Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chwee Kueh / Woah Kueh

I love Chwee Kueh. Lately whenever I go back to Singapore, me and my better half will always drive down to our favorite store to chow down a big plate. Some might think that it's easy to make and not hard to get the perfect taste & texture. Well, understandable since most of the recipes I have come across on Chwee Kueh are relatively easy. Rice flour, water, salt, oil etc mixed together, steam and plus the preserved radish topping. But the texture of the kueh can be quite different even with the amount of water you used, not to mention the kind of flour added to it. Not too long ago, a good friend has kindly invited me to her kitchen to "experiment" on a recipe from a cookbook. It turned out okay, but we both knew after tasting it, that it can still be improved. So I have vowed to try it out again myself.

I have searched for the longest time and found a good recipe on another blog; My Culinary Journal. (<=Thanks!) Some how the ingredients involved are quite different from the day I tried with my friend, so I decided to give it a try. I was glad I did because it turn out pretty good, texture wise was softer, but "bouncier", haha!

I will post the recipe with some modification for my own reference in the future:
Ingredients for Chwee Kueh / Woah Kueh (makes about 26 to 28):
300 g of rice flour
25 g of wheat starch
25 g of corn flour
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of oil
400 ml cold water
1000 ml boiling hot water

  • Put rice flour, wheat starch and cornflour into a mixing bowl.
  • Add 400 ml of cold water to the flour mixture, use a wooden spoon to stir.
  • Bring 1020 ml of water to boil, make sure it boiling hot with big bubbles. Only add in 1000 ml of boiling hot water to the flour mixture. (Note that the extra 20ml is to compensate the liquid turned into steam away while boiling)
  • Pour the hot water over the flour mixture, then stir it, add salt & oil to batter and mix together well.
  • Keep stirring until batter is like glue texture. If the batter is not transparent, or looks watery glue texture, bring it over the stove to cook it again, until a portion of it stick to the wooden ladle. Remove from fire.
  • Oil the mould with a little cooking oil, pour the batter into the mould, filled about ¾ full. Then add 1 tsp of cold water as topping before bringing batter to steam.
  • Steaming time about 15 - 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, open the cover, check to see if there is a depression of water content in the center, leave the fire on, let it cook for 5 mins more with cover off, to steam dry the pool of water in kueh center. Once dried, off fire.
  • Wait for it to cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before unmoulding it.
Ingredients for Preserved Radish:
4 tbsp cooking oil
150g sweet preserved radish
150g salted preserved radish
2 tsp of dark soy sauce
6 pips garlic, minced
6 pips shallots, minced
4 to 5 tsp sugar
50g toasted sesame seeds (I forgotten all about it this time!!)

  • Soaked the preserved radish in warm water for at least 15 minutes. Then rinsed off the water. Chop up if it is not already in minced bits.
  • In a cooking pan, add cooking oil and stir fry the garlic and shallots still fragrant.
  • Add both preserved radish and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the seasoning and stir fry for another 5 minutes at low heat. Add toasted sesame if using.
  • Remove from pan and set aside till use.
Eating this Chwee Kueh brings back a lot of nostalgic feelings...again a childhood favorite. ;) Geeze so many childhood favorite! You can already imagine the old chubby me, haha! But so glad it turn out good, even my husband say it's yummy! *phew!*
Have asked 3 good friends to taste test it and all have given thumbs up. So I guess this recipe is indeed a keeper. Another thing I realize about this homemade Chwee Kueh is, it's not as oily as the those sold in stores. Well, perhaps it's much easier for the store owners to handle the kueh with the extra oil added...but it ain't good for the body I tell you. Again, another winning vote for the homemade yummies!
Me and my husband loves it with chili...one that my good friend bought from Seramban for us...so delicious eating it together! I even made Steam yam cake that day too...so double the treat! (forget about double the fat!) So if you do try this Chwee Kueh recipe, do let me know how yours turn out. Cheers all!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Frankly speaking, I am even more surprise receiving this award then the previous one, haha! Wow, Best Blog Award, ....geeze I am truly amazed! Anyway, enough with the babbling....I feel like those celebs that receive Oscar and standing in front of thousands of audience, brain freeze, speechless or just mumbling nonsense, haha!

So first I like to thank traciMoo (A.K.A Bitter Sweet Flavors) for passing this lovely award to me, very sweet of her to think of me, thank you for the encouragment and support!

The rules for these awards are:
~To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
~Pass the award to 5 other blogs that you've discovered and think are great!

~Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award

I'm kind of relieved that I need not talk about myself upon receiving this award, haha! But still having to search for 5 bloggers to pass this award to is no easy peasy stuff! But still I managed...so drum roll please! Here they are in no particular order or preference!
  • Joy of Baking - By Stephanie whose site has such a wide collection of great recipes to share and always comprehensive enough for the novice bakers.
  • Daily Delicious : By Pook; whom has the most amazing blog with 3 languages (i.e. Thai, Jap & Eng) with lovely and mouth watering recipes posts.
  • Zen Cupcakes - A blog that exhibits the most amazing collection of cupcakes all over the world. My Hello Kitty fondant cupcakes were posted by her too!
  • Piggy's Cooking Journal - A lovely blog by Grace which displays great recipes and pictures.
  • Smitten Kitchen -By Deb from New York City. Love reading her posts (great writer) and her recipes.
Thanks again traciMoo for passing the award to me...really appreciate it. :)

Asian Pancake / Mian Jian Kueh

Mian Jian Kueh or Asian Pancake as some of you might call it, is one of the favorite snacks that I grew up eating. I remember I would be the first in the family to munch it up every time my mum buys it fresh from the market in the morning. So it comes to no surprise that I will eventually make this delicious treat at home. Well, maybe the delay is due to having no confidence in finding and trying out a good recipe. Since I have tasted very good ones in Singapore....which are the store bought ones of course, so that kind of discouraged me even further, haha! Anyway, this lazy Sunday morning with nothing in particular to do, I decide the time has come for me to finally to do it.
Some of you readers out there must be going like....err why is it so flat? Well, I got the recipe from Baking Mum but I did made some changes to the ingredients (maybe that's why!) but strictly follow the steps, even allow it to proof for 2 hrs before using. But in terms of taste and texture, it's still good, so I was not totally disappointed. :)

So for my own reference in the future, here is my recipe:
Ingredients forMian Jian Kueh:
Pancake batter:
300g Hong Kong flour
20g Tapioca flour
5 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp alkaline water
1 tsp instant active yeast

Cheese Filling for the pancake:
3 wedges Laughing Cow cheese
2 ripe small bananas
  • Slice the cheese wedges into thinner slices. Also slice the banana, length wise .
Chocolate Filling for the pancake:
60g Lindt chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped small
1 tsp light corn syrup
(Alternatively, you can use Nutella)

  • Melt the chocolate in double boiler with the light corn syrup till smooth. You can add 1 tbsp of caster sugar if you prefer sweeter version.

Peanut Filling for the pancake:
4 tbsp Organic creamy peanut butter (no sugar added)
2 tbsp ground roasted peanuts
(Alternatively, you can use chunky peanut butter)

Method & Assembly:

  • Mixed all ingredients for the pancake batter together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Let batter proof for at least 2hrs before use.
  • Heat up a non-stick frying pan of at least 15 inches wide. Cooking oil is optional is your pan is non-stick.
  • Add 1/3 of the batter into the pan at low to medium heat, cover the lid and let cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove lid and reduce the heat to small. Then add one of the filling on one side of the pancake.
  • For cheese filling; Gently place the sliced wedges on one side of the pancake surface, follow by the sliced banana.
  • For Chocolate filling; Gently spread the chocolate on one side of the pancake.
  • For Peanut filling; Gently spread the creamy peanut butter on one side of the pancake, then sprinke the roasted gound peanuts over it.
  • Then you gently using the spatula, flip the other side of the pancake without the filling over to close up the pancake, making it a semi-circle.
  • Remove from it and place on a clean chopping board and cut it into 4 wedges.
Frankly speaking, this is a pretty easy recipe to make, but to get the correct fluffiness of the pancake and the perfect filling to go with it, it ain't a walk in the park! But I will cut myself some slack since this is indeed my first attempt, so I will definitely try it out again with better technique and recipe. ;)

Personally, I love the peanut version...what can I say, I am nuts over peanuts, haha! Love the extra crunch from the roasted peanuts added on top....and it was not too sweet like those store bought ones, since mine was a organic peanut butter with no sugar added. Yum-O!
Okay, I admit, this Cheese and Banana is a HoneyBeeSweet's original concoction, haha! Some people might be a little turn off with the thought of these 2 ingredients together. But guess what, I like it! If you have tasted the Laughing cow cheese before, you would know it's creamy, smooth and slight salty taste....usually can be found in those store bought Mian Jian Kueh too. Then I thought perhpas adding alittle sweet ripe bananas into it might enhance the texture and taste....and indeed it was a winner too! I guess the above picture tells it all...
The chocolate filling was actually my girls' favorite. I was kind of surprise because it is slightly on the bitter side since I did not add any extra sugar to the 70% cocoa chocolate and corn syrup. But I am glad that they like dark chocolate since it is healthier then the milk version.
Perhaps the next time I make, I will try a different recipe. Also will try filling it with traditional red bean filling. ;) Have a great week all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All American Chocolate Cake

Lately the air quality in KL is getting from bad to worst. Every morning there is always a thick haze overcast in the atmosphere with a slight hint of smoky smell in the air. All this is due to the forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia. No no, it's not because of the heat that causes the fire...it is actually set by developers in Sumatra to clear the land! *sigh* The damages that human does to earth is really beyond toleration sometimes. I just wish that our future generations will still be able to enjoy the seer beauty of nature and not having to suffer from the mistakes that their fore fathers have done to the environment.

Okay, enough with being poetic...let's get back to today's post. Have been having that familiar craving lately....yeah that one, chocolate....a good piece of dark chocolate cake of course. So I browse through my cook books and found an easy enough recipe in Y3K's "Delicious Cakes" by Amy Heng. The American Chocolate Cake! Fortunately I have all the ingredients in my pantry so I got to work immediately.
I did some slight modification to the recipe, so here is my version:
Ingredients for American Chocolate Cake:
Chocolate Cake:
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
370g soft brown sugar (I used 330g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs ( I used 3 large eggs)
320g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
100g unsweetened cocoa powder
280ml hot water

Chocolate filling:
300ml fresh whipping cream
600g semisweet chocolate (chopped)
  • Heat the cream in double boiler method til bubbling, pour over chopped chocolate.
  • Let mixture stand for 3 minutes before stirring it.
  • Stir mixture till smooth and let cool and refrigerate till needed.
Topping and decorations:
50g white chocolate (melted and added 1 tsp of shortening)

Method & Assembly:
  • Line and grease a 10" round baking tin. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, vanilla extract and sugar together till light and fluffy.
  • Add in one egg at a time and mix well after each addition.
  • Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Mix the hot water with the cocoa powder and set aside.
  • Alternating the flour and cocoa mixture into the egg mixture and incorporate till everything is used, ending with the flour mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50mins to 1hr, or till cake tester comes out clean.
  • Let cool on rack. Then using a serrated knife, cut the cake into 3 layers horizontally.
  • Spread 1/4 of the chocolate filling on the 1st layer of the cake. Top with the 2nd layer and spread another 1/4 of the filling. Then place the last layer over and frost the rest of the chocolate ganache over the whole cake.
  • Using a piping bag, pipe circles on the surface of the cake. Using a toothpick to create a feathery effect by dragging the toothpick across the piped chocolate.
In the cook book, it suggest to decorate some white chocolate moulds on the side of the cake. But since I much prefer the cake to be less sweet, I opt not to do it. Furthermore, I am not a fan of white chocolate! :-P
The cake was tender & decadent, definitely a chocolate "curbing" fix, haha! I had a big slice (the picture shown above) and was completely satisfied....mmm, got milk?!
Have actually prepared 2 portions to share with my friends/neighbors here. But whenever I pass them these goodies, there is always some mixed feelings involved. You must be wondering what am I saying here, haha! My friends would be delighted that they got these delicious treats but on the other hand worrying about putting on the extra calories!! Haha...o well, I guess I really have to come up with some exercise plans for us if I want to convince my friends to eat more of these treats! ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cream Cheese Custard Oat Buns

Thinking of what to make for breakfast for my family tomorrow. Again falling back to bread, since it can be prepared ahead of time and stored up to 3 days....lazy me. :) The cream cheese in my fridge needs to be used up too, so I decided to come up with something different; Cream Cheese Custard Oat Buns. I modified my own
Instant Oat Loaf recipe so I can use it here and then also modified a custard recipe to create a cream cheese version. Saw this bread moulding method on a Japanese food site and so decided to try it out too.

I know some of you readers out there must be going like...oh come-on, another oat recipe?! Lay off with the oats already! Okay, I do apologize if you find it "stale" to see similarity in my recipes...but I need to get more oats into my family. :-P So feel free to modify the dough to plain sweet buns if you like. ;)

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Custard:
250g cream cheese, room temperature
90g caster sugar

1 egg
35g cake flour

150ml fresh milk

1 1/2tsp fresh lemon juice

20g unsalted butter

  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together till creamy.
  • Add egg and mix well. Then stir in cake flour and mix till well combined.
  • Add the milk and stir well, then using double boiler method, stir and cook the mixture at medium heat till it thickens and bubble.
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice and butter.
  • Let the custard cool then refrigerate it till needed.
Ingredients for Oat Buns:
Set A:
50g instant oats
150ml fresh milk

Set B:
275g bread flour
50g instant roll oats
50g caster sugar
1 tsp honey
5g instant active yeast
5g salt
1 whole egg
150ml fresh milk
40g unsalted butter, room temperature

  • In a small pot, cook the instant oats with the milk in Set A with low fire till the mixture is thick and lumpy. Remove from fire and set aside to cool. Refrigerate the mixture for an hour before use.
  • Mix all ingredients in Set B except for butter together with the mixture in Set A in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Knead the dough till it is not sticky, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the unsalted butter in and continue to knead till the dough is shiny and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, pull a small piece off and stretching it with your fingers. If dough is very elastic and pulls to almost see through without breaking, then it's done.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for at least 90 minutes to 2hrs till double in size.
  • After proofing, divide the dough into 12 portions. Roll each dough piece into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes before moulding.
  • For each dough ball, cut out about 1/6 of it and set aside for the plaited dough on top.
  • To the remaining dough, roll it our flat using a rolling pin into a flat disc.
  • Scoop about 1.5 tbsp of the cream cheese custard filling in the center and seal it up tightly.
  • Place the sealed dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • With the 1/6 of the dough, divide into 2 and roll into small logs and pressing one end together, twist the 2 logs together to get the plaited pattern.
  • Place the twisted logs gently on top of the filled dough, in the middle. Then repeat with the rest of the 11 dough balls. Let the dough proof for another 20 minutes before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the top of buns with egg wash.
  • Bake the buns in the oven for 2o to 22 minutes till golden brown. Serve!
The buns are soft and the cream cheese filling is not too sweet, a pretty nice combo if I do say so myself, haha! One thing I was not please was my moulding skill again. Some of the twisted dough on top did not adhere properly and some was even too short. :-P I guess I really need to learn how to mould bread dough properly. :-P
Overall still a satisfactory recipe, will definitely try out different filling or dough recipe next time. Happy baking!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A pleasent surprise

Wow...I am speechless...literally, haha! My first award, i.e. Kreativ Blogger Award! Of course I have to thank Small Small Baker for passing this award to me, very nice of her to think of my humble little blog. :)

The Kreativ Blogger Award comes with some rules:

1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

Okay, 7 things about me, geeze...I bet some of you readers are already closing the browser, haha! I always find it sooo hard to come up with things about myself! (Talk about knowing yourself well!) Nevertheless, I will follow the "rules"and expose a little information about me. :)
  1. Born Singaporean but have left that lovely island and reside overseas for more then 10 years now. (Of course I do visit as often as I can)
  2. Loves to drive, especially along the coast.
  3. Favorite comfort food are bread & nonya laksa.
  4. Had the most delicious meal in a French restaurant call French Laundry in Sonoma County, California.
  5. Enjoys French pastry desert the most.
  6. Is a big fan of the works of Hayao Miyazaki. (e.g. Totoro, Ki Ki Delivery Service etc)
  7. Dreams of becoming a food critic in the future, heehee. ;)
The seven other food blogger that I would like to nominate are as follows:
  • loving baking; A pretty and freshly graduated student whom loves to bake.
  • Cafe Corner; One of my favorite sites to go to, with detail descriptions of steps and recipe.
  • ieatishootipost; A great blog especially for people like me (being away for so long) to find out where to eat the best food in Singapore.
  • foodbeam; A French pastry chef with great works in baking and photography.
  • My Home Kitchen; Being a "secret" follower on this nice blog.
  • ReeseKitchen; A great friend and a good cook, fortunate to come to know her.
  • Joy The Baker; One of my inspirations, never a dull moment when I visit her blog!
It has been 9 months since I started blogging and there is no looking back since then. But it has been fun! I wish there will be more readers visiting my blog and leaving supporting comments for me. Thanks again Small Small baker for this special award, really appreciate it. I am glad I got the chance to do it. ;) Cheers all!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chocolate Banana cupcakes with chocolate chips

Early this morning went to Bake with Yen (a bakery supply store) with 2 of my buddies after a delicious breakfast at Old Town. Whenever I go to a bakery supply store, I'll always buy plenty of stuff,...yeah even stuff I am not sure if I need it, haha! But you know I am always a happy shopper there. ;) Anyway, with nothing on my agenda this afternoon, I decided to give a new cupcake recipe a try. Have actually delayed baking this for a couple of days due to other matters at hand. Hence those bananas that were suppose to be in this recipe were all really ripe and spotted! But I guess that makes them full flavored & sweeter! ;)
Ingredients for Chocolate Banana cupcakes with chocolate chips:
240g cake flour
30g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
100g caster sugar
180g unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
60ml buttermilk (or you can use fresh milk)

3 ripe medium to large bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 cups chocolate chips & more for topping

  • In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together till pale and fluffy.
  • Add eggs into the mixture one at a time and beat the mixture till incorporated.
  • Add buttermilk and mix well. Then add the mashed bananas in and stir in well.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients in and mix till just combined.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Line muffin tins with paper cups and scoop the batter in to 2/3 full. Top a few more chocolate chips on top if desired.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes for small cupcakes and 20 minutes for large ones. The cake tester or toothpick should come out clean when done.
It's really been quite some time since I make mini cupcakes for my little girls. So when they saw me making these they were pretty excited. ;) I made some large ones too, but some how my girls only prefer the small ones...;)
I figured those super ripe bananas I used are pretty sweet, so I have used less sugar in the recipe. So if you decided to try out this recipe and wants a slightly sweeter version, you can add an extra 15 to 20g of sugar into the recipe. Overall the taste is great, light and not too sweet and I am sure you know when you combine bananas and chocolate together, it's yummy. ;) Try it out and you'll see what I mean. :) Happy bakes!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blueberry Oat Loaf with Red Raisins

Lately I have not been doing anything new. Have been baking the same stuff, like Mango Swiss roll, since there is still an abundance of mangoes in the market. :) Also baked a batched of Oatmeal Chocolate chip cookies, which is one of my family's favorites. So today, I figured I should be a little adventurous and so I came up with a new bread recipe. Okay, maybe not exactly that new, since it's an oat loaf again (upon my better half's request). But I played with some other new ingredients in the recipe to come up with this Blueberry Oat loaf with Red Raisins. ;) Result? Satisfactory. :)
When I bake, I only use Organic Sunview Raisins. Reason is simple, the quality is very good. The price maybe slightly steeper, but definitely worth it because you can see & taste the difference. :) They come in Organic Black Seedless, Green Seedless and lately I just bought Red Seedless and it's good! What better ways to enjoy it then to put it in my home bakes. ;)

Ingredients for Blueberry Oats Loaf with Red Raisins:
Set A:
50g instant oats
125ml fresh milk

Set B:
350g bread flour
50g instant roll oats
50g caster sugar
7g instant active yeast
5g salt
1 whole egg
160ml fresh whipping cream
100g blueberry pie filling, blended
25g unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Sunview Red seedless raisins (optional)

  • In a small pot, cook the instant oats with the milk in Set A with low fire till the mixture is thick and lumpy. Remove from fire and set aside to cool. Refrigerate the mixture for an hour before use.
  • Mix all ingredients in Set B except for butter together with the mixture in Set A in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Knead the dough till it is not sticky, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the unsalted butter in and continue to knead till the dough is shiny and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, pull a small piece off and stretching it with your fingers. If dough is very elastic and pulls to almost see through without breaking, then it's done.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for at least 90 minutes to 2hrs.
  • Punch out the air in the dough and divide it into 4 equal portions.
  • Roll out each portion into a long flat oval shape and roll up one end to make it into a swiss roll form.
  • Placed the dough into a greased loaf tin and repeat with the rest of the 2 portions.
  • Cover and let proof for another 2hrs or till the loaf fills 90% of the tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the top of loaf with egg wash.
  • Bake loaf in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes. If top browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil till baking time is up.
  • When done, take out from oven and unmold immediately and let cool on rack before slicing.
If you are wondering how come my loaf has a rather "flat" top...well because I usually proof my dough using the tin cover. And surprisingly, this loaf rises pretty fast and it was already pressing on the cover when I checked on it after an hr! ;P So anyway, I let it proof without the cover for another 15 mins before baking....so it puffs up a little.
This is again a super soft and yummy bread. When it is fresh out of the oven, me and my girls each devour a slice without any spread, even after we just had our dinner, haha!
The faint smell and taste of the blueberry is really nice. And with the raisins, this loaf is good on it's own. Okay, maybe the blueberry did not give a distinct blue color, but it's alright so long as it taste good. The taste of oats was evident since I added quite a bit of it to the recipe, but I love it and it's healthy too. ;) No worries if you fear that there will be chunky oats in the bread....in fact all the oats will be "melted" in and all you taste is soft, delicious bread. And this is the perfect way to get your kids to eat oats if they do not really like it.
Tired of the same old white loaf that you buy from the store shelf? Why not get your hands working and start making this healthy and delicious loaf now? You will not regret it, I am sure of that. :) Cheers!