Friday, October 31, 2008

Banana Chocolate Chip Butter cake

Got this recipe from one of my favorite cook book, "爱上牛油蛋糕", in English simply "I Love Butter Cake" by Kevin Chai. I made some changes to the Banana Butter cake recipe and added finely chopped dark chocolate to it and it becomes a favorite. I like to make it into mini cupcakes as my little ones say it's the right size for them, haha.Ingredients
250g butter
250g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
5 eggs
250g banana puree
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate powder
(optional)150g of dark chocolate chips ( I use chocolate bars and chop it into small bits)


1) Grease and line a 20am / 8 inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 175C.

2) Beat butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.

3) Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.

4) Add in the banana puree and vanilla essence, fold in sifted flour, baking powder and bicarbonate powder. Mix until well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread into prepared pan.

5) Decorate with banana slices on the top if desired. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40mins, using a tooth pick to test, if tooth pick comes out clean, it's cooked.

Note: Recipe can be halved, just use 2 large eggs or 3 smaller ones.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pork

I love any stir fry dishes that's sweet 'n' sour, be it with fried fish or pork, it literally gets me salivating, haha. So tonight, I thought I make this sweet and sour pork for my family (and myself, heehee).

300g of tenderloin pork, cut to bite size
a small can of cube pineapple
1 red bell pepper, cut to bite size
1 small zucchini, peeled and cut to bite size
1 small red onion, peeled and cut to bite size
3 cloves of garlic, minced

Seasoning A:
1/4 ground pepper
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 sesame oil
1 tsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
2 tbsp cornflour

Seasoning B:
4 tbsp ketchup
Juice form the can pineapple
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tbsp water

  1. Marinate the pork with Seasoning A and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat up enough oil to fry the marinated pork, until cooked and golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Heat up a little oil, stir fry garlic for a minute, add red onion, bell pepper and zucchini, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add pineapple and seasoning B, stir and cover for 1 minute.
  4. Add pork and stir fry for 30 seconds and dish up to serve while hot.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hawaiian Pizza

Pizza has always been my families all time period, especially my better half. I ever ask him this question "If you are put on a deserted island and you can only choose one kind food to survive on, what will it be?" Without hesitation, he said "Pizza, pizza, pizza." :) I do enjoy a good slice of pizza sometimes, it's sort of my comfort food too. So for today's lunch, I decided to make this Hawaiian Pizza (my girl's favorite) to curb my family's "craving". :) I got the pizza dough recipe from the book "Essentials of Baking" from William Sonoma. I only made 1/2 of the dough recipe, it's already enough for 3 adults. The tomato sauce topping that I made can be used for spaghetti as well, but you can add cooked minced chicken or pork to it.

For the tomato sauce:
2 can of crush tomato
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small carrot, diced small
1 small onion, diced small
1 package of white mushroom, sliced
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato sauce:
  • Heat up some oil in the pan. Add garlic, onion, carrots and stir fry for 1 minute. Reduce the temperature to minimum, cover and let slow cook for 5-7 minutes until onions and carrots are soft.
  • Add mushrooms, stir fry until the moisture is released. Then add can tomatoes. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Stew the sauce for 10 minutes.
For the Crust:
2 packages (5 tsp) active dry yeast
21/4cups (18 fl oz/ 560ml) warm water
2 tsp maple syrup or sugar
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
5 cups (25 oz / 780 g) bread flour, plus extra as needed
1 tbsp salt

For the topping:
1 cup (4 oz/125g) grated Parmesan Cheese
4oz of mozzarella cheese (grate or shred)
1/2 can of cube pineapple (cut half)
6 oz of sliced Honey Baked Ham, cute small bite size (or any kind of meat of your liking)

To make the dough:
  1. In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the maple syrup, oil, flour and salt and stir till well mixed and forms a rough ball.
  2. Using a pastry plastic scraper, scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough until soft, smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Add up to 1 cup of flour for kneading to prevent sticking.
  3. Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with kitchen towel and let proof for 1.5 to 2hrs, until double in volume.
  4. Preheat oven to 220°C. Punch down the dough, cut it into half. Flour the work surface and roll the dough into a round 30 to 35cm in diameter. (Or you can press down into a baking pan like me) Repeat the other half of the dough. Let dough proof again 30 to 40 minutes, cover with kitchen towel.
  5. Bake pizza for 20 minutes before putting any topping on it. This prevents the pizza center to be soggy.
  1. Spoon tomato sauce over the pre-bake pizza dough. Spread enough sauce to cover all the way except the sides.
  2. Sprinkle half of the grated Parmesan cheese on top of pizza. Add sliced ham, pineapple and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese over the top.
  3. Place in the preheat oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese turns golden brown.
Left over pizzas is still good the next day if kept in the fridge. :) Just toast it up for 10 minutes at 140°C. Yummy yummy!

Buzzing to Sweets

Hi readers, I decided to change my blog name to Honey Bee case anyone notice at all, haha. Seems like the word "sweets" is a more appropriate for a food blog. Anyway, hope to present more good food to all, happy reading!! ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mini Cinnamon Raisin Buns

Got this recipe from one of my favorite Cook Book, "Essentials of Baking" from William Sonoma. I added raisins to this recipe because my 2 girls love it. I also omit the vanilla icing on the top because the raisins already sweeten up the bread, a healthier version I guess. :)
I reduce the recipe to 1/3, because I like it better when it's freshly baked. Leaving it past 2 days won't taste that good anyway. My 2nd girl is already asking me when is mummy gonna make raisin bread again?!

For the Dough:
2 package (5 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup (8 fl oz/250ml) whole milk, heated to warm
1/2 cup (4 oz/125g) vanilla sugar
3 large eggs
5 1/2 cups (27oz /845g) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
2 tsp salt
Grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
1/2 cup(4oz/125g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling:
6 tbsp (3oz/90g) vanilla sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (2oz/60g) melted and cooled butter, for brushing
1 cup of raisins, soaked in warm water
1 egg, beaten

For Vanilla Glaze : (0ptional)
1/2 cup (2 oz/60g) confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60ml) whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (essence)

  1. To make the dough, dissovle the yeast in the warm milk and let it stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add to the milk mixture, vanilla sugar, eggs, 5 cups of flour (25oz/780g) 0f the flour, salt, orange zest (optional) and butter. Knead with hand or mix with your standing mixer until the dough is smooth, soft and not sticky. Using the remaining flour to knead if necessary. If using a stand mixer, the dough should come away from the bowl, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Form the dough into a ball, transfer into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it proof for 1.5 to 2 hrs.
  4. To make the filling, in a small bowl mix together the vanilla sugar and ground cinnamon.
  5. Punch down the dough, turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Cut it into half.
  6. Roll out one-half of the dough into a 25cm by 40cm. (since I'm making minis, mine is 8cm by 25cm)
  7. Brush the rolled out dough with melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with half of the cinnamon sugar. Drain the raisins and tab dry on paper towels, and put half the amount on top of dough.
  8. Starting from the long side farthest from you, roll up the rectangle towards you into a log.
  9. Cut the log crosswise into 2 inches (1.5 inches if making minis). Place slices cut side up in a circle, barely touching, on half of the prepared pan, lined with grease proof paper.
  10. Repeat steps 6 to 9 for the 2nd half of the dough.
  11. Cover the rolls loosely with kitchen towel and let proof for another 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  12. Brush the rolls with beaten egg and bake for 20 to 25 mins. (Minis only need 16 to 20 mins).
  13. (Optional) Just before the rolls are ready, make vanilla glaze. Mix together confectioner's sugar, cream and vanilla essence until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Let rolls cooled slightly before drizzling the glaze over it.

Dim Sum @ Restaurant Lai Po Heen @ Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Went for dim sum with my family last Sunday @ Restaurant Lai Po Heen @ Mandarin Oriental Hotel next to KLCC. The dinning hall has quite a nice ambiance to it. And it's Halal too, meaning no pork! Imagine that, all those dumplings and BBQ buns, made with chicken meat. Well, I guess I didn't really missed the pork just this once.

Here are some of the dishes that we ordered. Egg Tart & Century egg porridge. I like the egg tart, the light and creamy custard center with flaky crust on the outside, and it's not too sweet. However the porridge is a bit blunt for my taste buds.
On the left below is glutinous rice with BBQ chicken inside. The rice is pretty flavorful but I guess the BBQ chicken was a little on the salty side. BTW, I don't even remember the name of dish on the right side *haha*. The outside is fishcake, encasing some vegetables, i.e. strips of carrots, turnip etc. Overall it was okay...not something that I'll order again.
This is Ee Fu Noodle with shrimp roe and crab meat. We ordered this noodle for my 2 daughters...dim sum is not really their cup of tea. :-P The noodle was good, keep telling my 2nd one it's chicken, worry she might freak out if she knows it's crab meat, haha. Anyway should definitely learn how to cook this dish, my girls love Ee Fu noodle!Next is "feng zao" or chicken feet in other words. :) The feng zao is not soft enough, and tasted a little blunt too. There's a small fried butterfly bun on top, perhaps to soak up the sauce? But the sauce is not that good though.Last one is shrimp wrapped in fishcake(or shrimp cake) covered in almond flakes. The shrimp is fresh, but the fish/shrimp cake is much too chewy , but I like the texture that the crunchy almond flakes gives.Our bill comes to a total of RM$107 (plus tea, service & tax etc). Overall, I would give the restaurant a 6 out of 10 rating. Would I go back again? Perhaps... ,that is if I couldn't find a better Chinese restaurant to dine in and I would order a totally different set of dim sum the next try new dishes!

Can't wait to try out this restaurant? Click here to check them out ....oh sorry they don't take reservations, first come first serve basis. ;-P

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Baked Tapioca Kueh

I happen to come across this recipe from one of my favorite food blog, preciousmoment. Here is the recipe. I couldn't resist not making it! This tapioca kueh uses gula melaka which really enhances the aroma, yummy! Since the original recipe mentioned that it's softer in texture, I increased the cornflour to 6 tablespoons and reduce to 2 eggs. I even used a bigger and shallower pan to bake it (hoping to make it evaporate more liquid away while baking) . But you know what, it's still kind of soft then usual. Perhaps I'll try to squeeze more water out of the grated tapioca next time to reduce the liquid.

But me and my hubby still enjoyed it a lot! I'm going to make some for my mum the next time I go back, she loves tapioca kueh too....but perhaps with less sugar . ;)

Never Enough Sweets

After all that work making that "A" shaped cake for my No.2 to celebrate her 3rd birthday in her playschool, my No.1 asked me,"Mama, is mei-mei gonna have a birthday cake to celebrate at home?". I was at a lost for words at first, but didn't want to disappoint her, so I said yes, I'll make another one today. Anyway, I don't see why not since my girls always have so much fun when there's a birthday celebration. Since my No. 2 loves everything chocolate, I made a different chocolate sponge cake. I have to say I'm more satisfied with this one, a lot softer then the previous cake. ;) I made mini cupcakes with pink butter cream icing with the left over cake batter since I was using a smaller cake mold this time.I have again used sliced bananas and chocolate ganache between the cake layers. (Somehow very well accepted by my girls)

Chocolate sponge cake 2
Ingredients A
3 egg whites
60g vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Ingredients B
3 egg yolks
50g vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
75ml of milk
60g melted cooled butter

60g cake flour
40g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

1 ripe banana sliced and drizzle with lemon juice
3 to 4 fresh strawberries, sliced half

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease a 10cm round cake pan, line with parchment paper , grease again and dust with plain flour.
  2. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla essence, milk and melted butter to egg yolk mixture, whisk until well blended.
  4. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together in another bowl. Then sift again into the egg mixture. Folding in until well incorporated.
  5. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Then add sugar and cream of tartar and whip until it forms soft peaks.
  6. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture in to the egg yolk batter to lighten it. Then add in the egg white in 2 more batches using gentle fold and cut action to blend into the egg yolk batter. Making sure not to deflate the bubbles.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool in cake pan for 10 minutes before removing and cool completely before getting the cake out of the mold.
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
4 fl oz whipping cream
113g / 4 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used Lindt)
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp confectioner's sugar

Heat up the whipping cream in microwave on HIGH for 40 secs. Add hot cream to chopped chocolate and stir to mix well. Sift cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar into the chocolate ganache and let cool.

Assembly of cake
  1. Cut cake across the middle. Place the first layer of cake on plate and set aside. Spread 1/2 of the prepared ganache on the 2nd layer of cake.
  2. Placed sliced bananas on top of chocolate ganache, and place 1st layer of cake on top, cut side up.
  3. Spread remaining of the chocolate ganache evenly on cake. Decorate with sliced strawberries on top of cake.
Bon appetite!
And you know what, we went for banana split that night too at Baskin Robins. :) Well, what can I say, one can never have enough sweets, haha!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Birthday of my Blog and my 2nd Daughter

Hi Blogger and readers out there! I am so excited about starting my own blog page. I've read so many food blogs that got me so motivated. Personally I'm a foodie myself, what can I say, food is almost always on my mind (besides my family of course), haha. ;)

Today is my 2nd daughter's birthday, I made her an "A" shaped cake yesterday, along with some cupcakes. Why A, not B or C? Well, my daughter's name starts with A. :) As you can see, it's chocolate, she loves everything chocolate (just like me). Brought it to her playschool and everyone enjoyed it very much. ;) I know, I REALLY have to improve on my photography....I really admire those blogger with such wonderful looking photos! Some of those looks like you can eat out of those pictures!

For this cake, I made a chocolate sponge cake in a square pan mold and cut it out using an alphabet template. It's quite easy actually, you just have to get your measurements right.

I tried to keep the sponge cake moist, considering that I need to leave it in the fridge overnight, I added fresh orange juice over it (just a small amount over the top surface to moisten it. (Have to mention it's actually my hubby's idea!) It not only adds moisture, it now has orange flavoring in it. ;) This sponge cake is moist and yet firm enough to withstand all
that handling (cutting out the shape) The key is in the beating and folding of the batter. Those bakers out there, if you are interested, here is the recipe.

Chocolate Sponge Cake with chocolate frosting
Sponge cake:
6 eggs (room temperature)
150g sugar (I used vanilla sugar)

130g cake flour

40g unsweetened cocoa powder

100g melted butter

Chocolate frosting:
4 fl oz / 112ml whipping cream

4 oz / 113g bittersweet chocolate ( I used Lindt 70% cocoa)

2 tsp instant coffee
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar

3 ripe bananas sliced and frizzle with some lemon juice ( I used orange juice)

Chocolate coating:
5 fl oz / 140ml whipping cream
4 oz / 113g bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp butter (melted and cooled)

For Sponge Cake:
  1. Sift cake flour and cocoa powder and set aside. Grease an 21cm by 21cm square cake mold. Line with parchment, grease again and dust with cake flour, remove extra flour.Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for 5 to 7mins until batter forms a ribbon.
  3. Sift 1/3 of flour mixture into egg mixture, gently fold in, making sure not deflating the bubbles. Repeat in another 2 times until all flour is blended in.
  4. Mix the melted butter with some of the batter to lighten it. Then add the butter mixture into cake batter, fold gently till incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into cake mold and bake for 20 to 25mins, or until tester comes out clean.
For Frosting between the cake:
  • Place whipping cream in microwave for 30 secs on HIGH till almost bubbling, pour into chopped chocolate and stir to mix well. Add instant coffee,sugar, cocoa powder, blend in. Let cool, place in refrigerator if too runny.
For chocolate coating:
  • Place whipping cream in microwave for 30 secs on HIGH till almost bubbling, pour into chopped chocolate and stir to mix well.
Buttercream for decorations:
  • Mix 100g butter at room temperature with 100g of confectioner's sugar.
  • Add desired coloring, a couple drops will do it. Mix well till get an even color.
Assemble the cake:
  1. Cut the cake into 2 layers. Flip the top layer of the cake, meaning cut side up, place on top of 2nd layer. Place template over cake and cut out only the 3 triangles, labeled 1, 2 and 3 in the picture. Remove the top layer and set aside for now.
  2. Spread frosting evenly on the bottom layer of cake. Placed sliced bananas over frosting. Top with the 1st layer of cake. Drizzle some fresh orange juice over the 1st layer of cake. Since it's cut side, it absorbs easily. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour to allow frosting to harden a little.
  3. Take cake out and cut out the remaining hexagon below labeled 4 and place it over the top to form the "A" shape.
  4. Frost the cake with the chocolate coating and place back in fridge for 30 mins to set the coat.
  5. Remove cake from fridge and pipe butter cream on cake as decoration as desired.
Sorry guys, would try my best to show a step by step photo next time for such a recipe. Did not take any pictures during the process because I was running out of time. :-P Hope those interested can follow my recipe above. ;) Anyway, enjoy and have fun baking it! (I know I did)