Palm Sugar Jelly (Agar-agar Gula Melaka)

Palm sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves are good combination. You can find them in a lot of Nyonya Kueh and Chinese tongsoi (dessert) recipes. These food reminds me of childhood life in Teluk Intan.

My late Ah Ma (grandmother) and Ah Yi (mother’s sister) were good cook. I enjoyed making CNY cookies with them and always look forward to finish my school homework and weekend so that I could join them in making all these festive cookies. Ah Yi was good in making mee rebus, tongsoi and many other food. I wish I obtained all those recipes from them then.

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My Mom was always busy sewing clothes and she did occasionally make simple dessert for us. One of it is Palm sugar jelly.

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Ingredients:

  • 750 ml (3 Cups) water
  • 220g (1 block) palm sugar (gula Melaka), roughly chopped
  • 20g agar-agar threads, washed and squeezed or 4.5 tsp agar-agar powder
  • 1 stalk of Pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot
  • 450 ml coconut cream
  • Pinch of salt

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  1. Put water, palm sugar, agar-agar threads and pandan leaves in a pot and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until agar-agar threads completely dissolve.
  2. Remove pandan leaves.
  3. Stir in salt into coconut cream and pour this into the jelly mixture.
  4. Return the mixture to the heat and bring it up to a boil and turn off the heat immediately.
  5. Pour jelly through a sieve into a jelly mould and leave aside to set at room temperature.
  6. Chill jelly in refrigerator.
  7. Remove jelly from mould. Cut into bite sized and serve cold.
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Jelly mould given by Mom

When jelly cools, the coconut cream floats to the top leaving the bottom half layer a beautifully translucent amber of palm sugar.

My first attempt was when my MIL and SIL were in town. The jelly was rich with the flavours of coconut milk and palm sugar. The texture was right and the jelly was light and refreshing.

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Unfortunately, it did not separately nicely into 2 layers but only a very thin layer of coconut cream.

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And today I made this again.

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This time, I replaced the agar-agar threads with agar-agar powder.

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I like this texture better but I need to boil the jelly longer for the palm sugar and agar-agar powder to melt completely.

Rich Chocolate Mousse Cake

Today is already the 1st of November and another 2 more months to new year 2016.

On Friday evening, I love to watch my favourite shows “Bake with Anna Olson” and “Summer Home“. My love for baking and home design.

Anna Olson shared lots of baking tips and experience in her show ie why egg must be at room temperature, the functions of vinegar in merengue, what should you do if you over-beaten the eggs, etc.

In Summer Home, I love the sweet, girl next door, design star, Samantha Pynn. I like her taste in colours and home design of earthy, yet freshen up the entire house. Lots of inspiration and ideas circling in my head each time I watch the show. Give me a home to realize it. And I really hope it will be soon.

This morning, I had roti canai and teh halia for breakfast. I had not been having these for a long time until our relatives from Melbourne and US came back for visiting. The roti canai was nice. Not oily and yet crispy with nice fish curry, dal and chicken curry. The less sweet teh halia had a strong ginger taste to it and gave a nice soothing to my itchy throat from coughing.

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Roti canai kosong with teh halia.

This weekend, I decided to bake another chocolate cake from “Bake with Anna Olson’s Chocolate cake series, the ultimate in chocolate cakeRich Chocolate Mousse Cake. This is a challenging, time consuming cake with the skill stated as “Hard”. Since my mind is clear, no stress and I’ve watched the YouTube several times, I decided to give it a try.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) boiling water
  • 56g (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 60g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 160g (1 1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) hot, strongly brewed coffee

For the mousse

  • 720ml (1.5 cup + 1.5 cup) whipping cream, divided
  • 340ml (12 oz) milk chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) water

For the chocolate glaze

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 100g (1 cup) sugar
  • 60ml (1/2 cup) whipping cream
  • 60g (1/2 cup) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1½ tbsp unflavoured gelatine powder

Method

  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and then lightly dust the sides of the pan with flour, tapping out any excess. *Please note that only 1 cake layer is needed for this recipe, but it is easiest to make this recipe in its full measure and freeze the second cake for a later use.
  2. Whisk the boiling water, chocolate and butter together until melted (it will be visibly grainy) and set aside.
  3. Whip the egg, sugar and vanilla until the mixture doubles in volume (about 2 minutes on high speed) and then fold in the chocolate mixture by hand.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over the batter and fold in, then stir in the hot coffee (this will make the batter become fluid). Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans.
  5. Bake the cakes for about 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans.
  6. For the mousse, have ready a 9-inch springform pan, lining the bottom with parchment paper (in order to make the mousse-filled cake easier to remove from the pan). Whip 360ml of the whipping cream until it holds a medium peak when the beaters are lifted and chill.
  7. Heat the remaining 360ml of cream to just below a simmer and then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let this sit one minute, then gently stir until incorporated. Set aside.
  8. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whip for a minute on high speed. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepot over high heat and boil (occasionally brushing the sides of the pot with water) until it reaches 120°C on a candy thermometer. Start whipping the egg yolks on medium speed and then carefully pour the hot sugar down the side of the bowl to avoid splashing, and then increase the mixer speed until high and whip until this has doubled in volume and cooled to about 40°C (just above body temperature).
  9. Measure the temperature of the ganache to ensure it is close to 40°C as well, and fold the ganache into the whipped yolks. Let this cool for 15 minutes, or until just above room temperature, then fold in the chilled whipped cream in 2 additions.
  10. Pour half of the mousse into the ungreased springform pan. Slice one of the cake layers in half horizontally and place this over the mousse, as centred as possible. Pour the remaining mousse over the cake layer and gently place the other half of the cake layer on top, pressing gently just so the mousse covers the sides of the cake, but not so that it sinks in. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and freeze the cake to set it, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  11. While the cake is setting, prepare the glaze. Bring the water, sugar, and cream to a boil in a medium saucepot. Once boiling, whisk in the cocoa powder and simmer (reducing the heat if needed) for 4 minutes, stirring often, (the consistency will not change). Remove from heat. Soften the gelatin in 60ml of cold water and then whisk this into the hot cocoa mixture until dissolved. Cool the glaze to room temperature, then chill completely, at least 3 hours.
  12. To finish the cake, remove it from the freezer invert the pan onto a cooling rack placed over a parchment-lined baking tray. Use a hair dryer on a low, hot setting to gently warm the pan so that it releases from the pan, the sides first and then the top. Warm the chilled glaze while whisking occasionally until just melted and smooth and pour this over the torte, spreading gently with a spatula to ensure that it covers the top and sides of the torte evenly. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes, then lift it onto your presentation plate and store chilled until ready to serve.
  13. The cake will keep, refrigerated, for up to 4 days

I made the cake and mousse yesterday and let them set overnight in the fridge.

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Cake and mousse set overnight in the fridge

This morning before went out for breakfast, I made the chocolate glaze.

We had it for tea today. The cake was moist, with a very nice and strong chocolate taste. I realised in making chocolate cake, it is very important to use good quality chocolate and cocoa powder. I used Belgium couverture.

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As a kid, I was a fan of chocolate cake. But with more varieties of cakes in the market, for a long time, I forgotten this was my favourite until I tasted this rich chocolate mousse cake again. It kind of reminded me why I love chocolate cake and I know why.

Another lovely cake addition to “My Virtual Cakes Shop“. Love it.

Pavlova with fresh berries

I had egg whites from making tiramisu (which uses egg yolks only). Since I also had whipping cream, strawberries and blueberries in the fridge, I decided to whip pavlova which I served it for afternoon tea while my MIL and SIL were in town.

Pavlova is a dessert of Australian and New Zealand origin, consisting of a meringue base or shell filled with whipped cream and fruits.

Ingredients:

For the merengue (egg white with sugar):

  • 4 egg white (at room temperature, to stretch higher volume and stronger for more fluffy like merengue)
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch (to pull in moisture. As merengue bake in the oven, it holds moisture from the sugar in the centre of merengue for crispy exterior and soft marshmallow like in the interior)
  • ¾ tsp cream of tartar. Can be replaced with lemon juice or white vinegar but double up the measurement. (Acidity in this gives egg white strength and stretch to add volume to egg white)

For the whipping cream (assembly):

  • 1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar (to sweeten the cream, bearing in mind the pavlova is sweet).
  • fresh strawberries
  • fresh blueberries
  1. Separate egg yolks from egg whites
  2. Place egg whites into a clean and oil free mixing bowl
  3. Mix egg whites until soft peaks formed
  4. Pour in sugar part by part
  5. Add corn starch part by part and whisk until firm peaks (if you turn the bowl upside down, the meringue will not fall out or when you lift the beater, a peak will form)
  6. Spoon onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. 2 of about 8″ diameter disc and nest. Or more of smaller diameter if you intend to serve individual mini pavlova.
  7. Bake at 120C for 1.5 hours
  8. Turn off oven (do not open the oven door) and leave the meringue and let cool down in oven overnight for the pavlova to be crispy on the outside.
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Meringue of 8″ diameter

For fillings,
  1. Wash all berries
  2. Whisk whipping cream until firm
  3. Place the meringue on a plate
  4. Add one spoon of whipped cream on top
  5. Add berries on cream layer
  6. Add second meringue tier
  7. Add cream and spread remaining berries around
  8. Serve freshly

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A good pavlova should be crispy on the outside and marshmallow on the inside. Since the meringue and whipping cream are sweet, it is best to match with berries or any fruits with sour taste (mango, passion fruit, grapes, kiwi, etc) or fruits with bright colour ie jackfruits to light up, add some colours to the pavlova.

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This pavlova is a light, cool and refreshing dessert. I am glad that my SIL, MIL and family enjoyed eating it.

Fruits Pudding

I wasn’t a fan of pudding until I tasted it at my previous employer’s function. The pudding was not too sweet, the texture was soft and smooth and I liked its flavour too. After a short chat with the event organiser, I bought the ingredients and made them at home.

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Mango puddings

These puddings are my family’s favourite, inclusive of my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. I’ll make them when we have family dinner, gatherings or guests at home.

Ingredients:

  • A packet of fruit bean curd pudding powder
  • 3 litre of water
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 400 ml of evaporated milk

I usually bought this Happy Grass fruit bean curd pudding powder, either the strawberry, mango or corn flavour.

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Fruit bean curd pudding powder

The method of making the pudding is also stated at the back of the packet.

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The tips of making a smooth pudding is to turn off the flames after boiling as strong flame will cause the pudding to become hard and rough. I have been following this tip every time I make this pudding.

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Strawberry puddings

Occasionally, I will decorate the puddings with swirl of whipping cream or fresh strawberries or mango.

 

Banana Cake

It was 8.45am and I had banana cake baking in the oven. Really, really like the nice aroma smell from the oven in the early morning.

At this hour, I used to be on the road to office, caught in heavy traffic for an hour plus. Today, I’ve already made “Giap Giap” sandwich for Jared’s breakfast at home and for him to bring to school for recess time, baked this banana cake and washed up all the utensils.

I had some ripe Pisang Emas left from the bananas that I bought to bake Chocolate Banana Brownie. The dark spots and patches on the ripe banana skin doesn’t look nice to eat. However, the fully ripe banana produces a substance called TNF, which has the ability to combat abnormal cells, which has anti-cancer properties. I decided to bake Banana Cake from it. The ripen banana is also sweeter and is perfect to be used to bake Banana Cake.

This Banana Cake recipe is from Amy Beh. I changed the recipe to use up the entire block of Anchor’s unsalted butter so that I do not have any left over in the fridge.

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Ingredients:

  • 220g unsalted butter
  • 220g castor sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup well-mashed ripe banana, add 1 tsp. lemon juice when mashing to prevent banana from turning black
  • 300g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind

Method:

  1. Grease and flour a 21cm cake tin
  2. Preheat oven at 170C.
  3. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  4. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add mashed bananas and beat well
  6. Fold in sifted flour gradually.
  7. Beat egg white until stiff and stir into banana mixture
  8. Add lemon juice and rind
  9. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until cake is cooked
  10. Cool cake in cake tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

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Lena came over and we enjoyed the warm banana cake over cup of English tea.

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It was a good catch up with Lena and there’s always thing to learn and be reminded by just talking to her. She’s a direct person, super efficient and someone who does not procrastinate.

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Chocolate Banana Brownie with Chocolate Frosting

While I like this period of time of taking a break from work, I must say occasionally, there are guilt and discomfort feeling too. I read this “In between jobs” article and really like the 8 ways to make the most of your transition suggested by the author. With the new found abundance of time during this period, I can do the things that I wanted to do .. spending time with family, baking/cooking and blogging. And this is one of them.

It was my nephew, Herng Herng’s birthday. Since the school exam was over, I invited the family for lunch. Kids were very excited to meet their cousins, had meals together and could play the new Monopoly Empire which were waiting for their school exams to be over. I was feeling relax too and decided to bake brownies for tea time. I invited Jaselyn and Darren along so that all the cousins can get together again and also with Jaselyn is back from her exchange program from Illinois.

Monopoly Empire

It is very easy and fast to bake brownies.

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 3/4 cups
  • Granulated sugar – 1 1/2 cups (*Note : 1 cup will do if you do not want too sweet)
  • Cocoa powder – 3 /4 cup
  • Baking soda – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Eggs – 2 large, at room temperature
  • Bananas – 4 ripe, mashed (Pisang emas will be a good choice as it’s sweet)
  • Warm water – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1/2 cup (full cream)
  • Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup (sunflower or canola)
  • Vanilla extract – 1 1/2 teaspoon

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:

  • Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate – 8 ounces (227 grams) cut into small pieces (may add about 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips)
  • Whipping cream – 3/4 cup

Previously, I’ve used EasyMelt’s Dark chocolate buttons to replace the above chocolate frosting ingredients. More convenient.

Directions:

  1. Cut baking paper, the size of the pans, grease the pans, cover with parchment paper and grease again. Set aside. (1 square tin – 9 inch)
  2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together, set aside. Whisk in the sugar.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the wet ingredients (egg mixture) to the dry ingredients (flour mixture) and stir or whisk until just combined. To get the best result try stirring on the same direction using a spatula; do not over mix. The batter is going to be quite thin.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Avoid opening the oven door in the first 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  7. After the cakes reached the room temperature, remove them from the pans. If you used parchment paper, take it off. If you can’t take the cakes off the pans easily, try loosening the edges with a sharp knife.
  8. To make the chocolate frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel or heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate brownie.
  9. Cover brownie with the chocolate frosting.

Fresh from the oven and topped with chocolate frosting.

Chocolate frosting gives chocolaty taste to the brownies

Chocolate frosting gives chocolaty taste to the brownies

The ripe banana emas add sweetness to the brownies. Served with vanilla ice-cream and it enhanced the warm brownies taste.

Brownies served with vanilla ice cream.

Brownies served with vanilla ice cream.

Kids had so much fun that they played till dinner time. 

Shoot, Shoot.

Shoot, Shoot.

My sister told me that her son had a great time and told her that he is very happy that I’m not working now and could organize  this gathering for them. Yes … it has been a long, long time since I invited them over, had lunch and played together, baked for tea time and ended with dinner together. I used to be so tired by the time weekend was here or I had to clear work over the weekend.

That’s my Sunday. Lots of kids laughter at home and it’s the best music to the ears.

Tiramisu …. on a lovely Sunday

I had a very nice Nutella chocolate cake with a friend at Melur and Thymes on Friday, as our dessert with latte and flat white. My friend asked me “Do you still bake?”. Hmmm … hardly, except for simple butter cake.

On the same evening, my sister bought for us kuih bahulu. Immediately, tiramisu came to my mind. Kuih bahulu is a nice substitute for sponge fingers in making tiramisu.

On Sunday morning, after simple coffee breakfast and housework, I made Tiramisu, the way I like it. After a few years of baking, to me, the secret to a successful cake is in our mood. We must be feeling relax, calm and not rush over time. And that is just how I felt this morning while making this tiramisu.

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Assembly station.

 

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2nd layer of Kuih bahulu soaked in coffee flavored liqueur, Kahlua.

 

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Almost done. Need to refrigerate several hours until set.

 

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I chose Kahlua over bailey for the coffee flavored liqueur.

I finished making them just in time. Still have some time to wash up all the utensils and clean up the kitchen, before freshen up for lunch with family.

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Very nice timsum and seafood lunch with family at Unique Seafood.

 

We had very nice lunch with parents, sisters and families at Unique Seafood.

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Dusting cocoa powder over set tiramisu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Presenting to you my tiramisu. It has been a long, long time since I last made them. Gave 6 cups to sister and we had them over tea time. Everyone is happy to enjoy my tiramisu again.

I feel extremely good to have time to bake and now to blog about it … to do things that I’m passionate about and to spend quality time with family and friends. It matters to me.


Blueberries Muffins

Two weeks ago, when I came home, I saw a packet of Kirkland dried blueberries on our dining table. Hubby told me it’s from Auntie Jenny. She bought for me as she knows I love to bake.

I was excited and posted on my facebook “What should I bake with this?”

The suggestions that I received were blueberries pie, tartlets, cheesecake, scones, ice-cream, yoghurt, muffin, cupcakes, cookies, waffles, etc. I knew blueberries are good for cupcakes and muffin but these are dried ones. So, I wasn’t sure.

I asked my aunt and she suggested for me to soak the blueberries with pure orange juice and I did.

I searched on the internet for blueberries muffins recipe and this “To Die for Blueberry Muffins” pop out on top of the search. It was a simple recipe and with 4.5 stars by almost 7,000 reviews. In addition, I’ve been using several recipes from All Recipes and they turned out well.

I decided to double the recipe as the original recipe only makes 8 large muffins.

For muffins:

  • 3.0 cups (380g) all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups (300g) white sugar
  • 1.0 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (290g) fresh blueberries (if using dried blueberries, to soak with warm water or fresh orange juice)

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (55g) butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  • Place vegetable oil into a 2 cup measuring cup; add eggs and enough milk to fill the 2 cup.
  • Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries.
  • Fill muffin cups right to the top.

 

To Make Crumb Topping:

  • Mix together sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon with fork
  • Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

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When those muffins were baking in the oven, the smell of muffins, especially the cinnamon were really nice.

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When those muffins were out from the oven, Jared instantly wanted to eat it.

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Later in the evening, Hubby ate one muffin. After finished eating, he said “Your muffin is excellent”. He said it has all the things that muffin should have … crisp topping, moist muffin, a dash of tangy from the orange juice, a little of sweetness, etc. He just know how to motivate me to bake more often.

My instinct tells me the muffins will taste even nicer if I were to use fresh blueberries. Will take some to the office tomorrow for my colleagues. Glad that I bake them today before our crazy yearly planning activity kicked in over the next few days. All of us need all the tender, loving, care during this period. Hugs will be great.

Thank you Auntie Jenny for the blueberries. I can feel the TLC 🙂

 

 

Coffee Butter Cake

Since my maid, Moch, went back in early April, I’ve not been baking. Moch was my baking buddy. I used to tell her a day before and she would take out the mixer and all baking ingredients. I don’t like the washing up after baking, don’t like the greasy pots and utensils.

Yesterday was Hubby’s birthday. We had a pack day with weekly house cleaning, laundry and dinner at night. I could only made pudding, which is my family’s favorite too. We had dinner at Lala Chong Restaurant. My father gave us a big white pomfret, I did not have confidence to steam the expensive fish myself. I suggested to Hubby to bring to Lala Chong and asked them to steam for us. The fish turned out very nicely done. Jaden loves the fish very much and he ate quite a bit of it. The cooking charges for the steam fish was RM25. We had my parents and Hubby’s auntie to join us for Hubby’s birthday dinner. It was a simple and nice one.

Before I slept, I saw a missed call and sms from my best friend, Christina. Her sms “Wei, wei … Happy Birthday, hope you have a great celebration today and a wonderful year ahead . I replied “But today is not my birthday woh. It’s Hubby’s”.

This morning she replied “Haha, I got yours mix up with YC. Urs on 28th. Pls wish YC happy birthday for us”. My reply to her “Hmmm, guess our age is catching on us. I missed your birthday, you got my birthday inaccurate”.

But, my birthday is not on 28th. Never mind, it’s the thought that count. I am glad and thankful for the friendship that I have with Christina all these years.

I felt guilty for not baking cake for Hubby’s birthday. This morning, I finally bake again. I baked Coffee Butter Cake for him.

My sister baked this cake for us during CNY gathering. Jaden ate and love the cake very much. The next morning, Jaden asked “Mommy, can I have yesterday Siao Yi’s cake?” but I didn’t have any share of the cake to take home. My mother said the cake was not enough to share among all of us and since I can bake my own cake, I wasn’t given any. After reading my whatsapp post then, my eldest sister laughed and told my mom about it. The next day, my mom asked my Dad to send the balance of the cake to me. My eldest sister asked my youngest sister to bake more. She likes the cake to go with coffee. Basically, the entire family love my sister’s cake.

My sister gave me this recipe and I have baked this cake many times before. Without Moch around, I forgotten to take out eggs from the fridge. So, the eggs were not at room temperature.

227g Salted butter
140g Caster sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Coffee extract (optional)
180g Self-raising flour
Pinch Salt (Optional)
1 tbsp Instant coffee powder mix with 1 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp Cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven 180C
2. Lightly grease the bottom and side of 8” square baking tray. Line the bottom with baking paper
3. Beat butter and sugar till smooth and fluffy
4. Beat egg one at a time till incorporated
5. Add coffee extract, if using
6. Sift is flour and salt and still till well blended
7. Stir in coffee mixture and mix well
8. Mix ¼ of the mixture with sifted cocoa powder
9. Pour 2/4 of mixture into cake tray
10. Pour the above ¼ cocoa mixture
11. Top with the remaining ¼ mixture
12. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes

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This cake is simple and easy to bake. The coffee and cocoa add a very nice flavor to the cake.

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We had the cake for tea today, after our Tim Sum lunch at Oriental and Despicable 2 movie. Hubby ate far more than I expected, 5 pieces in total. He said it’s nice and not too sweet.

Oh yes … Hubby knows what he wanted for his birthday. His Nokia 925 is on the way.

Red Velvet Cheesecake for Christmas

Almost every year, we would be invited for Christmas dinner at Aunty Jenny’s house. We are always very delighted to receive her invitation as she’s a very good cook and she always put up a good feast for us.

This year, Aunty Jenny invited us to her house to join her family for Christmas dinner.

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Aunty Jenny roasted this turkey herself. It was a big turkey that weighed 5kg.

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Home cook Christmas dinner by Aunty Jenny … Roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potato and coleslaw.

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This year, our Uncle and Auntie from Singapore were in town too.

P1100211 Fruits salad consists of more than 10 fruits, prepared by Aunty YC.

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Famous tapioca kueh by Florence from Section 17, PJ.

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Red velvet cheesecake made by me.

I’ve made this red velvet cheesecake for quite a number of times. So far, I’ve been receiving good feedback on this cake. I learned to bake this cake from Catherine Lau’s Get Cheesy workshop, organized by The Star Online.

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Hubby has just commented that the cake just got better … and I know why.

After all the compliments, my next attempt was to perfect the cake. I bought three of 9 inch low cake pans to bake the chocolate base. Previously, I just used my normal 9 inch cake pan. The problem was the cake on the inside was not properly baked. When I baked it longer, the outer layer of the cake became over bake and dry. With these 3 cake pans, the cakes baked faster and moist.

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 I also wanted the cake the have proper layers of chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting. In order to achieve that, I divided the cream cheese frosting into 3 bowls so that the cream cheese can be evenly spread and cover the cake.P1100216I am happy with the results. Should have done these 2 simple steps long time ago. Guess I was too lazy to make the first step then.

I am glad I did it now. My new year resolution … no more procrastination!