Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gula Melaka Steam Cake "椰糖糕" & Brown Butter Chocolate Chip cookies

Before I start off my post today, I would like to thank those faithful readers of mine that frequently drop by my blog and giving me supporting comments. It's you guys that urge me to make this blog a better one! No, no, I didn't get all inspired by the recent award shows on TV that got me all giving thanks to everyone. It's just that a blog with faithful readers makes it a more worthwhile and meaningful one. And I realize even with my little updates lately, you guys still lovingly come by with a note for me. So thank you, thank you and thank you...I couldn't say it enough. :)
Just a little update on my personal life. My house renovation is almost coming to a completion now...another week and we are good to move. But unfortunately, due to the inconsiderate and poor service from the shipping company we engaged in, our container shipment from California has been delayed to almost a month! Apparently they have chose to dock our container at Korea and went ahead to ship other more "profitable" items! What in the world?! *Sigh* I just hope this delay will not incur more inconvenience then what we are going through now. :P

This time I decided to try out a new cake recipe call Gula Melaka Steam cake or"椰糖糕". It is really easy to make and ingredients are simple.The name itself might make you think that this is a real sweet desert, but actually it's not. The deep musky gula melaka aroma is intense but not over powering. This steam cake taste almost like those Chinese Fatt Goh that people use to pray with, but much much lighter in texture and fluffier. :)

Ingredients for Gula Melaka Steam Cake "椰糖糕" (makes a 8" round)
Sugar Mix
130g gula melaka, chopped small
40g honey
65ml water

Main Dough:

200g plain flour

35g rice flour

35g glutinous rice flour

7g baking powder

3g baking soda

Wet Mix:

3 eggs
100ml fresh milk

40g vegetable oil

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  • In a small sauce pot, place all sugar mix ingredients in and heat over medium fire. Stir until everything melts and starts to turn into dark amber color.
  • Sieve all the dry ingredients in to a large mixing bowl, set aside.
  • In another bowl, add the fresh milk and vegetable oil in. Crack the 3 eggs in and stir well till everything is blended in. Add this liquid mixture into the flour mix and gently stir.
  • Add the sugar syrup into the batter and stir till everything comes together.
  • Let this mixture stand for 20 minutes, covered.
  • After 15 minutes, get ready the steamer and with some water and start boiling at medium high fire.
  • After a quick stir, pour the batter into a prepared round 8" pan, lined with parchment. Place in the steamer and steam for 20 minutes.
  • Just before removing from steamer, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the cake. Let cake cool before removing from pan and slice to serve.
My younger daughter's initial reaction to this cake when she first saw it was she thought it's a chocolate cake. Any cake or cookie that is brown is chocolate to her, lol! But after her first eager bite, she said "Mummy, it's not chocolate cake." :D

I really enjoy this cake, fluffy light and slight chewy texture. :) The next time round, I will steam up double the recipe to make some for my parents and my sisters.
The other item I baked this week was this Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. The last time I baked cookies was during Chinese New Year and my girls has been bugging me for some lately. These cookies may look like normal chocolate chip cookies to you...but it ain't as simple as it looks.
As the name implies, these cookies are basically using a browning butter method instead of the usual creaming of the soften butter. I was intrigued by this and was eager to try it out myself. Basically browning the butter, brings out the nutty flavor of the butter which makes the cookies has this yummy nutty, caramelize flavor.

Okay...a little confession to make. I bought this enormous bag of Nestle Semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels during my last trip back to California: I placed that 250g SCS butter beside the chocolate chip bag to show you how big is this pack of chips.

You must be thinking this woman (me) had her luggage packed full of baking ingredients instead of cloths! Lol! Don't you worry...I will use it all up...I'm quite confident of that, heehee. :D

Ingredients for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (makes about 30 medium size cookies)
200g unsalted butter
120g caster sugar

150g packed dark brown sugar

230g all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg and 1 egg yolk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chip cookies

  • In a small saucepan, heat about 150g of the butter until it melts at medium low heat. Continue to cook, swirling constantly until the butter turns dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma. This takes about 2 minutes. Keep a watchful eye over it making sure it doesn't burnt!
  • Remove from heat and carefully transfer this hot liquid into a heat proof bowl. Add the remaining 50g butter in and stir till it melts.
  • Add in both sugars and salt and stir well. Add in vanilla extract, egg and yolk and whisk well till most of the sugar has melted. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes. Then whisk again for 30 secs and let stand again for another 3 minutes. This process is repeated for another 2 times until the mixture is thick, smooth and shiny.
  • Using rubber spatula, stir in the flour and baking powder till it just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Cover the mixture and let it chill out in the fridge for 2 hrs before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough of about 1 tbsp full and space them 3cm apart from each other.
  • Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Do not over bake as the end result will be too hard. Let cool on rack before serving. Can be kept in air tight containers up to a couple weeks.

I made the mistake of over baking these cookies and some turned out quite hard. :P Guess I really did lost touch with baking a good batch of cookies! But fortunately, my "cookie monsters" at home love it....and my elder daughter has continuously brought it to school for 3 days! She has even requested to bring more to share with her classmates. :P So I guess a hard cookie ain't a bad cookie, lol! See the cookies packed with those semi sweet chocolate morsels? Yum-O! Some might find this cookie method a wee bit "labor-intensive" as compared to the conventional kind...but I assure you...if you are a cookie lover, don't give this a miss!

Oops, almost midnight...still another long day tomorrow. Guess I better sign off for now...thanks for hanging out with me again. You all have a great one! Cheers!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins

My dad has been asking me to bake some fruit muffins for him. It was almost 2 weeks ago then. :P I felt kind of bad the previous time I went back to visit my parents...empty handed! I know it'll sound like an excuse if I tell him I'm too busy to bake. :P Furthermore it wasn't anything hard to do...probably 2 hours tops. So this weekend I made it a point to complete his "order" before it slips out of my mind again. Something not too sweet, so I went with simple Blueberry Yogurt Muffins...sort of a classic choice. :) Good thing I was meeting with my parents for dinner on Saturday, they can have these for breakfast on Sunday morning. :)
I guess besides banana bread, blueberry muffins are probably one of those most frequently baked cake at home. :) Even if fresh berries are not available, frozen ones will do just as fine. :) For me, I simply couldn't resist, but to buy a large box of fresh blueberries during my last trip back to California, brought it all the way back home to Singapore and freeze 3/4 of them. Now I have blueberries to bake all year round, heehee. ;P

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
85g unsalted butter

150g cake flour
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
215g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml fresh milk
150 non-fat blueberry yogurt
1.5 cups fresh / frozen blueberries


  • Preheat the oven 180°C. Line a standard muffin tray with paper cups.
  • Cream the butter, sugar in a large mixing bowl till light and fluffy, about 3 mins.
  • Add eggs, one at a time to the mixture and beat till well mixed.
  • In a bowl, mix the yogurt and milk together and set aside. In another bowl, sieve flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
  • Into the egg mixture, add the 1/3 milk yogurt mixture and mix well. Then add 1/4 of flour mixture and mix well. Repeat till all is combined but do not over mix.
  • Lastly add the blueberries in gently. Then pour the batter into the paper cups and bake the muffins in the oven for 25 minutes till golden brown and tester comes out clean.
I love the moist texture of the muffins and the blueberries give it a slight tang to counter the sweetness.
I'm not sure if it's just me, but do you find that those blueberries look "purplish"? Always thought they are blue...until now! Lol! BTW, I better call my dad later and check if he likes it ...whether I pass his QC. :) Blue or purple, they are plum and juicy, yum! Do ahead and bake a batch of muffins for your love ones today. ;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kaya Kueh Lapis

Personally I love to eat Kueh lapis, particularly prune lapis which is something I cannot miss during Chinese New Year. So since the day I saw the recipe of Kaya Kueh Lapis from Wendy, I just could not stop thinking about it, lol! I was totally curious how will it taste like. And it was so good to finally get to bake it this week.
But I wanted it to be worth all that trouble, so I waited to buy a decent kaya which I like from a Bakery store back in PJ. Yeah, as much as I want to make the kaya myself. I really don't have that much of a leisure time to stand in front of the stove that long. ;P Luckily a couple weeks back I got the opportunity to visit the bakery store and bought them kayas! ;) One is Gula Melaka flavored and the other is Pandan flavored.
Personally I love the Gula Melaka one, it's sweetness is rich and yet not over powering. Unfortunately, I was again rushing for time when I was baking this kaya lapis. *sigh* And I didn't want to defer it any more, so I went ahead with it. :P You would know what I mean if you look at my lapis carefully. :P
The layers between the Gula Melaka and Pandan batters are not distinct enough to show the nice patterns. :P Main reason was due to my time constrain, I didn't let the layers brown enough before piling the next ladle of batter over. :P Another problem is I ladle too little pandan batter in the beginning and towards the end, it kind of looked unbalance, lol!

I will post the recipe here for my easy reference in future. Thanks Wendy!

Ingredients for Kaya Kueh Lapis (makes a 9X9" square)

For Gula Melaka Layer Batter
225gm butter
160gm soft brown sugar

5 large eggs

200gm of Gula Melaka kaya
2 tbsp milk powder

120gm Top flour/cake

For Panan Layer Batter
225g butter
160g soft brown sugar

5 large eggs

200g Pandan flavour kaya
2 tbsp milk powder

120g cake flour/Top flour
1 tsp green pandan emulco ( I added 2 to make it greener!)

Method for Gula Melaka cake batter
  • Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs one by one. Beating well after each addition.
  • Mix in Gula Melaka kaya and milk powder.
  • Sift flour over batter and mix well.
Method for Pandan Cake batter
  • Same as above but add geen pandan emulco at the end.
  • Preheat Oven at 220°C. Line the base of a 9X9 inch baking pan and grease the sides. Preheat the pan over a pot of hot water or in the preheating oven
  • Place one ladle of Gula Melaka batter in the hot pan.
  • Spread the batter evenly. Tilt the pan to level the batter.
  • Bake for 7 minutes or until the cake layer turns golden.
  • Remove cake pan from oven and press cake layer to release air.
  • Put in a ladle of Pandan batter and repeat step 4,5 and 6.
  • Continue baking cake layers alternating batter Gula Melaka and Pandan batter until all is used up.
I guess I can only hope to do better the next time I bake a lapis cake again. But this cake still taste great, the flavor and aroma of the kaya is wonderful, superb with hot tea. ;) Would definitely attempt to bake this kaya or Prune lapis again when I get my new oven! If you like kaya, pandan flavors...don't miss this one out. Worth every ounce of effort. Have a great weekend my friends!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Strawberry Chiffon Cupcakes & Papaya Milkshake

I guess to some people renovating their house can be a pretty exciting thing. It's like giving your house a face lift. Gone with the old and here to stay are the new. :) New furniture, new appliances and even to some extend, new ambiance to your living space. Okay, fun aside, there is A LOT of work involve here. You need to scout for a good contractor, walk through with them the quotations, calculate if it's not over-budget. Also driving to most of the furniture and Electronic stores and hunt for new appliances and furniture. You have to choose your sink, your Kitchen forcet, curtains blah blah blah, you know what I mean. Basically my main concern is a good oven and a trusty stove top, so for other stuff, I'm pretty much like "Not bad can already". But again, I am building my home...who doesn't want a nice place to stay in?! Anyway, I am just in the beginning of it all, so it'll be quite awhile before I can seat back, relax in my nice cosy home and blog away. :P

Today I have again went on to bake one of my girls' favorite, strawberry cake, specially Strawberry Chiffon Cupcakes. Sounds so much like the Strawberry Muffins I did a month back (I even used the same paper cup liners! Lol!) But in fact they are quite different, because this time is chiffon cake, much lighter and fluffier in texture. :)

This recipe is really a keeper and I would recommend it to anyone who loves Strawberry. I would definitely make this for my daughter's birthday this June since she love it so much. :) So far she has already 2 cupcakes and has already requested to bring one to school tomorrow. :)

Ingredients for Strawberry Chiffon Cake (makes 10 to 12 muffin size cakes)
180g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g strawberry yogurt
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into small chunks + 5 more cut into half for deco


  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside for later use.
  • In another large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 1/2 of the sugar till light and fluffy. Add in the 4 egg yolks and vanilla and mix well.
  • Then add 1/4 of the flour mixture in and stir well, follow by adding 1/3 of the yogurt. Alternating the flour and yogurt to the mixture till everything is incorporated in.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg whites till frothy. Then continue to beat at high speed but at the same time, gradually adding the remaining sugar in. Beat till the mixture is stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold the whites in 3 separate portions into the batter till everything is combined. Do not over mix. Then lastly fold in the strawberry chunks.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared paper cup liners and top with a strawberry half in desired.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 mins. Insert tester to make sure it comes out clean before removing the cake from the oven. Let cool on rack before serving.

The brown tops has a nice crunch to it, the inside is soft and fluffy with moist strawberry chunks plus a pleasant strawberry aroma. :0

I made a mini loaf to test the texture of the cake and it is still soft and yummy. ;) BTW, this loaf is already all gone!Yup, I made papaya milkshake too. I dropped by Blessed Homemaker's blog and saw her post on making this delicious drink. It so happen there was slices of papaya sitting in the fridge, so I thought why not?! Frankly speaking I have not drink it for the longest time! It was sweet & refreshing yet creamy, nice!

Doesn't this look like a great breakfast you can wake up to? Mmm...maybe with some cheese omelet would be perfect, heehee. :P Come to think of it, will be playing badminton tomorrow morning! Haven't played badminton for more then a decade! Wish my strokes are not all messed up, lol! Anyway, hope my body won't be aching too much this weekend...still need to shop around for the house. :P Have a good weekend you all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bake Sale + Awards

Been busy lately with another trip up to KL and meeting up with friends there. That explains why I have not been blogging lately. But it was so good to see my dear friends again, really miss them a lot. >.< Besides that, I got myself involved in a mini project given by my SIL. which took up most of my time in the past 3 days. :P My SIL's elder daughter's school has this talk for the Sec 1's parents cum a side charity bake sale to raise funds for the school. My SIL approached me to see if I was interested to bake something for her to sell over there. I was delighted because firstly I love to bake (nothing new about that), secondly making decorative cupcakes is like super fun for me, so yeah, making them alright! Even though I knew it will be time consuming but I agreed immediately because I didn't want to let this golden opportunity to slip. ;)
You want the truth? Truth 1: I totally enjoyed making this little fondant figurines on the cupcakes. Truth 2: Brings me back to my childhood days which you can mould whatever you fancy with that waxy plasticine, how fun!. Truth 3: I can do this everyday!
I used my usual favorite butter cake recipe for the cupcakes. I then top it with normal butter cream and finally the fondant.
Overall I am pretty satisfied with the cupcakes...just that I wish I have more time to make more, lol! In the end I only made 19, and 16 of them are for sale. I saved the other 3 for my little girls and my niece. :)
I was lucky to purchase a few cupcake boxes from KL during my last trip which cost me much less compared to buying them here in Singpore. :)

My SIL has requested me to bake some brownies as well for the charity sale. So I decided to bake a variety to make it more attractive. I researched a few recipes and finalized on 3.
One from Jamie Oliver (recommended by Grace from Kitchen Corner). 2nd one from Precious Moments which I baked before awhile back. And last one from Martha Stewart's Cream-Cheese Brownie. Yes, all are decadent, sinfully rich and able to satisfy your deepest chocolate craving. :) Now I just hope the parents at the sale will like them!

I want to thank my SIL for giving me this opportunity to let me introduce my bakes to the public. Whether it will be all sold out, it ain't that important to me. What's most important is I got it done in time and I enjoyed the whole process. :P Hope there will be a lot these of opportunities in the future.

About a week++ back, a handful of nice lady bloggers have graciously passed on to me a couple of awards. One of them is this "Beautiful Blogger" award. And the sweet bloggers are Elin from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner , Joslynn from A Nyona's Kitchen and Ann from I so Hungry.

I thank these ladies for thinking of me upon their own receival of this beautiful award. :) Really appreciate it. I however will not be passing this baton on since I see most of the other food bloggers I know have already received it. :P
This lovely award was given to me by Anncoo. Thanks so much! You are one "true-blue" food blogger which I also adore reading your posts. Thanks again for being so supportive. :)

I would also like to dedicate this award to all the other bloggers out there that "work hard" to post up something decent & nice for all to read. :)

Got to run...hope you all enjoyed viewing my post again...have a great week!