Tuesday 23 December 2014

Orange Butter Cake


Last CNY our relative made us a very nice orange cake. After tasted such good orange cake, I just want to bake one myself. She told me she took recipe from Google. So I did the same and after much searching I found this recipe from eatapieceofcake. The cake posted in the blog looks like the one my relative made. I mean the colour and texture. Therefore, I baked it! To my surprise, the result was very good and family loved it so much that we finished within few minutes.
Visit also my facebook page Catherine's Cooking Journal

227gram/2 sticks butter – room temperature( I used 250g)
200 gram sugar (I used 170g)
220 gram flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 large eggs
Zest of an orange (I used the zest of 2 oranges)
5 tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed)

Grease and line an 8” round baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C).
Sieve flour, baking powder and salt and set it aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add in the orange zest.Slow down the mixer and slowly add in the flour. Finally stir in orange juice. Mix until well combined.
Turn out mixture into prepared tin. Level out mixture at the sides but allow a shallow well in the centre. This is to enable the cake to level up evenly during baking.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer.Ingredients:

You may like this too :
Orange Muffins

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Butternut Pizza Crust

Today my princess and I were like "Master Chef" playing in the kitchen. ..We wanted to have a healthier choice of lunch.. Searching through Google and reading up others blogs. With the butternut pumpkin that I bought yesterday. We decided to make butternut crust pizza. There are some recipes which uses butternut and ground almond, that is totally gluten free pizza. However, we do not have ground almond at home, so we chosen the recipes with wheat flour.

First attempt using butternut for pizza crust. Surprisingly, it taste very good, especially the crust. We loved it! The crust turned out very beautiful - golden brown. The aroma is fantastic. Yes! we love it. We are going to do this more often.

After reading through few recipes, this is our ways of doing. I usually do not follow through the recipes. Only see how others do it and then I will do it my way. haha!!!

In case some do not know how butternut looks like, this is the picture

2¼ tsp Instant Yeast
½ Tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
3½ - 4 cups bread flour ( I replaced with 1 cup wholemeal flour and 1 cup fine corn polent)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp salt
1 cup butternut squash, cooked, and mashed

Pour all the above ingredients into a big bowl to form dough. Usually 3 to 3.5 cups of flour in total is sufficient. The exact amount will vary with the water content in the butternut. Add flour slowly until a moist but not sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in a warm location. The dough will rise to double the initial volume.
Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead the dough and roll out on a lightly greased pizza pan.
Spread your favorite toppings on the pizza. Bake at 200 degree C for 15-18 minutes. Thicken crusts may require you to turn the oven down after baking 12minutes to 180 degrees C to complete the baking without burning the crust.

Top with pizza sauce, cheese, minced beef, tomatoes, sliced mushrooms and olives.
or any of your choice of toppings. This is what we did.

My princess help to spread the pizza sauce , follow by cheese, minced beef, cut cherry tomatoes, sliced swiss brown and black olives.

Enjoy! God bless.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Orange Muffins

The very first time that I tried baking orange muffin was early this year.  In every Chinese New Year we bought lots of mandarin oranges. This is year we bought extra and we were having problem consuming them. So, to consume them, I tried to make mandarin oranges jam and also blending it to drink and also blending it to bake muffin. This is one of the muffin that turn out very moist and soft and nice and very fragrance. It was a "try and error", however, it turned out good! I went into several blogs and read up their posts. I am glad that I tried and I must said it is worth the time baking it. My daughter loves it so much because of the orange aroma.  Personally, I love it too. Since then, I have been baking orange muffins. My family have broke the record! We used to like only chocolate muffin which  you can also find my post on  double-chocolate-chips-muffins .But now we also like orange muffin. After CNY, I am using Sunkist oranges instead of mandarin orange to bake my muffins. I bought those 3 for $3.45 from Fairprice , big and juicy. As we are going to use the skin of the orange, so I will rub the orange skin with salt to remove the pesticides on the surface as much as I could and then rinse it with water. Using a grater to grate the outer orange skin of the entire of orange. After that  blend the whole orange with skin removed.  This is what I do, let get started!

2 1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar(*see note)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
125g melted butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh orange blend
Zest of an orange

*Note : My family prefer things that are less sweet. So this is a less sugar recipe. If you refer sweet and very sweet, you may want to increase sugar to 3/4cup or 1cup.

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place 12 paper cups in a muffin tray.

2. To get the zest of an orange. Wash the skin of the orange clean by gently rub the skin of orange with salt and then rinse.
With a grater, maintain enough pressure to remove the top layer of the rind. Take off only the rind of the orange's skin, and not the white pith, which tastes bitter. Set it aside.

3. Remove orange skin and seed. Put whole orange into blender or food proccessor and blend it into orange puree and set aside. (Orange puree is juice with the fibre.)

4. Place butter in a small pot  over low fire and melt it. Be careful not to burn it.

5. Place flour in a large  bowl.

6. Place lightly beaten egg, melted butter, milk, orange puree, orange zest, sugar and  salt into a separate bowl and mix.

7. Then pour the wet ingredients into the flour. Quickly combine the mixture. Do not over mixed.

8.. Spoon the mixture into paper cups to 3/4 full. Then place into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffin turn golden brown or when skewer tested.

You may like to try these other muffins recipe
1. Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins
2. Blueberry and Bananas Muffins
3. Orange Butter Cake

Thursday 2 October 2014

Homemade Meat Ball

This is  a dish that  no matter how much I have prepared, it is always not enough. My family love it.  Once, my neighbour's kids came over when I was cooking this. They ate some. After eating, they went home and requested their grandma to make this fried meat balls.  So my neighbour grandma came to me to understand what did I cooked for their grandchildren that they found it so delicious and request for it.

This is a very simple dish. Easy to make. You can always prepare ahead of time. That is , prepare in the morning. Season it then chill it. Take it out from fridge only when you are ready to deep fry.

To prepare this dish, you need a very sharp knife for slicing the meat. One way to cut the meat very thin slices is by freezing the meat for a few hours until it is a little frozen/hard but still able to cut.
The thinner the meat is, the better the result will be and of course taste nicer when meat is thinly sliced.

800g Fresh Shoulder Meat 五花肉
1 egg
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp light sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp potatoes flour/cornflour

oil for deep frying
1. Slice shoulder meat into thin slices  like shabu shabu and put them into a big bowl.
2. Add all the rest of ingredients and mix it well. Cling wrap and set it a side in the fridge for about minimum 30min. Let the meat be seasoned.This can be prepared earlier in the morning too.
3. Heat up a wok. Pour in oil enough for deep frying. With 2 spoons or gloved hand shape the meat into 2cm balls. When the oil is hot enough, put in the meat balls by batch to deep fry until golden brown. Remove from wok and place them into a plate lay with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Continue to deep fry the rest of the meat balls until all completed. 
4. Transfer into another place, serve.

Note1 : to achieve thin sliced meat, freeze the fresh meat for about 2hours or until it is a little hard then slice it with a very sharp knife. Make sure knife is sharpened.
Note2 : you may also use those frozen  shabu shabu shoulder meat to replace this cutting process.

You may also be interested in my All Times Favorites Deep Fried Meat Balls

Tuesday 30 September 2014

White and Black Fungus Dessert

Honey Rock Sugar can be found in most leading supermarket

Dried Fungus before soak. This can be found in supermarket or Chinese medical hall.

A friend shared with me this dessert. She said this is good for body. This dessert uses simple ingredients and easy to prepare. It is very economical and  very nutritious with lots of benefits to body. Most important it is very nice to eat. Friend said this is good for young and old, boy and girl, man and woman. It is good for hazy weather too. I have read up from Google that both white fungus and black fungus have many benefits to our body.

20g White Fungus/Snow fungus
5g Black Fungus/Wood fungus
1 tbsp Wolfberries(rinsed)
Honey Rock Sugar
4 cups Water

1.Soak the fungus for about half hour or when they have expanded and soft. Wash clean
2.Put the washed fungus into a pot. Add water that cover all the fungus. Put to boil.
3. Once the soup is boiled, lower the fire and continue to simmer for another 30min
4. Add wolfberry(goji) then add honey rock sugar to your taste. Stir till sugar dissolve.
5. Serve.

Note : You can serve this dessert cold too. Allow the dessert to cool at room temperature then place in the fridge for few hours to make as cold dessert.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Pineapple Tarts (enclosed version)

Chinese New Year is around the corner...and everywhere in the supermarkets or bakery we are seeing cookies. I have a packet of cake flour, why not? Why not making some pineapple tarts. I usually use plain flour but this round thought trying cake flour and find out the result since this cake flour is sitting in my kitchen for a while. To my surprise the pastry was nice and soft and most important melt in the mouth. Isn't this what everyone is looking for - melt in mouth?   By the way, this is a trial and error session and amazingly the result was good! In the past years, I have been baking opened version using plain flour, that is, the one look like flower. I am happy with the result.

This is my melt in mouth enclosed pineapple :

Ingredients for pastry :
360g cake flour
50g milk powder
2 tbsp. corn flour
1/4 tsp sea salt (or any salt)
3 tbsp icing sugar (can increase to more ..that is to your desire)
2 tsp custard powder ( I add for the color purpose)
250g cold soft butter (I used salted)
4 egg yolks (I will reduce 1 eggyolk the next round)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 eggyolk for eggwash

Pineapple Jam  :
4 pineapples ( I used Malaysia Honey pineapple - weigh about 750g/pc after skinned. total weight is 3000g pineapples)
3 cloves ( can add more if you like say to 6)
1 cinnamon stick
550g sugar

Making of Jam:
Grate the pineapple. I grate the pineapple by hand.  Put the grated pineapple including the juice(do not drain the juice), cloves and cinnamon stick into a wok and cook until it is almost dry. Stir frequently as you cook to prevent burn at the bottom. When it is almost dry, add sugar. Continue to cook and don't forget to keep stiring because at this stage the jam can be easily burnt because of sugar. Cook until the pineapple is completely dry. Off the fire. When it is cool, roll them into small balls. It is about 1/2 teaspoon per ball. Put the jam balls into a container and keep in fridge for future use. Mission Done.

P.S. : If you like your pineapple jam to be darker gold, then, add sugar earlier. But I prefer the normal golden color so I add sugar only when pineapple is almost dry.

Making of Pineapple tarts :
Put all the ingredients ( except eggyolk and vanilla extract ) into a big bowl. Rub the dry ingredients with butter using your fingertips till it resemble breadcrumb. Add eggyolk and vanilla extract. Continue to work into a soft dough.  Set a side for use.  You may keep in fridge if you are not using it immediately. You can keep up to 4 or 5 days. But I prefer to use it immediately to keep fresh.

Scoop 1 tsp of the pastry and wrap with the jam ball. Roll into a ball and place into small cupcake cup and place into a baking tray.

Eggwash the tarts with eggyolk (1 eggyolk plus 1 tbsp water)
Bake the  tarts in a pre-heat 180 degree celius oven for 15mins. After 15 min, bring out the tray of tarts and apply 2nd eggwash and continue to bake for another 5min.  Total baking time is 20min.

Hope you will find this recipe useful to you. Happy baking. :)

You may also like to view my other post:
1.pineapple-tarts (opened)

Buns for Breakfast

Few months ago, I bought a new mixer MUM48CR1. Yesterday I decided to use it for my bread kneading. In the past I have been kneading bread dough with my hands. It is really tiring. With this mixer , it save up my time and strength kneading the dough by hands. Making bread become so much easier. I like this mixer. It is really good. The results of the bread is very good. Bread is fluffy and light Whereas hand kneaded bread is heavier but it is still nice. :)
Basic recipe of ingredients adapted from everybodyeatswell

Ingredients for Tangzhong
50g bread flour (1/3 cup)
250ml water (1 cup)

Method for Tang Zhong :
Mix the bread flour and water. Boil it over medium low fire and keep stiring until you see the texture as above picture where the mixture become a little translucent. It is supposed to be boil up to 65 deg C. I do not own a thermometer so I use my own estimation. Transfer TZ into a bowl immediately, cling wrap and leave it to cool down. You can make this one day ahead. And keep in fridge. But once the TZ turn brown/dark you will have to discard.

Ingredients :(about 1080g in total)
540g bread flour
86g caster sugar
8g salt or 1.5 tsp (1 tsp is about 5.5g)
9g milk powder or 1 tbsp (1 tbsp is about 10g)
11g instant yeast or 3.75 tsp (1 tsp is about 3 g)
86g whisked egg or 1.5 egg (1 average egg is about 60g)
59g whipping cream
54g milk
184g tangzhong dough
49g unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven 180°C.

Method for Bread:
1. Put all the ingredients into the mixer with the dough hook and set it on to level 1 (low speed). Initially it will look like breadcrumbs, after a while, it will combine together. Let it continue to knead until you see a soft smooth dough. Cut a small piece of dough and do a windowpane test. Hold the dough between your thumbs and fingers and gentle spread your fingers and thumbs apart, stretching the dough into a thin translucent membrance. If you can spread the dough without breaking , that mean the gluten is well developed and the kneading is sufficient. And you can put it to rise/proof.

2. Remove dough from the mixer and shape it into a round dough. Place the dough into a very big floured/oiled bowl. Make sure the bowl is big enough to contain the dough when it proof to double size. Cover it with cling wrap and leave it to proof until double size. It is about 40min  to an hour depend on the weather. Hot weather is faster.

3. Once the dough rise to double size, you can start to cut and  shape into your ideal bun or bread. While working on the dough to shape, you may need extra flour. Once it is shape to your idea bun, place them onto a tray lay with parchment paper.

4. Brush buns with egg and put into the preheat oven to bake for 15-20min or until  the top of bun is golden brown. Remove from oven. Then remove bun from tray and let it cool down on a rack.

Refer to my another blog  homemade-chicken-patties on how to make meat patties.

Note : If you do not have a mixer, just put all the ingredients together and knead by hand into a soft smooth dough. Do a windowpane test to see whether sufficient kneading. Leave it to proof to double size.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Rice Omelette Pancake

Was running out of idea what to make for breakfast for princess. I have some leftover rice from last night in the fridge. My princess like to eat rice and egg.  So I decided to make this Rice Omelette Pancake which is easy to make and nice to eat. I have used ingredients that are easily available in our fridge. You may replace ham with your desire ingredient like minced meat or shredded chicken.

3/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 slice of picnic ham, cut into small pieces
1 small stalk of spring onion, cut into 1cm length
1 egg
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix them well. You can adjust the seasoning to your taste.

2. Heat up a frying pan. I am using non-stick frying pan. Pour 1 tsp of oil and use a paper towel to coat the frying pan with the oil. Pour in the mixture. Use a spatula to spread the mixture to about 1cm thickness.  Pan fry one side for 2-3min or until golden brown. Turn the other side to fry for another 2-3min or until golden brown.  Remove from fire. Serve.

You may like this too :

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Pumpkin Porridge

1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup (appro 200g)sheddred pumpkin
8 cups water
1/2  chicken breast  sheddred (Seasoned with salt ,pepper, sesame oil and cornflour)
A thumb size ginger. Cut into thin strips.

Seasoning for porridge:
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light sauce
1/4 tsp salt
A dash of Pepper

For garnish:
A stalk of spring onion, cut.

1.Put uncooked rice into a large pot. Wash rice. Add water. Cover the pot with lid. Put on a stove and bring to boil.

2.When the porridge is about to boil, add pumpkin and ginger.  Cover with the lid and continue to cook the porridge over high fire until it is boiled. Remove the lid and continue to cook over high fire. Stir occasionally to prevent rice stick at the bottom of pot. Cook until the rice expanded and soft. That is when each grain of rice is opened at both end.

3. Add sheddred chicken and stir to loosen the chicken. Add seasoning. Bring the porridge to boiled. Off fire.

4. Serve in a bowl. Garnish with spring.

Note: Remove the lid when porridge is boiled is to prevent the porridge over flow during the cooking process

Saturday 6 September 2014

Homemade Pancake (Dairy)

This morning decided to make pancake as I have made some blueberry jam last night. I usually see friends like to buy pancake pre-mix. When my children were toddlers, I have tried pre-mix once or twice but usually couldn't finish the whole packet and it goes into waste bin.  Ever since I read through recipe books and also viewing several blogs, I realised that making homemade pancake is really easy. What we need is all purpose flour plus baking powder or just  self-raising flour which I have them  all the time in my kitchen. The rest of the ingredients are also common in my kitchen cabinet. Also, I am sure of what we eat unlike those pre-mix which probably with added preservative.

Ingredients (Yields 8pcs of abt 12-15cm)
1.5 cup self-raising flour
1 cup fresh milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs, beaten lightly
3 tbsp caster sugar

Add lemon juice into milk and let it stay for about 10min. I do this because I do not have buttermilk at home. You can substitute lemon juice with white vinegar. Note: if you do not have lemon or vinegar,  you may omit it. Just fresh milk is fine.

Sift flour in a large bowl. 

In another bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together for few minutes. Add the above milk added lemon with juice. Whisk them together. Then gradually whisk the egg mixture  into the flour. Whisk until mixtute makes a smooth batter. Tranfer batter to large jug.

Heat up a non-stick frying pan. Highly recommended non-stick pan.

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into frying pan. Cook pancake until you see bubbles appear on surface and almost dry. Turn the pancake with a spatula to lightly brown other side. Cover pancakes on plate with foil to keep them warm. Continue to make more pancakes with remaining batter.

Serve pancakes topped with your desired jam and butter or margarine

P.S.  If you are using a normal frying pan, oil the frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil. Then use a kitchen paper towel to wipe away excess oil. Note: the first piece using normal frying pan will not look so desirable. But subsequent one will be perfect.

Note: If you do not have a metric measuring cup at home, you may use any kind of cup for drinking your water or coffee etc.. Just make sure you use the same cup to measure all the ingredients

You may like to view my other posts :
1. kimchi-pancake
2. rice-omelette-pancake

If you are allergy to dairy milk, you may like to try my non dairy recipe :
1. Non-dairy-fluffy-pancakes using coconut milk
2. Soya pancakes

Please leave a comments if you have tried the recipes and welcome your sharing. 😊

Tang Hoon Prawn (Glass Vermicelli)冬粉虾

Tang Hoon冬粉 is also called glass vermicelli noodle that is common in Asia countries. The one that I am using is made from green bean. You can cook into tang hoon soup or fried tang hoon. 
This Tang Hoon prawn recipe that I am sharing with you here is one of  my mum-in-law's signature dish . It is easy to cook and nice to eat. This is also a common dish found in the Thai restaurant. Usually it is cooked with crab. But my brilliant mum-in-law replaced it with prawn. She usually cook the prawn with the shell. As the prawn with shell will be more juicy and tang hoon soak with the juice from the seafood also tastier. However, I have choose to remove shell before cook as it is easier for my children.

150 -200g Glass Vermicelli (Tang Hoon)
8 big prawns, without shell, season with salt n pepper.
A thumb size ginger, sliced
2 stalks  spring onions
1 garlic, minced
2 small red onions (shallots),  minced
1Tbsp oil for frying
Some water for soaking vermicelli
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp Hua Tiao Chew (Chinese cooking wine)
Dash of pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1- 1 &1/2cup of water, about 240ml or more

Note: please adjust the seasoning to your desired taste.

1. Soak vermicelli in water until it is soft. Remove from water n set aside.  Discard the water.
2. In a corning ware with a lid or a kitchen ware/casserole that can be put over stove fire, pour in all the seasoning including water. Boil over medium fire.
3. Meanwhile in a wok, put oil and fry the red onion n garlic until golden brown. Remove from wok and put the fried shallots n garlic including the oil into above 2.
4. When the mixture is boiled, lower fire and put in the sliced ginger, then vermicelli. Top up with prawns, then spring onion.
Cover with the corning ware lid. Turn to moderate high fire and cook until prawns is cooked. In the process you may add 1/4 cup of hot water if it is too dry n prawn still not cook. Once the prawn is cooked, turn off fire.
5. Serve.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Homemade Chicken Patties Sandwich

My mun-in-law used to make chicken or beef patties when she lived with us. Now that she is unable to come and stay with us, I have to make it myself whenever I miss this dish. Thank God that she is very generous, always impart her knowledge without reservation.

This morning my daughter asked me "Mummy, is this chicken patties made  by you?" I answered "yes. why?" She said "it tastes yummy!" Nothing can beat loved ones enjoying the food that you prepared for them.
Just a short conversation like this gave me great encouragement and wanted to do more yummy food for my loved ones.

This is the simple and yummy homemade chicken patties.

200gm minced chicken meat
1 tablespoon of light sauce
1 slice of bread
1 tsp of potato flour
A dash of ground pepper
A dash of ground ginger powder
1 tsp  sunflower oil (for cooking)
Some water (for soaking bread)
Soak the slice of bread in the water for a few seconds.  Purpose is to wet the bread.
Gentle squeeze out some excess water.  Rub the soft bread into paste. Set aside.
Place minced meat in a large bowl. Add bread paste and light sauce (you can replaced with sea salt),flour , pepper and ginger powder. Mix them well.
With gloved hands, divide the meat mixture into 4 portions. Roll each of them into a ball and then flatten it into a patty.
Heat up a flat non-stick frying pan. Pour about 1 tsp of oil into the frying pan. With a kitchen paper towel or tissue oiled the frying pan. Place the chicken patties into the pan. Pan fry one side for about 2-3 min or until light brown on medium fire. Turn the side and pan fry until light brown.
Toast 2 slices of bread, spread with magarine or butter. Place the cooked patties on one bread with lettuces and sliced cucumber and sliced tomato. Top with another bread.

Thursday 21 August 2014

Snow Skin Mooncake (Instant method)

90 gm. Fried/Cooked Glutinous Rice Flour (Kao Fen/Kou Fien 糕粉)
10 gm. Wheat Starch (Steam for 2min)
30 gm. Shortening
40 gm. Icing sugar
200 gm. Ice-cream soda or 7-up *(see note 1)
1/2 tsp Banana essence(Original recipe called for pandan essence)
1 tablespoon milk(Not in original recipe)

500 gm. lotus paste
30 gm. melon seeds
(1) Sift the glutinous rice flour/kou fien and wheat starch into a big bowl.
(2) Add icing sugar and shortening into flour and rub with  your finger till it look like bread crumb.
(3) Add banana essence and milk into soft drink.
(4)Pour in ice-cream soda(soft drink) into the flour mixture and mix into  a soft dough. Cover it with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15min(optional)
(5) Divide the dough. Use a weighing machine and weigh 25g each. Apro 12 portions
(6) Divide the lotus paste fillings into 12 portions of 47g.(I am using a 73g mold)
(7) Flatten each dough and wrap with lotus paste filling. Press into a mooncake mould then press it out/ knock out depend on the kind of mould you use.
(8) Keep in airtight container. Chill before serving.

Note : best to consume snow skin mooncake within 3-4 days
Recipe of dough adapted from Aunty Yochana rainbow snow skin mooncake
Filling bought from Phoon Huat

If you prefer to homemade the lotus paste, you may check this link from bigheadmagicmad.blogspot.sg

Note 1 : You can replace the frizzy drink with syrup water. That is, 80-100g sugar melt in 180-200g of water by boiling. Leave to cool. Keep in fridge to make cold syrup. However, omit the 40g icing sugar if you are using syrup water.

Homemade Chocolate

This chocolate is my family favourite now. It is economical, easy to make and most important taste very good. It taste like Royce chocolate. After you have tasted this, you wwould prefer homemade over other chocolate.
400g chocolate chip(56.6% cocao content from Phoon Huat)
200ml Whipping Cream
Heat whipping cream in a saucepan. When it starts to bubble, turn off the heat. You just want to warm the cream not boil it. Add chocolate chips into the whipping cream. Stir to melt the chocolate and incorporate it into the cream. When all the chocolate has melted in the cream, it will resemble a thick chocolate ganache. Prepare a tray with chocolate small cups in it. Pour the chocolate into the cups. Let it firm up in the fridge min 4hours or overnight. Serve.

Butter Shortbread

My princess loves to eat shortbread. To cheer her up and also to give her  support and eencouragement for her prelim exam. I baked this shortbread. I have tried several different recipe from others' blog . JoyofBaking and Guai Shu Shu recipe are simple and easy to remember. Both using 3:2:1 ratio.One is weighing and the other is using cup. For this that I have baked, I have adopted the Guai Shu Shu's ingredients and incorporated with my own method.

100g icing sugar
200g soft salted butter
300g plain flour/all purpose flour
1tsp vanilla essence

Preheat traditional oven to 180 degrees C with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

1.In the large bowl, combine flour , sift icing sugar , soft butter and vanilla. Mix everything together into a soft dough.
2.On a lightly floured surface or on a greaseproof paper, roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desire shapes using a lightly floured cookies cutter or a knife.  Place on the prepared baking sheets . Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Note dated 23/9/2014: preheat fan oven 170°C, bake 10-12min

Dated 22/Dec/2014 :
Melt In Mouth Butter Shortbread
1/2 cup icing sugar
250g soft salted butter
2.5 cup plain flour/all purpose flour
1/3 cup rice flour
2tsp vanilla essence

Method: refer to above. Baked in pre-heated fan oven  170°C for 10-15min or until slight brown

Friday 20 June 2014

Chinese Carrot Cake (Radish Cake)

1 cup of white rice flour
2 cups of water
300g Radish/ white carrot-shredded
1 carrot  shredded
1tbsp dried shrimp -minced
3 shitake mushrooms -diced

1 Chinese sausage -diced(optional)
2 tbsp minced meat

4 small red onion/shallots -minced
Some oil for frying

2tsp sea salt
1tsp chicken powder
1/2tsp sugar
1tsp fish sauce
1tsp light sauce

Method :
1. Mix rice flour with water. Add salt, sugar and chicken powder. Stir well. Set a side.
2. In a wok, put about 2 tablespoon of oil, fry the onion n shitake mushrooms & shrimp till fragrance or slightly brown and the shrimp is crispy. Then add sausage and minced meat. Stir.  Add  shredded radish n carrot n stir for a while. Add fish sauce n light sauce. Stir well.
3. Lower the fire, pour in the rice flour mixture onto the wok of carrots mixture. Continue to stir until the liquid mixture almost dry. Texture like soft dough.
4. Transfer into a round cake pan or steaming pan.
5. Boil a wok of water. When water is boiled, place the container of carrot mixture into the wok, then put on the wok cover and steam for 40-50min.

6. Garnish with some cut spring onion and serve

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Blueberry and Bananas Muffins

Have a few bananas over ripe and do not want them to be thrown in bin. So, decided to make this muffins with added blueberry. This is my first time making this muffin using my existing bananas muffin recipe. As the ripe bananas were very sweet and the blueberry which I used was sweet too, the muffin turned out to be very sweet for my tooth. I would prefer a less sweet muffin so would reduce the sugar level if I will to make this muffin again.

This is the recipe

Ingredients :
100g melted butter
2 cup of self-raising flour
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar (I will omit this next round)
1 cup of fresh blueberry.
3 bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs

1. In a sauce pan melt the butter over low fire. Be caution not to burn the butter.  Set it a side.
2. Mixed all the dry ingredients together
3. Mixed the melted butter, lightly beated eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas together.
4. Pour the wet ingredients(3) onto the dry ingredients (2). Very quickly stir them to combine. Last add in the blueberry. Do not over stir.
5. Bake in pre-heat oven 190 deg C for 20min or when the satay stick or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven.

You may like to try these muffins recipes for more variety:
1. Double Chocolate Chips Muffins
2. Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins
3. Orange Muffins

Saturday 18 January 2014

Almond Cookies ( Simple Version)

Read about a  recipe for peanut cookies using 2:2:1:1 ratio from this blog: I bake I cook I eat. Find it is simple and easy. So, I tried on the almond cookie. However, I also read about almond is not as oily as peanut so 2:2:1:1 ratio may not so suitable. I made some changes on the flour. And the ratio become 3:2:1:1 using a measuring cup .The cookie turn out great! And find this cookie is more healthier than the rich almond cookie that I have posted earlier.

What do we need?

1.5 cup (approx. 150g) plain flour
1 cup (approx. 140g ) raw almonds
1/2 cup (approx. 50g) icing sugar
1/2 cup  (approx. 90g) canola & sunflower cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg for eggwash

Preheat oven : 180 deg C

Methond :
1. Rinse the almond with water. Dry fry in a non-stick wok/pan until it is completely dry and fragrant.  Remove from wok and leave it to cool, then, use a blender with grinding function and grind into powder . Alternatively, you can buy ready roasted almond to grind into powder so that you can omit the frying step.

2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except egg and form into dough. It should not be crumbly and can easily form a ball. Add a little more oil if it is crumbly.

3. Use a teaspoon to scoop about 1/2 spoon of dough and roll into 1.5cm balls and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Press down lightly with a chopstick or alteratively, use a straw or toothpick.

4. Glaze with eggwash.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12min.  Or when it is golden brown. Remove from oven. Leave them to cool in the cooling rack then pack into airtight bottle.

P.S : You may replace the oil with pure groundnut oil/peanut oil.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Ondeh Ondeh

1 cup mashed sweet potato
2 cups glutinous rice flour
3/4 cup water
6 stalk pandan leave
Gula Melaka
Fresh grated coconut (without skin) 1packet Or 1whole coconut
1/4 tsp salt
1 big pot of boiling water

1.Add salt onto grated coconut and steam for about 4-5min. Then set aside.
2.Slice gula melaka into thin & small pieces. Set aside.
3.Cut pandan leave and add a cup of water. Put into blender and blend it. Squeeze out the juice. Filter and remove any fibre.
4. Combine glutinous rice flour , mashed sweet potato, Pandan juice and knead into a smooth dough. Note: If the sweet potato is wet, add lesser pandan juice. Dough should be smooth and soft, but will remain in shape. 
5. Roll dough into 2cm dia  n cut into 4cm length. Make them into small balls. Flatten the ball, wrap with 1 tsp of Gula in center of dough and make into a ball. Repeat until all dough is done.
6. Boil water in big pot. When water id boiled, drop in uncooked oneh oneh one at time. Let continue boil until the ondeh ondeh float on top of water.
7. Remove those ondeh ondeh that are floating and drop them into the pre-steam grated Coconut. Make sure all coated with coconut.
8. Serve the oneh oneh.

Note: the ondeh ondeh skin taste more QQ when it is completely cool. Store in fridge make it taste nicer. Consume within 24hours.

Almond Cookies (Rich Almond Cookies)

I have a packet of 100g ground almond which I bought few months ago.. don't worry it is not expired...I always buy flour and baking ingredients to stock up. I think it is a homemaker's problem! Always worry want to cook can't find ingredients so stock up.

Come back to the cookies. To prevent waste of the packet of ground almond , the only way is to consume it. So I asked someone from a cooking group and this recipe was given by her from this cooking group. She snap a picture of her cooking book and shared  that is it from the book from Oi Lin. Thanks for her kindness to share. Honestly I have not read that book. But I do see a few bloggers quoted in their blog this author's name. As I think she had snap only one page of the recipe and a missing page ...because it seems  incomplete flow as I read further. The recipe end at rolling the dough flat 5mm thickness...haha. So I have the ingredients but not the complete method flow and baking time. In order to bake this cookies, I looked into other blogs and add in baking powder which was not in the origin recipe. And I replaced cake flour with plain flour as I do not have cake flour at home. By the way, the origin name for this cookies  written in the recipe is called Rich Almond Cookies. Though there was incomplete of method, but overall, the cookies is really nice. My daughter said "mummy, this cookies is addictive!" . Indeed within few days, the cookies is gone! So, yesterday, I went to get more almond powder and this time I baked in bigger quantity so that I can also share with my relatives , neighbours and friends.  And I modified the recipe a little to suit to my taste. Find the origin recipe is a little too sweet.

165g unsalted butter (melted)
440g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
160g icing sugar
3/4 tsp salt
220g ground almond (almond powder)
125g peanut oil/groundnut cooking oil
2 eggyolks

Glaze : 1 eggyolk + 1 tbsp water
Some white sesame seed to sprinkle on top of cookies

Preheat oven : 180 deg C

Method :
1.Melt butter in a double boil or just in a small sauce pan. Set aside.
2.Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, icing sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add ground almonds and mix them well.
3.Mix the peanut oil with the melted butter , then add to the flour mixture.  Add eggyolk and knead into a dough. If the dough is too crumbly, add a little more peanut oil.
4.Shape into the desire shape or use a cookies cutter to cut into shape.
5.Arrange on baking tray lined with parchment paper/baking paper. Apply eggwash with a brush and sprinkle the sesame seed at the top of cookie.
6.Bake in the preheated oven 180 deg C for 12-15min depend on your oven temperature or till it get golden brown color

Updates of Picture 22Jan2017:

Saturday 11 January 2014

Pineapple Tarts

Back track 20 years ago or more...
What inspired me to bake ?
It all started with 'this story'..I passed by a bakery shop near my place after work.. I was living in central SG..
I saw the many tubs of pineapple tarts displayed at the shop. So I walked into the shop and wanted to buy. The shopkeeper said"did u place order?' I replied "no". Then he said rudely "then we can't sell to u"..and he walked away.
I was a little angry by his attitude..but no choice since I didn't pre-order. After that I went to the nearby hawker centre fruit stall and bought 2 whole pineapples and went home to make jam and then make pineapple tarts. Back then I have not baked any cookies before. I have not attended any course before. Not even in secondary school I didn't take home econ..so baking is alien to me.
I do not have any recipe. But i know my aunt 婶婶is very good at it.. I phoned her and she taught me over the phone. Back then no google recipe unlike now everything and recipe is easily found in google. Back then difficult to get recipe. With my aunt's(婶婶) verbal recipe and my mum-in-laws' help.. I started my first pineapple tarts..

God is humorous by sending such people to inspire me to start baking. Just as the bible is written...

The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Rain and snow fall from the sky and don’t return without watering the ground. They cause the plants to sprout and grow, making seeds for the farmer and bread for the people. The same thing is true of the words I speak. They will not return to me empty. They make the things happen that I want to happen, and they succeed in doing what I send them to do. (Isaiah 55:8-11)

All thanks be to God. :)

You may visit also my facebook page Catherine's Cooking Journal

Ingredients (Pastry- yield about 75pcs):
360g plain flour
50g milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
250g soft cold butter( I use salted)
1 eggyolk + 1 whole egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg for eggwash

Put all the ingredients ( except egg and vanilla ) into a big bowl. Rub the dry ingredients with butter using your fingertips till it resemble breadcrumb. Add egg and vanilla. Continue to work into a soft dough.  Do not over work.

Place dough on a working board, with a rolling pin. roll it flat. Use a pineapple tart cutter, cut into shape. Place the cookie in a tray with baking paper. Place the jam on top of the pastry. Eggwash - beat the egg with a fork then use a brush to eggwash on the tart.

Bake in pre-heat oven 180 degree Celsius for 15 - 20min.

Pineapple Jam:
Please see my pineapple-tarts-enclosed-version on how to make pineapple jam in the traditional way.

Updates on 4/Jan/2016:
Rice Cooker Pineapple Jam

I have done pineapples jam in different ways over years. I have tried slow cooker, black claypot, chinese wok and the latest rice cooker. Always looking for better way to cook the jam. And of the whole pineapple tart, making homecooked jam the most time consuming process. However, it is also the jam that makes the different in the pineapple tarts. Different family has their unique taste of homecooked jam. Some like very sweet so added alot of sugar. For my personal taste, I prefer less sweet version. However, for the sake of majority in the family, I will compromise with the family..that is I will add a little more sugar than my usual standard of sweetness. So that family members will not find the tarts too not sweet.

Back to method of cooking the jam. Of all the different methods, using slow cooker is easy but rice cooker is the easiest. Save time standing at the stove stiring the jam. I used to stand at the stove stiring in the hot kitchen. But now no more sweaty and smelly. After putting grated pineapple into rice cooker to cook. You can go sit at the sofa enjoying a cup coffee or tea and watch your favorite korean drama or do housework or read a book while waiting for the juice to dry up. This rice cooker method dry up faster, could be I was doing other things so feel faster. And it doesn't burnt until when it is almost drying due to the natural sugar in the pineapple. As I used stainless steel pot, it turns brown at the bottom for the first time when I was cooking it. Because I thought the jam will be like rice when liquid dried up, the ricer cooker will jump to keep warm mode. So as I was waiting, I smell something burnt. That was how I had realised, approaching liquid drying up, you will need to stir a bit. That is, about 2 hours after putting to cook. And the jam will start drying after 2 hours of cooking. Always add sugar after the liquid dry up. Or else you will end up having very dark pineapple jam. To achieve nice golden colour, add sugar after all the pineapple juice about to dry up. DO NOT drain any juice in the process. Jam without draining juice though take longer to cook, but it will taste nicer too.  Being patience, faithfully cooking the jam with the juice will give you very nice jam. The longer you cook the jam, will also help to preserve the jam longer. That is, you can keep up to a year in fridge also no issue. Because this jam has added quite a fair amount of sugar. Sugar isca natural preservative agent. But, i will not suggest you keep it for that longer.

2 big honey pineapple (green) after removed skin and "eyes" weigh appro. 750g per pineapple
150-200g appro. Or 10 tablespoons white sugar or your taste desire
3-4 clove
1/2 stick cinnamon

1. Remove pineapple skin and "eyes"

2. Using food processor to blend the whole pineapple including core until mushy. Or use knife to chop until mushy.

3. Place pineapple(do not drain juice) into rice cooker, add clove and cinnamon stick. Set rice cooker to "cook"  mode like you are cooking rice. Let it cook until almost dry. It is approximately 2 hours.  It also depend on your rice cooker and also pineapple. If very ripe, it will be more juicy so take longer. My rice cooker is using stainless steel pot, so approaching to dry, the base started to brown. So do check once in a while using a wooden spoon to stir and check. Btw, it will not pop to warm mode as the liquid in the pineapple will not be as dry as rice. So check in between.
The good thing about using rice cooker is save time standing at the stove stiring. You put it into rice cooker to cook(covered) and go doing housework or watch drama and let the rice cooker do the work. Just like when you cook rice at the stove, you need to stir non-stop to prevent burnt. But using rice cooker you do not worry about that...just that approaching dry or after 2 hours check on the jam.

4. When the pineapple is about to dry. Add sugar and stir and continue to cook. Stir once in a while to avoid burnt at the base until the jam is dry.

5. When it is cooled, roll it into 9-10g balls to use on tarts or store in container and keep in refrigerator. I usually make the jam 1 month ahead. Making jam is the most time consuming process for the tarts. So always make it earlier. This recipe yield over 80pcs of 9-10g pineapples jam balls.

As I used honey pineapple for this recipe instead of morris pineapple. Therefore, this pineapple is sweeter than the morris pineapple which are normal use for pineapple tart. Because the pineapple is sweeter, I have added lesser sugar. The amount of sugar to add depend on the type of pineapple is used and whether it is ripe or unripe or semi-ripe. So, asjust the sweeten according to your desire.

These few days, few friends asked me these questions after viewing this link.

1. Do you cover the rice cooker when it is cooking?
Answer : Yes. Like cooking rice.

2. Do you stir when put to cook?
Answer:  Please refer to above item 3 and 4.

Notes dated 15Jan2016:
My sister did the rice cooker pineapple jam on last sunday. Apparently different kind of rice cooker does make a different. My sister owns a rice cooker that on normal rice cooking takes an hour and quick cook half hour. As compare to my rice cooker, cooking rice takes only 20mins. My rice cooker only have 3 functions - porridge, warm & rice.
My sister told me her pineapple jam sit in rice cooker for an hour and it still didn't start cooking. Her jam took longer time to cook than mine. And it didn't able to cook jam until very dry as her rice cooker keep jumping to "keep warm". So, she poured out the jam and continue cook over stove and got it done in very short time. In gengeral, she still prefer the rice cooker way. As she said no need to keep standing at the stove stiring the jam and it shorten the cooking time.

27Dec2016 Updates:
Yields : approx 1.4kg-1.5kg(220pcs 2cm balls)
2 big + 3 medium  honey pineapples
150g rock sugar
350g white sugar
9 cloves
1 stick cinnamon

It is double the quantity. So today it took  total 4hours to cook the jam. The rest of the method is the same.

Updates on 21Jan2017:
Made another batch of jam added only rock sugar. The colour tone is lighter. This is the ingredients :

2 big honey pineapples
Half stick cinnamon
5 cloves
160g  rock sugar

Method refer to the above ricer cooker recipe.
Cooking time : 2hours

This is the results :

If you have also tried this rice cooker way of cooking jam, would welcome your comments.

Happy cooking and baking.

You may like to also view my other posts:
1. almond-cookies
2. almond-cookies-simple-version

As some friends are interested in the mould that I am using. Attached picture here for your reference.