Friday, June 23, 2006

This Blog is Closed

Temporarily I mean.

I will be leaving Singapore tonight for a short training in Europe. This trip will cover Denmark, Sweden and London, so you won't see and hear from me for a fortnight. Thanks for visiting and in the meantime, hope my archives will keep you busy, or visit the talented food bloggers in my Frequent Huants. See you in two weeks' time and


Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I've always had a liking for Subway Sandwiches, and I used to have one after my gym session on Sundays. But alas it has been ages since I had one, truly miss it. So I decided to make my own 'Sub'.

I still had half of the amount of biga(italian for pre-ferment) in my freezer, left from my ciabatta making. I knew that there is a recipe for Italian Bread in Peter Reinhart's book, just nice to finish up my biga. Hence I made a small boule and a short batard with this recipe.

A look at the interior of the boule

As with most 'lean' breads, due to the lack of /small amounts of fats, these breads become stale very quickly. So I would usually freeze them, which keeps them fresh and is convenient whenever my bread craving kicks in. Here's my breakfast Peppered Turkey Sub for this morning, quite sumptious right? ;p

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Good Roast

I have made roasted chicken a few times, and mainly used very asian seasonings like plum sauce, soya sauce etc. Roasted chicken is my favourite dish to cook, because it's simple to prepare, just marinate, pop into the oven and let it cook on its own.

This is my first 'western-style' roast. A search on the net will throw out plenty of recipes, but as with all recipes, not all will work well. So a big thanks to Gattina who provided the link for this recipe. I trust Gattina's recommendation and this recipe doesn't look too complicated. So I gathered my herbs(used dried rosemary and bay leaf in place of the fresh ones) and off I went to roast this chicken.

When we tucked into this chicken, we were surprised by how flavourful it was. Juicy, succulent and very very tender. Breast meat is usually the drier part of a roast, but not for this bird. We 'walloped' the entire chicken, together with some roasted vegetables. Initially I wanted to save some breast meat for a sandwich, but still ended up devouring everything. It was THAT good!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Thanks to Gattina who tagged me for this 10 Things I Miss of Mum's Cooking Meme, because it helps to 'invoke' the memories of my mum, who has passed away when I was in my teens. She is a wonderful cook, it's a pity I didn't get to learn even 10% of her skills. She hardly baked things like cakes or cookies, mainly home-cooked meals. Here's what I miss most:

1) Abacus seeds - this is a traditional hakka dish, made from yam and shaped into abacus seeds -like shapes. Though my mum is a Cantonese, she makes the most delicious abacus seeds.

2) Chicken wine - a dish comprising of chicken cooked in a generous amount of chinese wine, very aromatic.

3) Curry chicken - best paired with french loaf

4) Steamed fish - cantonese style, steamed to perfection.

5) Fish porridge - Teochew style, where soup made from the freshest fish is poured over rice, with a topping of fragrant fried dried shrimps(something which my mum 'invented').

6) Assam fish - cooked in a tangy tamarind gravy, I always have one whole fish to myself

7) Sweet and sour pork - a dish found regularly during festivities such as Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival etc.

8) Ngor Hiang - meat rolls. I made this some time back.
9) Peanut puffs - each one is painstakingly moulded into the shape of a curry puff, but much smaller, filled with a sweet peanut filling, usually made during Chinese New Year.
10) Agar agar jelly - different colors and shapes. Simply but very comforting.
Next I shall hand the 'baton' over to Evelyn and Ching :)

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Usually Wednesdays are baking days for me because my hubby goes for Aikido classes, so I would usually go home directly from work. It has become something like a habit. Yesterday I reached home a bit later as I had to run some errands but I still wanted to make something. Talk about ‘old habits die hard’. I was pondering what cakes can I make within such a short time(it was already 8pm)? Butter cakes? Butter is sitting rock solid in the freezer. Chiffons? Too many bowls to wash after that. Final decision….

These cakes are adapted from the same recipe used for the steamed mini chiffon cakes previously. Not too creative, I know, but shortage of time calls for ‘drastic measures’. I made a ‘heathier’ version this time, using all evaporated milk in place of coconut milk. It’s not intentionally, just that I don’t usually buy coconut milk unless I intend to cook curries.

To add a bit of variation, I made a bi-colored version. It’s a pity I didn’t add enough pandan paste, hence the pale green and so the colors didn’t really contrast well. But what matters really is that these cakes were ready within an hour and tastes good, not too sweet, soft and spongy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Resuming my 'Work'

Hi all, I just got back yesterday morning. How was your weekend? Mine was simple, since the main reason for going to Ipoh was to visit my in-laws. Our itinerary for the past 3 days were:

Breakfast at 9am, then go mall-shopping,
Lunch at 1pm, followed by rest at home,
Dinner at 7pm, then TV for the night

So it's basically minimal walking(had a car there), moderate eating(the BIG question everyday for 3 times was “Where do we go for breakfast/lunch/dinner?”), plus maximum sitting(down). No baking and no internet. So guess what I did once I reached home? Surfing(the net) and baking these.

One of my KC pals said I can’t stay away from my oven for too long. She’s so right, I’m addicted to baking and was itching to get my trusty oven working again. These rolls are nothing new, it's from a country wholemeal bread recipe I made some time back. I just coated two rolls with oats and the other two were used for my 'slashing' practice as I can't seem to get a decent-looking slash for my previous attempts. This time the slits opened up quite nicely. But I can't be sure if it's because I oiled the razor slightly or it is due to the dough itself (it was not as wet as my previous doughs).

PS: I think one day you all are going to be bored to tears with my posts on breads. Hopefully that day wouldn't come so soon.

Recipe for Country Wholewheat Rolls

Ingredients for sponge
125g bread flour
125g water
8g dry yeast
4g honey

1)Add honey to 3 tbsp of the 125g water , stir to dissolve. Then add in yeast and wait for 5 mins to become frothy. Stir well
2) Mix the yeast mixture with the remaining ingredients and mix to form a sticky(but not wet)dough. There’s no need to knead too much, just ensure the sponge is smooth.
3) Cover and ferment for 1 hour. It should at least triple in size.

Ingredients for main dough
100g bread flour
150g wholemeal flour
110g water
20g sugar
1¼ tsp salt
10g melted butter or canola oil

Egg white for glazing
Wholemeal flour or rolled oats for coating

1)After one hour, give the sponge a gentle stir to release some air.
2)Add in the ingredients for the main dough and knead into a smooth and elastic dough.
3)Round the dough, cover and let rise for 45 mins until double in size.
4)Punch down the dough and into the desired size and shape*.
5)Brush the surface with egg white and coat with wholemeal flour or rolled oats.
6)Place on a lined baking tray, cover with plastic wrap and prove for 30 minutes until double in size.
7)Bake in preheated 190C oven for about 25 mins or until cooked

*For shaping:
The original recipe called for dividing into 2 large boules (balls). This time I made four rolls. Just shape into your desired size/shape but just note that the baking times will differ slightly.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cute Cakes

I decided to give my oven a break. I think it deserves a good rest from all the baking. But my hands are still itching to bake something. So what to do? The magic word: Steaming.

The recipe for these little steamed cake are from LeeLee, who posted it in KC. It uses two forms of coconut, coconut milk and fresh grated coconut. Coconut has always been advocated as a bad bad food, because of its high saturated fat(think clogged arteries) content. But as I heard recently, it seems like they(the experts) are saying that coconut is not so bad after all. Sometimes all these information are a tad confusing, no?

Anyway, back to my cakes. These cakes are relatively easy to prepare, not to mention very tasty. The grated coconut is slightly saltish, which contrasted very effectively with the sweet cake base. Here's a look at the 'dainty' cakes.

I'll be leaving tonight to my parents-in-law's place in Malaysia for the weekend and will be back on Sunday. Have a good weekend and in the meantime, hope my archives will be sufficient to keep you busy :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

In the Mood For...

A pretty dessert. I don't usually do a lot of decorations for the cakes I bake, since there's only me and hubby eating most of the time, or I bring them to my workplace for my colleagues, so I don't see the need to do that. Another reason is I'm not a very creative person. But this dessert is an exception, which makes me want to 'plate' it nicely.

I was surfing the net for flourless chocolate cake recipes when I came across this by Alice Medrich. This recipe for Fallen Chocolate Souffle Torte is in her book Chocolate & the Art of Low Fat Desserts, but I found the recipe here. I have actually tried her Marble Cake and Chocolate Pound Cake, both from this same book, and they turned out really delicious. Unfortunately this book seems to be out of print. How I wish I have this book on my bookshelf.

Anyway, the baking of this torte is really dramatic, in the good way I mean. The torte rose quite high in the oven and developed a crack on the surface. Then when it's removed from the oven, it falls drastically, just like a souffle. This is the first time when I actually wish for a cake to crack and fall, simply because it's supposed to.

I chose to serve it in two ways. One is simply dusted with icing sugar and with a little cream on the side.

For pure indulgence, adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream should do the trick.

Do not be fooled by the dark and dense texture of this torte and think that this would sit heavily in stomach. On the contrary, it is surprisingly light enough to be eaten after a main meal without feeling too guilty.