Friday, September 30, 2011

Lemon infused Sugar

While I made vanilla infused sugar and lavender infused sugar previously. I found this a good way of flavouring desserts without having to use artificial flavouring to desserts and cakes.This is good for baking citrus based desserts or just for sprinkling over desserts.

1 cup caster sugar
zest of 2 lemon

Place zest in a mixing bowl and mix 1/2 cup sugar until combine. Leave the lemon and sugar mixture uncovered for an hour or you can place the lemon sugar on a baking pan to dry at room temperature (Zesting releases natural oils of the lemon and create moisture). Add the rest of the sugar and mix.
Place lemon sugar in a jar or air tight container.Give it a good shake and leave it in a cool dark place. If you think the lemon flavour is too mild to your liking, you can add more lemon zest and you think the lemon flavour is too strong, add more sugar.

Voila ! you have lemon sugar! great for the holiday season as souvenirs and gifts!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Poached salmon and soba noodles with ginger and lemongrass broth

Adapted from Donna Hay

875ml chicken stock
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 4 parts
1 inch ginger, sliced into 4
1 tbsp soy sauce
a good dash of mirin
270g sabo noodles
3 x 150g salmon fillets,skin removed
2 bunches of bak choy, washed

  • Place the stock,lemongrass,ginger,soy sauce and mirin in a medium deep pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5minutes.
  • In another pan, add water and boil water to boil. Add noodles and cook for 2 minutes, if you are using the fresh version of sabo noodles but if the sabo noodles stick boil for 4minutes.
  • Remove noodles from pan and boil bak choy for 1 or 2.Don't over cook the bak choy.
  • Remove the lemongrass and ginger and discard. Add salmon to the broth and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Top the noodles with the salmon and bak choy and spoon over the broth.
  • Serve with marinated seaweed and jellyfish.

Vanilla cupcakes with Sherry frosting

These cupcakes turned out divine. Although having not have the proper equipments in Sydney, the frosting was messy. Looks can be deceiving. Trust me.

Adapted from

Vanilla cupcakes
125g unsalted butter*
150g caster sugar
1 1/2 vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 1/2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
80ml milk
2 tbsp double cream

  • Preheat oven to 177 degrees Celsius and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Beat butter,sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together flour,baking powder & salt.
  • With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk in three additions.
  • Evenly fill the muffin cups with the battle and bake for about 15 minutes or just until set. (insert a clear toothpick into a cupcake, comes out clean. Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. Don't over bake or the cupcakes will turn dry.)
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cupcakes have completely
    cool,frost with icing.

Sherry frosting
230g icing sugar,sifted
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
3tbsp sherry wine**
2tbsp milk
2tbsp double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Start off by creaming butter,icing sugar & sherry at low speed (you don't want the icing sugar all over you) then gradually increase the speed and continue to cream until very pale, about 5minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract,double cream and milk for another 10minutes.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes.

*If you use salted butter, omit the salt.
** You can substitute it with other flavours of your choice.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I don't have a particular recipe for this but we made two different pork sausages.
  1. Pork,mushroom,garlic & cheese sausages.
  2. Pork,apple & honey sausages

Process of making sausages


I was over at my aunty's place today baking my fruit cake,not having a proper oven I had to rely on my aunt so while killing time, we made shortbread and also sausages.

4oz caster sugar
8oz butter
12oz self raising flour
nuts for decoration & an egg yolk ,if you desire

  • Preheat oven-fan force 160 celcius or 180 celcius for normal oven.
  • Mix all ingredients using the rubbing method.
  • Then lightly roll the dough on a marble slab.DO NOT use flour to dust your working place.You do not want necessary flour added to your dough.
  • Roll gently and use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies
  • Place then on baking paper,place a nut on each cookie, brush cookies with egg yolk if you want and bake until golden brown

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

Mum always complains I waste too much money on desserts instead of buying healthy food and suggested I bake since I love baking, so over the weekend I asked for suggestions and one of it was lemon meringue pie. I wasn't too keen on making it because firstly I don't like sour things and second the thought of making another meringue based dessert is daunting and worst of all, I don't know what to expect out of a lemon meringue pie because I never had one until the night before that and I did not like it but because mum likes tangy flavours,she liked what she tasted the night before. So I gave it a try anyway. And I am very pleased with the results. =)

Ps:The lemon curd filling I opted was more of a lemon custard filling than a lemon curd. Shall make a lemon curd filling next.

Sweet Crust Pastry

100g diced cold unsalted butter

75g icing sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225g self raising flour

Lemon custard

250ml milk

25g double cream

220g caster sugar

3tbsp cornflour

125ml milk,extra

200ml lemon juice

zest of 3lemons

6 egg yolks


6 egg whites

250 sugar, I used vanilla sugar I made previous,you can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tsp white vinegar

To make the pastry: process flour, icing sugar mixture & butter until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add egg and process again until pastry begins to resemble bread crumbs .Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Shape into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220°C or 200°C fan-forced. Roll out pastry between 2 sheets baking paper until 3mm thick. Press pastry into 24cm loose bottomed flan tin.(I used 3 disposable foil trays). Trim edges and prick base using a fork. Line with baking paper and fill with dried beans, lentils or baking beads. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove paper and beans; return to oven. Bake a further 5 minutes or until pastry is lightly golden brown all over base. Allow to cool.

To make lemon curd: Pour cream, milk , lemon juice and zest into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, add half the cream and juice mixture and whisk to combine. Pour back into the saucepan with remaining cream and cook.Place the cornflour and extra milk in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour the cornflour mixture into the curd mixture and whisking until mixture comes to the boil and thickens.
Allow to chill for 30 minutes. Spoon the lemon mixture into the pastry case and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

To make the meringue, place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and white vinegar and beat until thick and glossy.

Spoon the meringue on top of the curd and grill (broil) under a preheated hot grill for 1–2 minutes or until golden and cooked.

I had extra of the meringue mixture, so I made mini pavlovas by placing mini scoops of meringue mixture and baking them for around 10-15mins. Then I served it with double cream and fresh passion fruit pulp.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Simple soup

Blessed with mix parentage background, I get to have best of both worlds when it comes to food. My aunty called us over for dinner the other day, and she made this really delicious soup made from very few ingredients.

1 kg pork bones, I used pork neck bones (if you like to have some meat mix the bones with pieces of spare ribs
1 medium size white radish
6 Chinese red dates
1 piece large dried squid
1 medium size carrot

Put all ingredients in a medium sized pot filled with water,simmer for a minimum of 2hours.

Gourmet Fruit Cake

UPDATED AGAIN :- Initially I stated 750ml sherry wine plus 100ml lemon juice & juice of an orange but I found that to be very moist for my fruit cake. I have not had to moisten the alcohol soaked alcohol to mature the cake because it was very moist.So I made the cake again by only reducing the sherry wine to 500ml, the outcome at the moment looks good.Better than before.Still moist but not overly moist like before.

UPDATE- It's more than two months since I made my fruit cake. The taste was pretty authentic but slightly over-moist but it's better to be on the moister side than drier side, yeah?=P

October 2011-I have mid semesters coming up and that means mid semester break is coming after, time has flown by so quickly,I am glad. Anyway I have always been wanting to make the traditional fruit cake and haven't quite found a suitable one until recently I stumbled upon the Country Women Association bake book and found quite reliable recipe. They had a few but this was something interesting. It needed the right amount of time to soak the fruits in alcohol and maturing the cake after baking.

Here's the adapted recipe:

Fruits & Sherry
450g currants
190g sultanas
170g cranberries
230g pitted prunes,chopped
230g pitted dates,chopped
200g glace cherries,sliced
200g mixed peel
300g nuts (I used macadamia nuts,cashew nuts,silvered almonds)
500ml sherry (or dark rum)
100ml lemon juice
juice of an orange
rind of two lemons & an orange
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cake mixture
250g unsalted butter,softened (if using salted butter, omit salt)
340g dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon,ground nutmeg,ground all spice
5 large eggs
250g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

A week before baking
  • Combine fruits and nuts. Stir in sherry (or dark rum) and let mixture stand for a week.
  • Make sure the mixture is keep in a cool dark place and that fruits and nuts have full submerged in sherry.
Baking cake
  • Preheat oven to 135 degrees Celsius (It's always good to have a oven thermometer for accurate temperature. Also never set oven higher than 135 degrees.It is always safer to set temperature slightly lower, maybe 130 degrees or lowest be 120 degrees but never higher).
  • Butter two 8 cm deep 23 cm x 13 cm baking pans (or any two baking pans that can hold 8 cups in volume each) ,line them with baking paper, making sure the paper extends over the edge of the tins. Butter the baking paper lightly.
  • Cream butter and gradually blend in sugar and spices. Beat in 2 eggs. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Blend 1 cup of the flour mixture with the creamed mixture and beat in 3 more eggs. Stir the fruit and sherry (or dark rum) mixture and remaining flour, mixing the batter well.
  • Pour the batter into prepared pans, pressing it down firmly into the corners, then drop filled pans from a height of 15 cm to eliminate any air bubbles.
  • Place the cakes in the oven together and put a shallow pan filled with hot water (you can always place the shallow pan filled with water when you preheat the oven) on the bottom of oven underneath the cakes. (This prevents cakes from burning at the bottom and drying out).
  • Bake for 2 1/2 hours ( do not open the oven door until at least 2 hour 15mins for consistency in oven temperature. But if cake is browning too fast, take it out carefully and place foil on top and then place ) or until they are test done.
  • Cool the cakes completely in the pans then transfer to wire racks, peel off the paper.
  • Wrap cooled caked in cheesecloth that has been soaked in sherry wine, double wrap the cake with cling wrap then aluminium foil, store in tightly covered containers. Let the cakes age as long as possible before serving.( one month minimum), moistening cloths every month with sherry wine or rum to prevent cake from being dry.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Margerita & Pepperoni Pizza

While I was in Malaysia,I managed to make my own pizza dough. I used to cheat by buying Naan dough from the nearest 'Mamak' because I wasn't sure how to make the dough. Didn't realise it was very simple. And I still need to get a food processor cause my Kenwood stand mixer can't handle heavy doughs. It fell while mixing a batch of bread the other time and now it's making some funny noise.=( sucha disappointment Kenwood!

Recipe sourced from Baking with Julia.

Pizza Base
  • 1 1/4 cups tepid water
  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbls. Olive Oil
  • 3 1.4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  1. Dissolve the yeast & sugar in half the water and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining water and oil together
  3. Whisk the flour and salt together.
  4. Pour all the wet mixtures into the flour and mix with rubber spatula until everything is combined.
  5. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, or until dough comes together
  6. Then mix on medium high for 10 more minutes.
  7. You should end with a soft, slightly moist, extremely elastic dough.
  8. Place in oiled bowl, let rise until it has doubled in size.
  9. Let rise until it doubles in size again.
  10. Divide the dough into three equal portions and shape each piece into a ball.
Mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni,for the pepperoni pizza

Tomato Base
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Fry garlic in olive oil and butter until fragrant.
  2. Empty can of diced tomatoes into garlic and continue to cook.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Let it cool.
Assemble: Roll the pizza base to your desired thickness. I like my crust thin. Before baking the crust I scatter some semolina on the baking tin to avoid it from sticking to the pan,somehow it did stick slightly but not too much. Place the dough on the pan and bake. Bake for 15-20 mins in the oven at 180degrees. Then take it out, put a layer of tomato base on the bread then scatter the cheese (for the pepperoni one,place pepperoni on the tomato base before scattering the cheese generously on the topping.). Bake till cheese is golden.Serve hot/warm.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nigella's Caramel Croissant Pudding

I always like my desserts rich in flavour and I never like to substitutes. I like croissants with jam,with ham & cheese all sorts and when I came across a recipe for croissant pudding I knew I wanted to try it out.Well obviously it was a recipe from the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson I knew I could trust her recipe.This recipe was from her book called Nigella Express but I double-triple the amount,Who could resist?
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
450g croissant
250g caster sugar
60ml tbsp water
250ml double cream
300ml full cream milk
5 extra large eggs (min 900g),beaten
1 tsp brandy essence
Method (Copied from Nigella's website,I was lazy)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish.
3. Put the caster sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over a medium to high heat.
4. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away, without stirring, until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3-5 minutes. Keep looking but don't be too timid.
(Yes. I freaked out and threw the first batch of caramel out it was hard, I never experimented with sugar so I freaked out, yes I did read about sugar and caramelizing but when I saw the outcome at the spite of moment I thought I was wrong but I wasn't and I was afraid if I kept the cream and milk long in heat it will curdled etc, I am still learning anyway. It was an experience. They say desserts are an art and a science too. =) If it's hard don't throw away the mixture, just continue to stir the mixture over low heat until the toffee melts.)
5. Turn heat down to low and add the cream - ignoring all spluttering - and, whisking away, the milk and bourbon. Any solid toffee that forms in the pan will dissolve easily if you keep whisking over low heat. Take off the heat and, still whisking, add the beaten eggs.
6. Pour the caramel bourbon custard over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes if the croissants are very stale.
7. Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes and prepare to swoon.
8. I drizzled some melted chocolate over the pudding after baking cause I had some leftover chocolate from Max Brenner's.

Pork & Fish Ball porridge

Pork Balls

300g Mince pork

2tbsp Choy poh (preserved radish)


3 tbsp Fish sauce

A dash of White pepper

1tsp Sesame seed oil

Salt,to taste


Mix all the ingredients together and let it rest for an hour.

Store bought fish paste


2 Chinese sausages

½ Spanish onions

Rice porridge

2 rice cups (the ones you get with a rice cooker) Rice

1tbsp chicken stock granules

1litre water

Few slices ginger

4pips garlic, thinly sliced


Mix stock granules, water and rice and let it rest for 2 hours. On low heat, cook the rice mixture, stir the porridge as frequent as possible to avoid the bottom from burning. Add water if necessary. Once the porridge is ¾ cooked, quickly roll pork mixture into small balls and also the fish paste and drop them into the porridge mixture slowly and quickly. You want the balls to cook evenly. Let it boil. Make sure you stir carefully as you don’t want the pork balls and fish balls to break.

In hot oil (I used peanut oil), fry onions until caramelized then add the sausages. Fry till cook.