Monday, March 29, 2010

Apple Cream cheese bread & All natural pandan butter cake

Okay, I said I was gonna wait, but I caved. Yeah, I meant to wait till I got my own kitchen to make fresh bread again, but somehow opportunity rose and I just grabbed it! Boy am I glad that I did. ;) It's been months since I last made fresh bread at home. It actually felt real good and relaxing to knead the dough again, even though I got some muscle ache around my wrist after that, lol! :) I have been wanting to try out this Apple cream cheese buns for ages. Eating it is like tasting a cinnamon bun, but with apples and raisins embedded inside. Once it was out of the oven, the smell was wonderful and biting into one was really comforting.:)
Ingredients for Apple Cream Cheese Bread
350g bread flour
100g top flour

40g caster sugar

5g salt

4g instant active yeast

20g skim powder milk

1 whole egg
180ml fresh milk


1 apple, peeled and cut into small chunks

50g brown sugar

10g unsalted butter, melted

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

125g cream cheese, room temp

4 tbsp confectioner's sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plum raisins (optional)


  • Mix all ingredients in main dough except for butter together in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Place on work area to knead or mixer to do the kneading. 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.
  • Meantime, make the filling: Cream the cream cheese, vanilla and confectioner's sugar together till light creamy. Set aside for later use.
  • Mix together the apple chunks, brown sugar, melted butter, lemon juice and cinnamon powder, let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Punch out the air and roll the dough round and let rest for 10 minutes before shaping. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangular shape about 40cm by 30 cm.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture on to the dough surface, leaving a 2 cm border. Then sprinkle the apples(without the juices) and raisins (if using) on top of the cream cheese.
  • Roll up the dough like a Swiss roll and pinch the edges to seal nicely.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the log into wedges, yielding about 8 to 10 pieces. Place cut side up on to a greased baking pan. Let proof for another 45 minutes before baking.
  • At this point you can choose to bake it after 45 minutes, or you can place in the fridge to let it proof overnight (which I did).
  • Preheat the oven at 180°C. Brush simple egg wash solution over the proved bread. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until done. If the top browns too fast, use aluminum foil to cover it and continue to bake till done.
  • Once done, remove from pan and let cool on rack till completely cooled before storing. Best eaten within 2 days.
I had let the dough to proof overnight in the fridge before baking it in the following morning, so the family has freshly baked bread waiting for them. ;) What's better then waking up to freshly baked soft bread! Since I added cream cheese as a filling, the inside was rather hard to cook, so I had to leave it in the oven for an extra 20 minutes after I turned the bread out from the tube pan. If you also have this problem, go ahead and bake the bread in the oven again till the inside is done.
The other item I baked a couple days back is so call all natural Pandan Butter cake. All natural because I did not use pandan essence to flavor the cake, instead I used only thick pandan juice extracted from pandan leaves which I got from my MIL's garden. :) I remember reading about it on Table for 2 or more blogspot on how to extract thick pandan juice after blending it.

I blended about 4 pinescrew leaves with about 200ml of water. I squeeze the mixture through a fine siever into this small container and let it stand for a couple days. Slowly the thick pandan "substance" decant to the bottom. From this 200ml bottle, I was only able to extract 50ml of the thick pandan juice. I know, it's like a lot of waiting and work for this small amount of juice, but through this process, it sort of satisfy the curiosity in me about using this all natural way to bake a pandan cake.

Result? The colour was not as what I expected. It was rather light in green which I presumed I had not added enough thick pandan juice for such a big cake.

So naturally the pandan taste was not too evident *disappointed*. I guess the next time round I should just double the amount of the thick pandan juice for this recipe. Luckily the texture of the cake was still real fine and soft, a nice tea break treat. :)

Ingredients for All Natural Pandan Butter Cake (makes an 8cm round cake)
250g unsalted butter, room temp

200g caster sugar

6 eggs
280 all purpose flour

180ml coconut milk (preferably freshly squeezed)
50ml thick pandan juice (should use 100ml if want more intense pandan flavor)
1/2 tsp salt


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 8cm round cake pan and line with parchment.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time making sure each one is well mixed before adding the next one.
  • Next add in the pandan juice and coconut milk and stir well.
  • Lastly sift in the flour and mix till everything is incorporated.
  • Pour batter into the cake pan and bake in oven for 45 minutes or till tester comes out clean.
Hope you will try out one of the above recipes and let me know how it turns out for you all. Have a good day!


Quinn said...


So do you discard the top layer of greenish water and only use the bottom thick substance? I think I migth have to wait a year to be able to do this since we only have expensive frozen pandan leaves here. But we have 5 big bushes of pandan leave sin our backyard, must try!!!!

Anh said...

I can not tell you how much I love your all-natural pandan cake. I am pretty sick of the chemical paste. Wish I had access to pandan leaves more often!

ReeseKitchen said...

WA.....very yummy bread! I miss your bread larr, you know, since you left I also not so keen of baking bread..hee hee..:)
And the cake! I love this. Will definetely try it out soon.

See you this Friday..:)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Quinn,
Actually the top layer liquid is still sitting in my fridge, lol! I think if I use this for fatt goh or chiffon cake should be no problem. but might have to add some more blended pandan juice. :)Yes, do try!

Passionate About Baking said...

The bread looks very good. Apple and cream cheese sounds like a good combination too! I've not made bread for a long time!
Will it be too watery to use 100ml of pandan juice instead of 50ml? How will it affect the texture of the cake? I thought the cake looks really good like that? The pandan taste didn't come out too strong is it?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Anh,
Glad that you like this pandan cake. I understand how you feel, those bottled artificial taste essence. But I think frozen pandan leaves will still be able to do the try if you access to them. Good luck!

Hi Reese,
I miss your bakes all I eat is my own baking. *sian* Hey, I tot you bought so much Valrohna, how come didn't see any chocolate bakes? Looking forward to seeing you ladies again this Friday! ;)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Jane,
Thanks!'s been 3 months++ since I last made it's super long!
If you add 100ml of pandan juice instead of 50ml, just reduce the coconut milk by 50ml, that should work. :) Yeah, the taste is slightly too mild to my I suggest using 100ml. :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I must learnt the way to get the natural pandan paste, both of your bread and cake look good!

ann low said...

The cheese bread and pandan butter cake look good. Wonder how long can keep the pandan water. I remember my friend extract the juice from pandan leaves without adding water.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Sonia. :) It's really not hard at all, just blend, squeeze and let seat. Looking forward to seeing you make some all natural pandan cake soon.

Hi Anncoo,
I think at most a week in the fridge. Wow, no water added for blending the pandan leaves? Must be pretty hard to blend...but should be quite thick! :) Thanks for sharing!

ICook4Fun said...

I love the bread you did. It is like cinnamon roll but with a twist. As for the pandan cake, I will normally blend the pandan leaves in the coconut milk. This way you don't have to add extra water and you get a more concentrated pandan flavor in cakes.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Wow thanks for the great tip Gertrude! Should have thought of just blending the pandan leaves in the coconut milk! Will definitely try out your method the next round I make any pandan desert. ;)

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Bee,
Nice to see you have fresh bread baking again! I remember you do make bread quite often last time. I like the cinnamon taste in the bread, smell very good! Your baking skills still very very good!

Blessed Homemaker said...

Your bread looks like a beautiful flower :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks so much Grace. Yes, I do miss making fresh bread again. Hope I can do more soon. Thanks for your compliment!

Thanks Blessed Homemaker!

Passionate About Baking said...

Thanks for the explanation HBS. Will take note of the total liquid amount. :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

No problem Jane...hope you'll try it out. ;) But you know Gertrude from Kitchen Snippets told me next time should try blending the pandan leaves in the coconut milk instead, then squeeze out the liquid. Think I will try that next time. :)

hjn said...

Cake....Bread,,,,,,Cake.....Bread...which do I choose? They both look divine!!!! Wonderful blog you have here! Coming back to explore the whole thing!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Mama Holli!
Welcome to my blog! Hope you have fun browsing through my collection of recipes. Have fun baking too!

Pei-Lin said...

Already baking up a storm whilst packing in California!!?? LOL! Can't stop our itch for baking, huh?

Thanks for sharing the tips on getting thick pandan juice! Maybe can try it in my pandan chiffon! Oh, that apple-cream cheese bread ... sounds like an interesting variation of cinnabons! Thanks for inspiring me, too!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

No problem Pei-Lin. Just in case you're still thinking I'm in California now....I've already got back a week back. :) Yeah my dear, I'm already back in tiny old Singapore now, lol! Can't get nice fresh pandan leaves there in CA for sure!

ann low said...

Happy Easter Day! I've an award for you, please come and pick it up when you're free.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Anncoo! You are real sweet to think of me...will pick up and post later. ;P

petite nyonya said...

hi Bee, left an award for you. it's been going around & sharing it with you too. :). i think you are truly a winner in bread making! i suck at it!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Joslynn!
I'm really honored! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely award with me...think you deserve it more then me. :) Neh...I failed at making bread so many just didn't know it only, heehee. BTW, am in KL now...too bad no gathering, else would be great seeing you all again! Have a good Easter cum April Fool's day...if that means much to you, lol!

Big Boys Oven said...

staring at that bread can be heavenly joy! lovely and striking too!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks so much BigBoysOven! Glad you approve. ;) Wonder if you had a great time at the Mexican Cooking class last Saturday. ;) Anyway, have a good weekend!