A Light and Fruity Dessert For Christmas – Simple Fruit Tart (水果挞)


UPDATED POST ON 27-11-2014

Have prepare some simple fruit tarts for kids. In view that Christmas seasons is near, I thought it might be a good idea to transform it into a simple Christmas hats to “entertain” the kids. Scroll down for the updated posts.





When I was assembling this fruit tart, I almost gave up. I have never like to do cake or pastry decorations. My hand will shiver when I am decorating cakes or pastry that need full attentions and creativities. It is a piece of hard work and if I am not careful enough, the whole cake may have to be thrown away. That is stressful and pressurized. At the end, I asked my wife to lay the fruits and we worked out this rather ugly and un-neat fruit tart.


Fruit tart generally comprises three layers:

1) Layer 1 – pastry to hold the tart. This can be baked or non baked. Baked pastry are generally short crust pastry whereas non baked pastry are pastry that are used for chilled cheesecakes done by pressing biscuits crumbles. You can refer Chilled Ferrero Rocher Oreo Ice Cream Cheesecake for the making of pastry base for chilled cheesecakes.

2) Layer 2 – The fillings can be cream cheese fillings or whipped cream, custard or the more jargon term: Crème Pâtissière or pastry cream.

3) Layer 3 – Fresh fruits of any sort but preferably those will not easily get oxidized or turning brownish black like apples. Though not advisable, but it can still be used with properly jam glaze to prevent the fruits from oxidation.


Making and assembly a fruit tart is definitely not difficult. Once you have a reliable short crust recipe, you can use it for most tarts, pies, quiche and etc. I only have one short crust recipe and I have used it for my Japanese curry pies, coconut tarts and apple pie. It never fail me. It can be prepared in a rather fast manner if you are able to handle soft cookie liked dough; otherwise, just chill in a fridge before proceeding for moulding.  For this recipe, I used my one and only short crust recipe  that I used for any tarts, tartlets, quiche or pies. As for the fillings, since I have one package of custard flour sitting in my kitchen self, I have used this ready made custard flour instead of start preparing it from raw eggs.



Servings: Prepare an 8” fruit tart


Short Crust Pastry

  • 35 grams egg yolks (lightly beaten)
  • 150 grams plain flour (sifted)
  • 30 grams of icing sugar (sifted)
  • 75 grams of chilled butter cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.


Custard fillings

  • 2 tablespoons of ready made custard powder
  • 2 tablespoons of castor sugar 
  • 600 ml of fresh milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Custard fillings (Recipe 2) – From fresh egg yolk

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of fresh milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Others (not in picture)

  • Adequate mixed fruits of your choice. In this illustration, I have used cherries, grapes, kiwi fruits, strawberries and mango.
  • Some apricot jam (for glazing and optional)
  • One 8” tart tin



Preparing the short crust pastry

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.


  • In a big mixing bowl, put butter cubes and sifted plain flour together. Use the finger tips to rub the butter cubes and flours together until it become crumby. Add in sifted icing sugars and continue to rub until well mix. Add in eggs and vanilla essence, mix slowly until it become a dough. Put it in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. Note that if you are able to handle soft dough, you can by pass this step. In fact I have bypassed the step due to time constraints.

  • Have a clinging wrap on the table, take the dough from the fridge and place on top of it. Put another clinging wrap on top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a flat sheet with about 0.5 cm thickness. Transfer the dough to the pie tin and use you hand to press the dough against the sides and make it as even as possible. Use a fork to make some holes in the dough (optional).  Please refer here if you want more detail pictorial illustrations.

crust collage11

  • Baked in the preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry shrinks from the sides of the pastry tin. If you want, you can egg wash your crust (1 egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of water, stir until well mix) to ensure that the crust will not be soggy when the fruit juices sip into the crust. However, in my humble opinion, there is no such a need if the custard is not overly wet and tarts are best eaten fresh.


Preparing the fillings

This is purely for references on how I cook my custards.  PLEASE COOK YOUR CUSTARDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR CUSTARD POWDER PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS. Every brand may be different so it is best that you follow the detail instructions.


  • In a pot, put 2 tablespoons of custard powder and 2 tablespoons of castor sugar, add 600 ml of fresh milk and vanilla essence. Stir until well mixed. Heat the custard mixture under low heat and stir using a wooden spatula or a balloon whisk until it boils. Stir constantly until the boiling custard solution starts to slightly solidify and become custard. Set aside and let it cool. Keep a close eye in this process and the final few minutes can be rather fast. If it is too sticky, add some more fresh milk. Avoid using capsule based pan because it will continue to heat your custard even after you off the heat.

  • If you are not using custard powder but prepare from fresh egg yolks as in recipe 2. Put all the ingredients (egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla essence) in a pot. Stir until well mix. Heat it over stove using low heat until it starts to thicken.


Assembly the tart

The illustration below is for reference only. It is full of flexibility and you can use your creativities to design your own tarts. Google “fruit tarts” will give you many ideas of how a fruit tart look like. I am not good at food decoration and I am just sharing here the method of preparing the fruit tart. Bear with me the ugly fruit tart that I have prepared.


  • Before assembly, ensure that crust and the custard are completely cool. Spoon the custard into pie crust and level it. Add in your preferred fruits in your desired patterns. When designing pattern, one thing that you should consider is whether it is easier to cut into slices. You would not want to have an extremely beautiful pattern and eventually it is difficult to slice for serving.


  • If you prefer, you can glaze the fruits. Glazing basically have two reasons. To protect the fruit from drying out and to let it had a shining adorable look. I did not do this as I think it is not necessary at all for home consumption. To glaze, heat up 1 tablespoon of apricot jam with 1 tablespoon of water. Stir until well mix and brush on top of the fruits (not pastry crust).

  • Best served  immediately after it is prepared as a dessert.


For Christmas Hat Decoration


  • Beat one cup of fresh whipping cream with 2 tablespoon of icing sugar until firm peak. Set aside for later use.

  • Pump the the cool custard on top the tart shell. Pump the whipped cream on top of custard. Place a strawberry on top of the whipped cream. Pump a little dot of cream on top of the strawberry.  Best served when it is cold.



Fruit tarts are not difficult to prepare. The taste of the entire tart will depend very much on the type of fruits that you selected, the pie crust pastry and the custard. The family were pleased with the tart especially the short crust pastry which is buttery aromatic and crispy. it is definitely a presentable dessert during your Christmas Feast. Why not make this for your Christmas dinner.


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


I am submitting this to the Baby Sumo’s Christmas Recipes Collection 2013 event which is hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 26 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  



These Peanut Butter Balls Are Just Too Addictive–Peanut Butter Almond Balls




I am visiting and pinning recipes that are of interest to me especially from my blogger peers. When I am pinning this peanut butter snowballs from In the Kitchen With Jenny, I  like the look of her peanut butter snow balls. A cute small almond bark coated ball with peanut butter in it. After reading her blog about the preparation process, I was very tempted to do it because it looked simple to prepare and since I have all the ingredients with me except almond bark. I thought, I told myself I want to try preparing it..


After taking the first bite, I am so guilty as it is really a sinful indulgence and addictive. It is creamy and I popped 3 balls into my mouth in the process of preparing it. It is just delicious. It is creamy with some small almonds almond chunks to bite on. I really love it.


After preparing it, I have decided not to keep in my house and gave away as gifts. I just can’t afford to have these delicious peanut butter balls sitting in my house knowing my love for sweet desserts.


Since I do not have almond barks. I have modified the recipe with coating of white chocolate to retain the shape. As white chocolate is rather sweet, therefore, i have decided to reduce the sugar content.  In addition, I have added some almond chunks to the peanut butters. I hope you will like my modified recipe and you can always refer to Jenny’s original recipe as stated below. 




Recipe adapted from: PEANUT BUTTER SNOWBALLS


  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, chunky or smooth
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, chopped
  • 85 grams of butter, softened
  • 200 grams of white chocolates
  • Adequate Christmas colour (green, red and white) sprinkles – not in picture




Servings : about 20 medium size balls


  • Cream the peanut butter with icing sugar until smooth. Add soften butter, cream until smooth followed by chopped almonds. Stir until well mixed.


  • Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up the dough into a plate or tin. In Singapore’s weather, it may be a bit runny but that is ok. Chill it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before rolling the balls into an even shape.


  • Take the ball out of the fridge and use your hand to roll  into a ball shape and chill again for 10-15 minutes. A bit lightly harder is okay for your next step of rolling with sugar sprinkles.


  • Take the balls out from the refrigerator. In a bowl, have some  Christmas sprinkle. Roll the peanut balls in the sprinkles as evenly as possible. After rolling put back to the refrigerator until the next step is ready.


  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a microwavable bowls for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Use a tooth pick or something sharp to stick into the ball, dip the ball into the white chocolates. If possible, place the dip balls on top of Styrofoam boxes and let it drip naturally. (in this illustration, I have use some balls that did not have sugar sprinkles. However, all subsequent balls were dipped with sugar sprinkled balls. Wait for the chocolates to harden before store in a container. Prefer chill before serving.




This is an extremely addictive sweet if you are a fan of peanut butter. My wife told me the sugar sprinkles in the balls are funs to bite together with the almonds and creamy peanut butters.


This whole batch that I prepared were packed and given out as Christmas gifts. For Asians, besides normal cookies and pastries, we seldom take the courage to prepare sweets from Western countries due to the limitation of ingredients. This, I would say is a recommended Christmas gift that you can consider preparing yourself.. Do try and tell me if you are agreeable with me.


I want to take this opportunity to thank Jenny Unternahrer for this delicious sweets of her. You may also want to visit her original version of peanut butter snowballs coated with almond barks here. Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

I am submitting this to the “Baby Sumo’s Christmas Recipes Collection 2013 event which is hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out.


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  



If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 400 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD 


Having Oven Baked Ribs for Christmas Dinner? Tony Roma’s BBQ Baby Ribs Copycat



I don’t usually have Western meals, but one of the Western chains of restaurants that I like very much is Tony Roma’s Ribs, Steak and Seafood Restaurant, an American family restaurant chain world famous for its baby back ribs and other specialties like steaks, BBQ chicken & seafood. I first tasted its ribs 15 years ago in Shanghai when I worked as an expatriate in Shanghai. I loved its soft, tender and juicy ribs. While most Western restaurants serve steak in this part of the world, however, Tony Roma’s serves baby ribs that captures my heart . This is because I do not take any beef or lamb thus making my choice of Western cuisines rather limited.


Christmas is approaching and I am looking at the Christmas order brochures distributed by the supermarkets. Besides hams, roast chickens, sausages etc., one of the common items is baked ribs. In Singapore, there are two types of baked ribs commonly sold, honey glazed baked ribs and black pepper baked ribs. Prices are about SGD30 per kilogram. I thought it might be a good idea to prepare our own ribs for the Christmas dinner and it can save at least half the cost. In addition, it can be tailored to meet the family’s taste buds.


Before I search for the recipe, I do not place any hopes on finding one. When I searched, there are lots of recipes and I have selected one that uses oven to bake rather than barbecuing. Surprisingly, the recipe is very simple with minimal list of ingredients. I tried and I can assure that it is definitely a recipe keeper for big festivals, be it for Christmas or any important Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Years.



Recipe adapted from: Tony Roma’s Original Baby Back Ribs

Servings: 6-8 adults


  • About 2 kilograms of pork baby ribs or prime ribs
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of golden syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of white or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Tabasco pepper sauce (optional and not in picture above)
  • Few cloves or garlic and shallot




  • Pound the garlics and shallots until fine (You can opt to use garlic powder). Place all the ingredients (except ribs) in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Once boiled, simmer it until the sauce has thickened. Rub it on the pork ribs as evenly as possible. Save a few tablespoons for brushing during the baking process.


  • Marinate the ribs for at least 1/2 day. You can also marinate overnight in the fridge.


  • Pre-heat your oven to 150 degree Celsius.

  • Get ready 4 pieces of aluminium foil big enough to wrap the ribs. Wrap the ribs as tight as possible. Bake in the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours, open the aluminium foil and ensure that the meats have shrunk from the ribs by about 1 inches long. This will ensure that the meat are tender, juicy and fall off the bones.


  • Without wrapping the ribs, rub the baked ribs with additional barbecue sauce (reserved above) and send back to the oven. Baked each sides for 3-4 minutes or until the ribs slightly dries up with small signs of charred sauce (but do not burn the ribs). Sliced the ribs in between the bones for serving. Best served with additional barbecue sauce.



This is an extremely recipe which I will definitely keep for my other festivals. It suits the taste of Asian as there are no exotic herbs and seasonings used. It is sweet and slightly tangy in the meat. The meats were soft, fell off the bone and really melted in the mouth.. Hope you like the post today and do consider to prepare some baked ribs for your family in this Thanksgiving or Christmas 2013. Cheers.


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .


If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 250 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD


For Four Seasons Blog Hop #26 (Nov 13) where I am the Co-host, please join us for the party where you can get a lot of the family related posts. Please click the above logo to enter your post.



My Fruit Cake Is Snowing Heavily–Simple Presentable Fruit Cake With Royal Icing

This is my second post of fruit cake for Christmas 2013. The first post is on ‘TRADITIONAL BOILED FRUIT CAKE” that I have posted on early October 2013. In that post, I have followed strictly the traditional method of preparing the fruit cake but this post, I will share a quick and easy recipe with no prior preparation required.
Most bakers will advise to prepare fruit cakes for Christmas as early as possible. Usually, readers will be advised to soak the fruits, bake and let the cake rest for 1-2 months before actual serving during Christmas. However, at times, you may not be able to fruit cake early and you can then consider this quick and easy fruit cake and the outcome is definitely acceptable. 
This recipe is my own recipe and without reference to any other fruit cake recipe. It is an easy recipe adapted from the one number baking ratio theory and using “mix and bake” method, meaning hand mixing the dry and wet ingredients. No prior preparation is necessary and extra protection (water bath) is optional. However, if you prefer, you can still soak your fruit earlier at a time convenience to you. 

Servings: One 8” x  8 “ cake
  • 350 grams of self raising flour
  • 250 grams of butter
  • 250 grams of soft brown sugar
  • 500 grams of mixed dried fruits (if preferred, soak in rum as early as you can)
  • 50 ml of alcohol (rum or brandy or whisky)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoons of mixed spice or cinnamon powder+nutmeg powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon of baking soda

For Royal Icing

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 4 cups of icing sugar



  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and put a baking tray at the lowest rack with 1 cm of water in it (note that the baking is not done at the lowest rack but at the middle rack)

  • Line the baking tin with baking paper or lightly grease the baking tin.

  • Pour the alcohol into the dried mixed fruits (you can do it after you take your measurements or you can do it as early as you can). For this illustration, I have mixed the alcohol with the fruits immediately after I took my measurements.


  • Melt the butter in the microwave (about 1 minute). In a whisking bowl, lightly beat your eggs, add in the cooled melted butter and whisk well.
  • In another bowl, sift your self raising flour, baking soda and mixed spice. Add in the brown sugar, mix and make a well in the centre. Pour the cooled butter and egg mixture into the well. Use a spatula to mix well. Add in the mixed fruit and ensure that it is well mixed.
  • Transfer to the baking tin. Bake in the oven at middle rack at 180 degree Celsius for the first 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, down the oven temperature to 150 degree Celsius and continue to bake for another 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Use a skewer to insert into the cake CENTRE and ensure that it comes out clean. LET THE CAKE REST FOR AT LEAST 3-4 HOURS BEFORE actual decoration of the cake. I let this cake rest overnight before I decorated the cake.


Special Notes

  • As fruit cake is a dense cake, you may have to constantly check the readiness of the cake at the last 10-15 minutes of the baking process. If your skewer comes out unclean after the prescribed baking time, don’t worry, as the baking temperature is rather low, continue your baking until the skewer inserted comes out clean.  Insert the skewer at various positions particularly at the centre to counter ensure the readiness of the cake.

  • If you note that there are slight burnt on the top of the cakes, use something to cover the top of the cake. If you prefer, add about 1 cm tall of water to the baking tray place one rack lower than the baking rack. (e.g if you bake at rack No. 3 from the bottom, place a baking tray with 1 cm of water on rack No.2 from the bottom before your baking starts to conserve moisture of the cake). In this illustration, I have put some water in the baking tray but it is optional.


Preparation Of Royal Icing
  • Beat the egg whites until soft peak. Gradually add in the icing sugar. Add lemon juice after all the icing sugar has been added. If the royal icing is too runny, add in extra icing sugar until you reach the firm/stiff peak or desired consistency. Cover with damp cloth or clingy wrap to prevent icing from drying out.


Decorating The Cake

  • Spread the icing on the entire cake as evenly as possible. Use the flat spatula or knife to work on icing into fluffy peaks all over the cake. LEAVE CAKE FOR 2-3 HOURS to allow the icing to harden. If you preferred, you can add some colour gel to create some visual effect.


  • After the icing have hardened, position your desired ornaments on top of the cake. Keep your cake in the refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks.



Isn’t this is a very simple fruit cake and I can assure that the taste wouldn’t not be compromised much at all. Putting some royal icing make it have a traditional or noble look and transforming this simple cake into an elegant occasion cake..  Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .


If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 250 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD


For Four Seasons Blog Hop #26 (Nov 13) where I am the Co-host, please join us for the party where you can get a lot of the family related posts. Please click the above logo to enter your post.


Christmas 2013 Series–Yin Yang Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

UPDATED POST ON 21-10-2014
No doubt this is one of my favourite cookies.. I seldom prepared as it is quite high calorific and if not because friend have requested to show her helper how to prepare this, I do not I will prepare now…I have made some adjustments to the recipe today based on what I have at home….I have substitute almond nibs with macadamia nuts and instead of prepared in the Ying Yang pattern, I opt to prepare all as chocolate flavoured so as not to confuse her… Ha-ha.

Christmas 2013 is approaching, time to get ready your cookies for friends and relatives. I will not be going back to my hometown for Christmas this year and I have relatives now staying with me in Singapore whom are going back to hometown soon. I am now busy preparing Christmas fruitcakes, chocolates, cookies etc.. for them to bring back as hand gifts.
It may be slightly early for others but not too early. You can save the recipe (advise is to use  “PINTEREST”, an easier way to keep and categorize your bakes, recipes wanted to try or special board such as Christmas To Do), test the recipe and decide if you want to make for your friends or relatives. This will definitely save you a lot of money and headaches to find suitable gift items.  It will definitely be a presentable gift to the recipient and they will be delighted to receive these well thought homemade gifts. This Christmas 2013 and Thanksgiving 2013 series is to give you ideas of homemaking your own gifts or delicacies during these two important festivals.
My neighbour gave me one bottle of macadamia nuts and I did not have a chance to finish it. I still have a quite a lot left and immediately come across my mind is to prepare some macadamia nut biscuits. I have chosen a simple recipe and the cookie is definitely well beyond my expectations. Nice texture, not overly sweet with mouthful of macadamia nuts and caramelized chocolate chips. Preparation can be really simple if you do not want to create the Yin Yang effect.

Recipe adapted from : Chocolate Macadamia Biscuits
Servings: 3 baking trays of biscuits (about 40-50 medium sized biscuits)
  • 250 grams butter (soften at room temperature)
  • 227 grams (1 cup) of soft brown sugar – Can reduce by 10 % sugar if desired
  • 227 grams (1 cup) of white castor sugar – Can reduce by 10% if desired
  • 312 grams (2.5 cups) of self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (not in picture)
  • 2 teaspoons of chocolate molasses (optional, can be substituted with one additional tablespoon of cocoa powder)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 65 grams (1/2 cup) of macadamia nuts – chopped
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup) of caramelize chocolate chips or chocolate chips
  • 2 piping bags (not in picture – optional)



  • Line 3 baking trays with parchment/baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  • Cream the sugar and butter until light and pale. Add in one egg at a time, beat until well mixed. 
  • Add in caramelized chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and vanilla essence. Use the machine to stir well. Sift in the self raising flour and mix well. Divide the batter into two portions. Put one portion in the piping bag. For the other portion, add in chocolate molasses and cocoa powder, mix well and place on another piping bag.


  • Pump the white dough in the baking sheet leaving adequate space for expansion. Pump the chocolate dough next to the white dough. You can create any pattern than you like as the dough is not an overly sticky cookie dough. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes. Take the baking tray out, leave the cookies on the hot tray for at least 5 minutes before transfer to wire rack for cooling. Cool completely before store in an air tight container. Repeat the same for the other 2 trays.



This is an addictive cookie. It is crispy and I loved the crunchiness of the macadamia nuts and the caramelize chocolate chips. Family members loved it. When I start eating the cookies, I usually end up eating at least 5 cookies and I doubt if there will be any cookies left by the time my relatives schedule to leave for hometown. Well, recipe is here and I presumed they can bake themselves too… Ok, may be I will bake another batch the day before they left… Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day!



  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  




Thanksgiving 2013 is approaching–How About A Zebra Pattern Baked New York Cheesecake

In my humble opinion, baking cheesecake is no easy matter. In fact, it is quite a delicate bake with lots of preparations and protections required but the result is worth the effort. Last weekend, I have decided to bake one of my favourite cheesecake – traditional New York Cheesecake.  Unsure if readers concurred with me, I loved cheesecakes sold in Hilton chain of hotels. I may be prejudiced, whenever I have meeting with friends or business associates at Hilton, I will sure to order their cheesecakes, be it in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai….. and traditional New York Cheesecake always top my list.  I loved its dense, smooth and creamy consistency.
The challenge to baking a cheesecake is to ensure there is no crack in the cheesecake and there are many factors that can cause the cheesecake to break. Over or under beating of cream cheese, temperature of the cream cheese, over mixing, baking temperature too high, inadequate rest in the oven, baking time too long, inadequate greasing of the baking tin etc.… are culprits to a crack cheesecake.
I have found one recipe on the internet with many good reviews and one reviewer have provided a review that caught my attention.  Ms. Morena in her review said the following which in essence sums up the gist of preparing a good New York Cheesecake.
“OK – I don’t want to be rude, but this is the deal: this is a perfect recipe, and if it fails for you, it’s your fault, not the recipe’s. A couple of things you should know about cheesecakes: OVERBEATING WILL CAUSE A CHEESECAKE TO CRACK. Beat cream cheese with sugar only until smooth. Proceed with a wooden spoon for the rest of the recipe. OVERBEATING WILL CAUSE A CHEESECAKE TO HAVE THE “WRONG” TEXTURE. Air bubbles, gritty/not creamy texture, etc., are fixed my the same instructions above. OVERCOOKING WILL CAUSE A CHEESECAKE TO CRACK. Do NOT cook this cheesecake until it’s set. Matter of fact, don’t check it at all. Put the cheesecake in the oven, set the timer to 60 min., turn the oven off, and forget it. I mean it! Don’t open the oven, just leave it alone to do its thing. And that’s it. A beautiful cheesecake. Far from bland: this is a PURIST’S cheesecake. It’s great as is, but also a great foil for other flavours. I serve mine with passion fruit pulp or mango puree. (Chantal’s New York Cheesecake, , Review by: Ms. Morena dated  February 25, 2007 )
The cheesecake that I baked still have a small crack. I am unsure of the reason but I believed it may be due to the trapped air when I did my zebra patterns. However, for me that is acceptable and rather immaterial to the entire cake. I have choose to make it slightly different from its traditional look by creating a visual presentation of zebra strips. It is not difficult to prepare but it is indeed refreshing when a piece of zebra patterned cheesecake is placed in front of the diner.


Recipe adapted from: Chantal’s New York Cheesecake
Servings: One 9” cheesecake of about 5-6cm tall (about 12 standard servings)
For Short Crust Pastry
  • 30 grams of self raising flour
  • 65 grams of plain flour
  • 30 grams of castor sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
  • 40 grams of unsalted butter, chopped
  • 25 grams of eggs


  • 15 saltine or Graham biscuits
  • 30 grams of butter, melted
For filling:
  • 1 kg of cream cheese – softened at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 30 grams of plain flour
  • 15 ml of vanilla essence


  • 300 grams of white sugar
  • 230 grams of sour cream (see note 1 below)
  • 180 ml of milk
  • 50 grams of dark chocolate sauce (see note 2 below)

Note 1 – As I do not have sour cream, I have used 230 grams of normal whipping cream plus 2 teaspoons of lemon juice plus 2 teaspoons of orange and lemon rinds each.

Note 2 – If you do not have dark chocolate sauce, melt 50 grams of dark chocolate in a microwave oven (for 1 minute) and stir in 1-2 tablespoon of normal cream for whipping.


  • One 9 ‘’ round spring form baking tin
  • Some aluminium foil
  • Baking paper





  • Grease the baking tin adequately and put a baking paper on the bottom of the baking tin.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 210 degree Celsius (for baking of short crust pastry)

Short Crust Preparation

Note that you can choose either use the short crust pastry or biscuit crust as detail later. Biscuit crust is easier as compare to short crust pastry.


  • Put flours, butter, sugar, and lemon rind in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Add the egg and process briefly until the mixture just comes together. Put in a lightly floured surface, roll into a flat piece, cut into the shape of the baking tin. In the baking tin, put a piece of round shape baking paper on the bottom. Put the pastry on top of the baking paper, use a fork to make some holes, baked in the pre-heated oven of 210 degree Celsius for 10 minutes. Cool and set aside for later use.

Before and after


Biscuit Crust Preparation
  • If you have opted to use the biscuit crust pastry, blend the graham cracker until they become crumbs. Add in melted butter and press onto the bottom of spring form pan.



Preparation Of Cheesecake fillings

  • Once the short crust pastry OR biscuit crust is done, use 2 big pieces of aluminium foil to wrap around the baking tin. Set aside for later use.

  • Turn down the oven temperature to 160 degree Celsius and put water in the baking tray (about 1 cm high)



Preparation of Cream Cheese Filling


  • In a stand mixer, put the cream cheese and sugar in the whisking bowl and beat until smooth and no lumps noted. Add in one egg at a time, beat until smooth. Add in sour cream (or normal whipping cream + lemon juice + lemon rind + orange rind), milk and vanilla essence. Stir/beat until well mixed.
  • Add in flour gradually and stir until well mixed. Divide the batter to two portions. Stir in the dark chocolate sauce to one portion and ensure that it is mixed thoroughly.

  • Get ready 2 ladles for the 2 batters. Put one ladle of cream batter (ladle No. 1)  on top of the short crust or biscuit pastry in the baking tin. Put another ladle of chocolate batter (ladle No. 2) on top of the cream batter as centre as possible. Put another ladle of cream batter (ladle No.3) on the centre of the chocolate batter. Repeat the same of all the batter until finish. Basically, all odd number layers will be cream batters (ladle No. 1, 3, 5,7, 9…. ) whereas even number layers will be chocolate batters (ladle No. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10……).
  • Baked in the pre-heated 160 degree Celsius for 1 hour. Ensure that baking tin is wrapped by aluminium foil and baking tray is with at least 1 cm of water. At end of baking, do not be alarmed if the centre of the cheesecake is still a bit runny or not set yet. It will set eventually if the following instructions were followed. If the cheesecake turns brown too fast, use some metal to put on top of the baking tin.

  • After one hour, off the oven. LEAVE THE CHEESECAKE IN THE OVEN (WITH THE DOOR CLOSED) FOR AT LEAST 3-4 HOURS or until the oven temperature drop to normal room temperature.  Chilled in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before cutting into slices for serving.




Well, this is a long post. From the time I bake until I have the first bite, it took me more than 12 hours. In fact, I baked in the morning, after I off the oven, I went for my shopping in the afternoon and before I went to sleep, I transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator. I cut my cheesecake in the next morning. But the wait is worth the effort. I am rather happy as the cheesecake is creamy, dense and smooth. I can still bear with the small crack or imperfection in the cheesecake. Hope you like the post to day and have a nice day.



 For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me or save your recipe using PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .



If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 300 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD


Christmas 2013 Is Approaching……. Gingerbread Man Biscuits

Christmas is approaching, less than 1.5 months away. It is time to start prepare Christmas cuisines. I have a post on Christmas Boiled Fruit Cake in early October 2013 and I believed that is the right time to get ready the fruit cakes for Christmas purposes. More of more post on Christmas cuisines will be coming soon and next in the pipeline will be another fruit cake that I am going to prepare for my relatives to bring back to their home town.
Being an Asian and non-Christian, I don’t really celebrate Christmas though I have fond memories of my childhood years where my brother and I always spent our Christmas eves in one of our families’ friends house.  Prior to the Christmas eve gathering, we were busy buying presents for gift exchange but the dinner we had were not really a Christmas dinner. It is just a normal buffet spread. Therefore, I am rather ignorance on authentic Christmas celebrations.
It is common to see gingerbread man in Christmas decorations in the shopping arcades in Singapore and Malaysia but the very first time I got in touch with the gingerbread man was about 6-7 years back where I celebrated Christmas with my family in Kuala Lumpur. At that time, my girl is only 4 years old and in the shopping centre that we shopped, the shopping centre has organised some fun activities for the kids and all kids were invited to participate in the making of gingerbread man. After the activities, she brought back a big gingerbread man and she made and that was the first time I tasted the biscuit.
As usual, lets learn together from Wikipedia about the background of this biscuit:
“A gingerbread man is a biscuit or cookie made of gingerbread, usually in the shape of a stylized human, although making other shapes, especially seasonal themes (Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc.) and characters, are quite common as well. Gingerbread dates back to the 15th century, and figural biscuit-making was practiced in the 16th century. The first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread-biscuits appearing was in the court of Elizabeth I of England. She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests.” (Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingerbread_man)
It is fun and easy to make the biscuits. You may want to consider making some of these biscuits as Christmas gifts to your friends. The recipe covers the making of the basic biscuits and will not cover in detail the icing and decorations of the biscuits. I have used some royal icing and pen writing nozzles to decorate the biscuits. That is not perfect as icing is not my area of strength.

Recipe adapted from: Gingerbread Men From BBC
Servings: Made about 30-40 small to medium size biscuits
  • 350 grams of plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice (for lapis cake is acceptable)
  • 125 grams of butter
  • 175 grams of brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg

Others (Not in picture)

  • Gingerbread man cutter
  • Writing icing (royal icing)
  • Red and green permitted food colouring

Note that in this illustration, I did not add in any sugar as I want it to be just plain biscuits like the saltine biscuits. You can add in the sugar of the quantity that you prefer.



  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.


  • Put all the dry ingredients (butter, ginger, flour, baking soda, minced ginger and mixed spice) and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Add in lightly beaten eggs and golden syrup. Continue to blend or pulse until the mixture sticks together become the dough. Take the dough out and roll into 0.5 thickness flat sheet.


  • Use the gingerbread man cutter to cut out the shapes and place on the baking tray and leaving some space between them. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits turn light brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes before moving to the wire rack for cooling. Let it cool completely before decorate the gingerbread man.


  • Get ready 9 tablespoons of royal icing (I bought the ready made icing) and divide into 3 portions. Add some red colouring to one portion and green colouring to another portion. Stir well and you should have 1 portion of white icing, 1 portion of green icing and 1 portion of red icing. Put the icing in three icing bag with either a pen writing nozzle or cut a small hole in front of the icing bag. Decorate the gingerbread man to your desired pattern. If the purchased icing is too dry (meaning hard to pump out), add a “DROP” or two of water to the icing before pumping. Store in an air tight container for up to 2-3 weeks.



For me, I love the taste of the biscuits. It is quite addictive though it is just plain biscuit with cinnamon and ginger aroma. Pumping of icing is my weakness and I am sure you can create much better looking gingerbread man than me ..May be it is time for you to get ready making some gingerbread man biscuits as your Christmas gifts. Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .


If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 250 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD


For Four Seasons Blog Hop #25 (Nov 6) where I am the Co-host, please join us for the party where you can get a lot of the family related posts. Please click the above logo to enter your post.


Another One Number Baking Ratio Adventures (7).. Sugee Almond Cake



I have not bake this cake for almost one year and start to crave for this cake with unique texture.. I told my friends, I loved this cake, not a bit but a lot. It is slightly chewy and it is not as oily as those normal butter cake. I have decided to change my recipe to substitute plain flour with almond flour or almond meal. Therefore, this cake have no plain flour. Depending on the type of semolina flour that you used, if it is a product from buckwheat, this cake can be considered as gluten free.. If the semolina flour is produced from durum wheat, it will not be gluten free.


I also did not use baking powder for this cake, purely leavened by eggs . I love the dense and chewy unique texture. It is a cake good for festivals and you can use this as a festival cake by gradually infusing alcohol to enhance the moistness and flavour.. For kids consumption, I did not do intend to add in any alcoholic drink..

Please scroll down for the new Recipe 2 (without plain flour version).




In Singapore, usually one package of semolina flour will weigh 500 g and costs less than SGD2 depending on the brands. However, being a Chinese, there are not many cuisines that use semolina flour as the ingredients. I have issued a post of Indian Short Bread Cookies – Nan Khatai that uses semolina flour and ghee, it was quite well received and a number of readers who tried the recipes still have lots of semolina flour left. They are asking what shall they do with the semolina flour? That recipe only called for 50 grams of semolina flour and effectively, they still have 45o grams of semolina flour left in their kitchen shelf. I have promised those readers that I will provide a recipe of SUGEE ALMOND CAKE, a traditional Malaysian Singaporean Eurasian festival cake that also uses semolina flour …



Rather surprisingly, Sugee cake is included in Wikipedia’s explanation of Singapore’s cuisines, it was written:

“Sugee cake, a soft cake made with semolina flour and a high concentration of egg yolks; served in Eurasian, Malay, and Chinese cuisine.” (Source: Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singaporean_cuisine)


Sugee cake is traditionally treated as a festival cake usually served in Kristang families both as a happy occasion cake (Christmas, birthdays, weddings) and sombre occasion such as funerals.  In fact, it is also a type of cake for the Christmas. Kristang are local Portuguese descendent Eurasians in Singapore and West Malaysia. The popularity of this cake however has extended to other races such as Chinese, Malay and Indian households.


Effectively, this is a type of butter cakes made using semolina flour and large quantity of egg yolks. It had a special texture, a big chewy and unlike cakes that uses the normal flour, it is denser. Though dense, it is easy to down the throat and in fact, both my wife and me have concurred that it is another way of appreciating the butter cake. Chewy, buttery, aromatic and moist.

There are many recipes of sugee cakes in the internet, some called for pan frying the semolina flour or soaking of semolina flour in butter, some called for use of brandy or other fruits alcohol, some used less eggs and some used lot of egg yolks.. However, I have adapted the recipe from http://sg.theasianparent.com/sugee-cake-recipe-award-winning/.


Since this recipe do not vary very much from my proposed “one baking number ratio”, I have made slight modifications so that it conform with my believes of using just one number in preparing the ingredients. If you are interested to read more about my “one number baking ratio” adventures, you can refer to the following posts – Basic Pound Cake, Peanut Butter Muffins, Fruits Dates Cakes, Zebra Patterned Pound Cake and Grapefruit Cognac Pound Cake. 


RECIPE 1 (PLAIN FOUR VERSION) – please scroll down for recipe 2 (without plain flour version)


Recipe adapted  from:  AWARD WINNING SUGEE CAKE RECIPE from http;//sg.theasianparent.com

Make an 8’ square baking tin


  • 250 grams of semolina flour

  • 250 grams of plain flour (sift and set aside)

  • 250 grams of castor sugar

  • 250 grams of butter (at room temperature)

  • 250 grams of eggs (use 6 eggs – see calculation below) – separated into egg yolks and egg whites)

  • 250 grams of milk or less subject to eggs volume  (balancing – see calculation below)

  • half cups of grounded almond

  • 3 teaspoons of baking power (sift together with plain flour and set aside)

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence OR 1-2 teaspoons of brandy or whisky

Calculation of milks required based actual weight of this illustration:

In this illustration, 6 eggs weighed about 318 grams 

Milk volume = 250 g of milk – Excess volume of eggs = 250 g  – (318g – 250g) = 182 g of milk

Alternatively, you can use 6 eggs and 120ml of milk as in the original recipes. This recipe have about 60 g more milk which it moister.




  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degree Celsius

  • Line a 8” square baking tin with parchment paper

Preparing the meringue (Beating of egg whites)


  • In a big mixing bowl, place your egg whites and beat using the machine whisk to whisk the egg whites until firm peak. Note that the bowl have to be extremely clean, dry and free of any oils.

  • When the volume expands, add in about 5 tablespoons of sugar gradually, beat until thick and glossy and until all the sugars dissolved. Spoon the filling into a clean bowl and set aside for later use.


Preparing the batters and folding of flours


  • Change your whisk to a K beater (look at the second picture for the shape). Place your remaining sugar and butter, beat until light and creamy. Add in the vanilla essence and eggs yolks and use slow speed to “mix” until well mixed. Eggs yolk should be added one by one and scrap the bottom of the bowl to ensure no unmixed egg yolk settled at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

  • Once well mixed, put 1/3 of plain flours, semolina flours, ground almonds and fresh milk and use the slowest speed to let it “stir” for 2-3 cycles.


  • Repeat the same for the remaining two third dry ingredients and milks. Once well mixed, take the mixing bowl out.


Folding of egg whites


  • Once well mixed, use a big spoon or spatula and  fold in the egg white swiftly and lightly until the batter are smooth.


Baking the Cake


  • Bake in the oven at 180 degree Celsius for the first 15 minutes and turn down the temperature to 150 degree Celsius for the remaining 45-60 minutes or when the skewer inserted come out clean. When you note signs of burnt, just use some metal to cover the cake tin.


Recipe 2 (Without Plain Flour Version)


  • 250 grams of melted butter
  • 250 grams of semolina flour
  • 250 grams of almond meal or almond flour
  • 250 grams of castor sugar
  • 50 grams of milk (optional)
  • 6 eggs (separated into egg white and egg yolks)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of brandy or whisky (optional)



  • Mixed the semolina flour with the melted butter. Let it soaked for at least 4 hours .

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius.

  • In a whisking bowl, whisk the sugar (leave 2 tablespoons for egg white) and egg yolk until light and pale. Add the brandy, milk, soaked semolina flour followed by almond meal. Stir until well combine and resemble a sticky paste.

  • Beat the egg white until soft peak with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.

  • Fold the egg white to the thick yolk batter in 3 phases. Transfer the batter to a greased 8” inches square tin and bake in the pre-heated oven of 150 degree Celsius for about 45 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean.

  • Best serve after resting one night as the cake will start to get moister. If preferred, can further infuse more alcohol and can be used as a festival cake.




As it is a very dense cake (about 1.8 kg), a crack may be inevitable… Some international members have commented that a crack signifies that it is a “cake” with character…. It is such a consolation statement to me. The crack do become smaller after 8 hours of resting. Personally, to me that is rather irrelevant to me since the cake is very tasty. It is moist because semolina can better absorb more liquids and butters than plain flour. It goes well with icing or cream or just plain with  a cup of coffee.


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


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  



Is It Not Time To Get Ready Your Christmas Fruit Cake ? – Boiled Fruits And Nuts Cake

Processed with Moldiv


This is the traditional fruit cake baked in a rather traditional way. It is one type of fruit cakes that can be served during Christmas.

Processed with Moldiv

Am I crazy to bake fruit cake for Christmas now? My answer is no and in fact it is just the right time to bake this cake. You can keep this cake for at least three months in the refrigerator. You can take out your fruit cake and periodically (may be once in a month) add rums to your fruit cake, and by the time when Christmas arrives, the fruit cake will be aromatic enough to make you drunk.



I got this recipe from one of my favourite old cookbooks –  “The Essential Baking Cookbook” published by Murdoch Books in year 2000. The recipe is using the boiling method in the preparation of the cake batter and requires additional protection during the baking process.

Two days ago, when I am clearing my kitchen self, I found some mixed fruits in the self that I have purchased a few month’s ago. As it is occupying a space in my shelf, I thought I might as well prepare a traditional fruit cake for the coming Christmas.


I have made minimal changes to the recipe except the substitution of some cherries with nuts and the addition of some rum. Therefore, I should say, this is a TRADITIONAL FRUITS AND NUTS CAKE.



Recipe adapted from : Boiled Fruit Cake from “The Essential Baking Cookbook” published by Murdoch Books in year 2000 page 80


  • 250 grams of unsalted butter

  • 185 grams of soft brown sugar

  • 185 grams of self raising flour

  • 125 grams of plain flour

  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spices (can use those of Indonesia layered cake)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

  • 175 grams of plain water (not in picture)

  • 1/8 cups of rum


  • 750 grams of mixed fruits

  • 250 grams of mixed nuts (I have used cashew nuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds)

  • 4 eggs lightly beaten


  • Some old newspapers and some baking paper.

  • 9 inches round baking tin



Special Lining of Cake Tin

Because of the long cooking time, fruit cakes requires extra protection.


  • Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius. Place a few layers of newspaper on the oven rack just before the baking starts.

  • Line your 9 inches baking tray with DOUBLE LAYERS OF BAKING PAPERS for both bottom and side. For the side, it has to be higher, about 2 inches above the cake tin. Join 2 pieces of newspapers together using stapler. Overlap the newspapers (1/3 of the width of newspaper) and use a stapler to staple together. Wrap around the side. Cover with another piece of clean paper and staple the baking paper, newspaper and clean paper at the top of the collar. Note that you can used clean paper instead of newspapers. The main purpose of this step is to provide extra protection to the fruit cake due to its long baking process.


Preparation of Batter


  • In a big sauce pan, put together butter, water, sugar and mixed fruits. Stir over low heat until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Let it cool and set aside.


  • Once cooled, add in beaten eggs, rums and stir well.

  • In another big mixing bowl, sift the flour together with the spices. Make a well in the centre. Pour the mixed fruits into the well and mix well. Add the nuts and pour the batter into the cake tin. Smooth the surface with the spatula. Lightly knock the bottom to ensure that there are no trapped air inside.


Baking the Cakes


  • Bake the cake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted come out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Leave the cake in the tin for at least one hour before taking out from the cake tin.

  • Flavours and textures start to improve after 3 days and it can keep for 2-3 months in the freezer section. If desired, add a few tablespoons of  rum periodically to the fruit cake (once in a month) to enhance the alcoholic fragrance.


  • Keeping of fruit cake, consider the following method: 1st layer – clingy wrap, 2nd layer – kitchen towel, 3rd layer – aluminium foil, 4th layer – plastic bag. Store in freezer section. This will avoid the moisture lost. Defrost on room temperature, meaning take your cake from freezer and let it defrost at room temperature a few hours before consumption.



The cake is prepared using a traditional method but because of the extra protection given to the cake, the cake is very moist. Flavour will be enhanced after another few days. Don’t worry about the shelf life of the cake, as long as it is properly kept, it can keep for months and I have ever keep fruit cakes for a period of more than 6 months in a deep freezer. In addition, alcohol is another preservation agent.


Bookmark this page and may be you can consider making the cake for your coming Christmas when you are free. It will never be too early.


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


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

Processed with Moldiv