslim brothers and sisters are busy preparing the cookies. When the owner of a Facebook Group posted a link to recipe of Biskuit Semperit or Biskuit Dahlia, I studied with great interest as it is one of the most common cookies served during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

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In fact, until today, it is still very common during the festivals like Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.

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The cookies is easy to prepare but it capture the hearts of many elders because it is beautiful and delicious. It is made using simple ingredient of butter, flour, sugar and eggs. Occasionally, custard powder was used to enhance the cohesiveness, the texture, the flavour and the colour of the cookies.

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It is supposed to be shaped like a daisy flower, however, with the availability of new piping tips, more and more flower shape were created. I have piped my batter using Wilton 1M tip, cater for the creation of big swirl of rosette in cake decoration.

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There are many names and the most common colloquial name is “melt in the mouth “ cookies. At time, they called it “cherry cookies” since there is a small pieces of cherry sitting on top of the biscuit. However, in Mandarin, it is called 挤花饼干 or literally translated as “piping biscuits”. In Malay, it is called Biskuit Semperit (piping biscuit) or biskuit custard (custard biscuit) or biskuit dahlia (Dahlia biscuit).

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Biskut Semperit / Daisy Biscuits 擠花餅乾

Servings: Prepared about 50 biscuits depending on sizes of your biscuits

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  • 170 grams of butter, softened
  • 170 grams of cake flour, sifted
  • 85 grams of custard powder, sifted
  • 100 grams of castor sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 –2 tablespoons of diced cherry bits

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and get ready some baking tray lined with parchment paper.

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  • Cream the butter and sugar using a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolks and vanilla essence. Beat until well combined. Gradually add in the custard powder and cake flour in 3 phases, use the machine’s lowest speed to “stir” until well mixed. Note you can hand fold the flour if you wish.

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  • Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with desired tip (in this illustration, I have used Wilton tip 1M and other suggested nozzle as per original recipe is star 2cm nozzle). Pipe the batter into a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Put a small diced cherry on top of each cookie. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 170 degree Celsius for about 15 minutes.

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  • Once taken out, let it rest in the baking tray before transfer them to a cooling rack for cooling. Cool completely before store in an air tight containers.

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CONCLUSION

If you have never try this cookies, chances are you are much younger than I do. If that is the case, do give it a try and you will understand why this cookie is so popular among the elderly that bring lots of fond memories to them.

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This recipe was included in Page 14 and Page 15 of the following E-book. 

For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Sweet Potatoes Cranberry Muffins (蔓梅地瓜小松饼)

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INTRODUCTION

This is 3rd in a series of my muffin recipe rebuilding (after my blueberry yoghurt muffins and simple chocolate muffins). I have self targeted to provide readers a choice of 8-10 muffins within a period of one month. I will rewrite some of the muffin recipes, new picture taking and share with readers.

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Muffins are easy to made and in fact, it was always associated the quick bread categories of baking. It generally utilizes less fats and have less complicated procedures in the preparation as compared in cupcakes. Unlike cupcakes that needs very a well mixed emulsion, lumpy batter are acceptable.

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Per Wikipedia:

The term muffin typically refers to an individual sized quick bread product which can be sweet or savory. The typical American muffin is similar to a cupcake in size and cooking methods. These can come in both savory varieties, such as corn or cheese muffins, or sweet varieties such as blueberry or banana.(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muffin)

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For this muffin, i have opted to use sweet potatoes puree. Sweet potatoes puree will help to retain moisture in the muffin and provide some sweetness to the muffins. Cranberry is optional. However, incorporating it in the muffin will provide some tanginess in the sweet muffin.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings : Prepare 6-8 muffins depends on the size of the muffins

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  • 150 grams of mashed sweet potatoes (steamed and mashed)
  • 100 grams of cooking oil
  • 200 grams of self raising flour
  • 150 grams of castor sugar 
  • 50 grams of cranberries (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes) (optional)
  • 50 grams of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 eggs

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and get ready 6-8 muffin cups.

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  • Put all the dry ingredients (mashed potatoes, cranberry, self raising flour, baking soda (sifted) and castor sugar), stir until it resemble some crumbles. In another bowl, mixed all the wet ingredients (cooking oil, milk and eggs) until well combined. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquid ingredients. Use a spoon to lightly mix it until well combined. Do not over mix the batter. Slightly lumpy is acceptable for muffins. Over mixing will result in chewy texture of the muffins.

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  • Transfer the batter to the muffin cups and baked in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.

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  • For simple icing glazing, mix 1 tablespoon of cold milk or cream to 1/4 cup of icing or powdered sugar. Stir until well combined and drizzle over the muffin.

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CONCLUSION

The muffins will become very moist after 3-4 hours of baking. It will start to absorb the moisture in the air back to the muffin as sweet potatoes is a good moisture retainer. It taste better especially after resting for one night. Though I have stated cinnamon as optional after considering Asian taste buds, but dashes of cinnamon powder will   provide a well flavoured muffin.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Another Breakfast Muffin In The List–Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins (炼乳酸奶蓝梅小松饼)

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INTRODUCTION

Blueberries are in season now and supermarket are selling it rather cheap. I bought 3 small boxes for about SGD6.00 and I do believe it is a bargain. For blueberries, I usually used it to prepare blueberries muffins or blueberries pies.

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I have been preparing blueberries muffins whenever I bought these cute little berries, however, I have never really issue a post on this common muffin.

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I have decided to issue the post with some major modifications to the normal recipe that I used. In order to moisten the muffins, I have used condensed milk and yoghurt. With these two diary products, the muffins are moist and come with a fine texture.

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I have used blueberry yoghurt in the bake but that is not necessary. Plain yoghurt will do.

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The original muffins is not sweet enough for a sweet tooth like me.. Therefore I have adjusted to include minimum amount of castor sugar in the recipe. That amount of sugar is optional if you believe you don’t have the sweet tooth. In the event if it is not sweet, you can just drizzle your muffins with some honey or condensed milk like what I did.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare about 6-8 muffins (depends on size of the muffin cups)

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  • 145 grams of blueberry yoghurt or plain yoghurt
  • 150 grams of butter, melted
  • 200 grams of self raising flour
  • 170 grams of condensed milk
  • 30 grams of castor sugar (optional)
  • 150 grams of blueberries
  • 2 eggs

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and get ready 6-8 muffin paper cups.

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  • Put all the wet ingredients (melted butter, condensed milk, yoghurt and eggs) in a bowl, stir until well combined. Sift the flour and add the sugar in another bowl. Make a well in the centre of the bowl. Add the liquid ingredients followed by the blueberries. Stir using a tablespoon until well mixed. A bit of lump is acceptable in muffin preparation.

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  • Transfer the batter to the muffin cups. Heat in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the muffins come out clean.

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CONCLUSION

Not a very difficult bake at all. Remember if you do not like it sweet you can omit the optional sugar stated.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Simple Prawn or Fish Crackers (Keropok, 炸鱼饼,炸虾饼)

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INTRODUCTION

When I saw one one member (Ms. Audrey nlk) posted her homemade prawn crackers  (“Keropok”) in my Facebook Group, I read her recipe with interest and I have decided to try it out yesterday.

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When I was young,  I have seen people preparing keropok and dried the keropok under the sun for days until it is very hard like rock… When I started preparing yesterday, the first thing that my mother in law asked was where am I going to dry the keropok? Since I am living in an apartment, it is not easy to  sun dry my keropok  She asked further: “ in the corridor or void deck of the block?”.. I told her very frankly that I do not know and I will modify my steps along the way……

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Since this is the first trial, I am not willing to spend too much time and money on the “experiment”. Not that I doubt the member’s recipe, but  I was constrained by the traditional method of sun drying the crackers. Everybody will know, in Singapore’s environment where space and time is always a constraint, I am not confidence that I can succeed in my trial.

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To cut short the preparation, instead of using fresh prawn meat or fish meat as suggested by Ms. Audrey (the original recipe provider), I have purchased the ready made fish paste from the supermarket. 400 grams of fish paste only cost me less than SGD4 but it saved me lots of time to mince the fish meat.

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When I reached home, I started my trial, mixed the fish paste with equal amount of tapioca flour as suggested by the original recipe, shape it into a long bar, steamed for 45 minutes or until cooked, freeze it lightly until it is easier to slice, dry in the oven for about 1 hour and proceed to frying.

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It works. The time when the crackers expanded in the hot oil, I was really happy as this short cut method seems to work.. Subsequently, one of the members highlighted that microwave oven can also be used. I tried and it works.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 400 grams of ready made minced fish paste (or fresh fish meat or prawn meat)
  • 400 grams of tapioca flour
  • Some salt
  • Some seasonings of choice such as mushroom concentrate, chicken stock or seafood stock of your choice
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • Some permitted food colouring (optional)

Note that most ready made fish paste are very salty and it depends on brands. Therefore, you will need to use your judgement to adjust the sweetness and saltiness to you likings.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly greased a tray suitable for steaming.

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  • Mix all the ingredients together as well combined as possible (remember to taste a little of the mixture, spit out later). Greased your hand with some cooking oil, shape the paste into a long bar and steamed the bar for about 45 minutes under high heat or until the bars have hardened and looks slightly transparent.

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  • Cooled and lightly coloured the exterior of the bar into red colour with some permitted food colouring (this step is optional and I am doing it to make it resemble traditional look of the keropok). Freeze the bar in the freezer for about 1 hour. The main purpose of freezing is to facilitate slicing. Once slicing can be done, you can proceed to next step.

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  • Slice the bar as thinly as possible with about 2 –3 mm thickness. Put it in a baking tray and oven bake it at 100 degree Celsius for about 1-1.5 hours. For every 20 minutes, stir the cracker slices ensuring it is evenly baked. If time permits, you can bake until your desired harden texture. Alternatively, you can dry under the sun or air dry for days in your house compound until it is almost transparent. The less moisture content you have in the crackers, the crispier it will be.

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  • To taste the readiness, you can either deep fried some prawn crackers in some hot oil or microwave in the microwavable oven for about 30 seconds. If the crackers expands in the hot oil or in the microwavable bowl, become crispy when cool, the crackers is considered as ready.

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CONCLUSION

I am happy with this adventure but not my mother in law. She cannot believe that this will be nice because the entire preparation process is too fast to her belief. Please be our judges, tell me whether you are able to accept this simpler method of crackers preparation. Lastly, thanks again to Ms. Audrey Nlk for sharing this recipe with the members of my Group.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Rich And Dense Sinful Indulgence–Classic Chocolate Mud Cake (巧克力泥浆蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

This is not a cake for those who are health conscious…Haha. Am I slamming my own face ? Well, there are times when one have urges for sweet bakes and this is one of the classic desserts that I usually ordered when I dined in Western restaurants..

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At time these urges are hard to control but one strange thing is that after having a few bites, the urges subsides, law of diminishing marginal utility start to set in…

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I never expect the cake to be so big, one of the biggest cake that I have prepared..unless you have lots of friends to share, I would advise readers to half the recipe…It is unlikely most Asian foodies will be able to finish the entire cake for  a typical household of 4 members.

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This is the  cake for hard core chocolate lover, the cake uses 250 grams of chocolate and half a cup of cocoa powder in the cake body, 250 grams of chocolate in the frosting .. In addition, it used 250 grams of butter and 550 grams of sugar (I believed this can be reduced by 10%). Therefore, this is a dense and rich cake. A mouthful of cake will land you in chocolaty heaven. ha-ha

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The difference between normal chocolate cake and mud cake or some called Mississippi mud pie is that the cake is much richer and denser than the normal chocolate sponge cake. It is a bit gooey in the centre and usually served with thickened cream or ice cream. It get its name possibly because it resembles the mud by the Mississippi River bank..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: The Essential Dessert Cookbook Page 252 Chocolate Mud Cake (2007, Murdoch Books)

Servings: Prepare a 9” diameter round baking tin

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  • 250 grams of unsalted butter
  • 250 grams of dark chocolate, broken
  • 150 grams of self raising flour
  • 150 grams of plain or all purpose flour
  • 550 grams of castor sugar (suggest to reduce 10%)
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) of cocoa powder
  • 125 grams  (1/2 cup) of milk or buttermilk
  • 185 grams of water
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons of instant espresso or coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Glaze

  • 250 grams of dark chocolate
  • 125 grams  (1/2 cup) of fresh cream
  • 160 grams (2/3 cup) of icing sugar

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly greased a 9 inches diameter round baking tin and pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius

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  • Lightly beaten the eggs with the milk or buttermilk. Set aside for later use.

  • Melt the chocolate, butter, instant espresso and the water in a pan. Set aside for later use.

  • In a big mixing bowl, sift the plain flour, self raising flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. Add in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined eggs mixture and oil, slowly stir in the chocolate mixture until well combined.

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  • Transfer the mixture into the greased round baking tin. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 160 degree Celsius for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin before remove from the baking tin. Extend the baking time if it is still too soft in the centre.

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  • To prepare the glaze, heat the chocolate in a microwave bowl for 45 seconds to 1 minutes. Take out, add icing sugar and fresh cream, stir until well combined. If you do not have a microwave, you can always heat these 3 ingredients over a pot of hot water and stir until the chocolate melted.

  • Pour the glaze over the completely cooled cake making sure the sides are adequately covered. Best served with some some ice cream or additional chocolate sauce or thicken cream.

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CONCLUSION

Not  a difficult recipe but a classic and rich chocolate cake recipe. It is definitely a presentable bake when you have house guests…Hope you will give it a try.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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