Steamed pandan coconut cakes (Kuih Puteri Ayu)

Steamed pandan coconut cake

The flavour combination of pandan and coconut never fails. Just think of kaya, pandan cake, and so many other kuih kuih that uses this combination. It’s almost always perfect. I found these moulds at Phoon Huat recently, and decided to try my hand at making some of these small dainty steamed cakes. Surprisingly, they are really easy to make! My little one prefers the cake without the coconut, but I like the sweet and slightly salty touch that the shredded coconut adds. If you have the time, use freshly squeezed coconut milk and grated coconut for that extra fragrant touch.

Steamed pandan coconut cakes (Kuih Putri Ayu)
 
Serves: 20-22 pcs
Ingredients
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • 10 pandan leaves, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp corn flour
Instructions
  1. Grease cake moulds with a small amount of oil.
  2. Blend pandan leaves with coconut milk. Sieve to obtain pandan milk. Measure out 120ml and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or with a hand mixer), whisk eggs with sugar till thick and foamy.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  5. Add 120ml of pandan coconut milk to the egg/sugar mixture and mix on low speed.
  6. Add in flour in two to three portions and mix on low speed till combined. Do not overmix or the batter will deflate.
  7. Mix shredded coconut, salt and corn flour together.
  8. Add a small portion to each mould and press to flatten. (I simply place another mould over it to compress the coconut).
  9. Fill the moulds with batter till it is almost full.
  10. Steam over high heat for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove and cool slightly on a cooling rack before serving.

 

Mini Cheese Bread

Mini Cheese Bread

As a fussy mom who’s very particular about the food that my children eat, I prepare most of their breakfasts at home. It’s not often easy though, since my 4 year old and 1 year old have rather different tastes when it comes to food! Thankfully, they both enjoy this cheese bread, the older one especially. She recently succumbed to a nasty virus and had many days of high fever. This was one of her first requests, together with mushroom soup. She loves dipping the bread in mushroom soup. Kind of like soft croutons maybe?

I first saw this recipe online, and thereafter experimented with a few variations, including adding sour cream to the dough! This variation is what works best for me, taste and texture wise. Try it! I’m sure it would be a hit both with young and old!

Mini Cheese Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 80 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200 g bread flour
  • 30g grated parmesan cheese
  • 30g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
Instructions
  1. Place the first six ingredients into your bread machine, according to your machine's instructions.
  2. Add the cold butter cubes at the side of the pan.
  3. Make a well at the top of the flour mixture and add the instant yeast. (Make sure the yeast does not touch the salt)
  4. Set the bread machine to the dough function.
  5. When the dough is ready, remove it from the pan, press it down slightly into a disc and allow it to rest on a clean surface for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a square that's about 1 cm thick.
  7. Cut into cubes approximately 2cm by 2cm.
  8. Arrange the cubes on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicon mat and spray some water on top of the cubes.
  9. Cover loosely with cling wrap and allow it to rise till it doubles in size, about 30-45 minutes.
  10. minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 170°C and centre an oven rack.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
  12. Cool slightly on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Notes
Recipe adapted from http://my123favourites.blogspot.sg/2013/10/mini-cheese-bread.html

Quick and easy scones

Quick and easy scones

I woke up yesterday morning thinking about scones for breakfast. Earlier the previous day, I had bought a new bottle of chocolate rice crispies spread that I wanted to try and bread was just too… mainstream. Anyhow, decision for scones was made at 8am and piping hot scones were delivered to the table at 8.30am! These scones bake up tall and are so light and fluffy that you won’t be able to stop at one. I did try some with my new chocolate spread but quickly decided that jam and scones still taste the best. Alas, I did not have any clotted cream with me but butter and jam still tasted mighty good!

Are you craving for some scones too? These scones are sooo easy to whip up, especially because the recipe calls for ingredients that you probably already have at home. That’s right. No whipping cream required and no mixer needed too! Try the recipe and let me know how you like your scones.

Quick and Easy Scones
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Tall and fluffy scones that can be whipped up in a jiffy!
Serves: 8 large scones
Ingredients
  • 175ml milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 335g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4½ tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter
  • 40g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 beaten egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Centre an oven rack and place a baking sheet on it.
  2. Warm milk by heating it in a microwave for 20 sec or by sitting it in a basin of warm water. Add in lemon juice and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
  4. Grate 85g of cold butter into the flour mixture. Toss to combine. (Alternatively, cut butter into cubes and rub it into the flour mixture.)
  5. Stir in sugar.
  6. Add vanilla extract to the curdled milk mixture. Stir to combine.
  7. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the milk in.
  8. Using a spatula, roughly combine the mixture before tipping it out on a working surface. (I use a silicon sheet so that it's less messy.)
  9. Scatter some flour on top of the dough. Using floured hands, fold the dough a couple of times so that it's slightly smooth. There will still be some lumps and it's ok. Do not over work the dough.
  10. Pat it roughly into a 3 cm thick disc - don't roll it out using a rolling pin.
  11. Use a 5cm round cutter to cut out the scones. Gather the remaining dough, pat it out again and cut out the remaining scones.
  12. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Place a silicon baking mat on it (or baking paper if you like) and arrange the cut out scones on the mat. Glaze with beaten egg and return to the oven for 10 min.
  13. Remove the scones from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. Serve warm with butter and jam. Enjoy!
  14. Note: If freezing scones, allow scones to cool totally, place them on a tray/plate and freeze for a few hours before storing in a ziplock bag. When needed, defrost and reheat at 160°C for a few minutes.
Notes
Recipe adapted from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4622/classic-scones-with-jam-and-clotted-cream

Salted Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

salted caramel pecan sticky buns

In my humble opinion, salted caramel is one of the baking world’s best discovery. I cannot remember when I first tasted it but it was definitely love at first taste. The best part is that it can be used in sooo many desserts! I made a batch of salted caramel using the recipe from Brown Eye Baker and used a portion of it to make salted caramel buttercream to frost some cupcakes. The cupcakes were for my baby’s first month celebrations. Those were delicious and I would love to blog about them except that I gave them all away without taking a picture. Silly me. So now I would need to find another excuse to bake up another batch of salted caramel cupcakes so that I can eat blog about them.Continue Reading

Walnut Mooncakes (Improved)

Walnut mooncakes

Walnut mooncakes are one of our family’s favourites and I bake them every year. This year, I modified my usual recipe as I found it a little too crumbly. The pastry of the previous recipe doesn’t quite hold up when it’s cut. Besides some slight tweaks to the amount of butter and flour, I’ve also replaced baking soda with baking powder as baking powder yields a more neutral tasting product (since there aren’t any acidic ingredients). I’m very satisfied with the results and my hubby, little one and mum loves it.

Walnut mooncakes

I’ve added melon seeds and salted egg yolks (my favouite) to the mooncake but you can choose to omit these if you like. As for the amount of walnuts to use, it really depends on your preference. I like walnuts so I use large fresh walnuts. Make sure that the walnuts you use are raw ones and not salted/toasted ones though.

walnut dinosaur mooncakes

My hubby decided to join in the fun and made these dinosaur walnut mooncakes. I think he calls them dino-wal-saurus. I think they are totally adorable, though they are very time-consuming to make. He used black beans for the eyes, melon seeds for their teeth and walnuts for their scales. Check out their side profile below. He thinks that there’s a market for these lovely dino-wal-saurus and all dino loving boys would love to have one. I would love to hear your thoughts on his creation!

walnut dinosaur mooncakes

Walnut Mooncakes (Improved)
 
Serves: 30 - 32
Ingredients
Pastry
  • 350g Plain flour
  • 30g Custard Powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g Icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Filling
  • 30g toasted melon seeds
  • 750g White Lotus Paste
  • 6-7 salted egg yolks (each cut into 6 pieces)
Before baking
  • 1 Egg yolk + 1 tbsp water (for glazing)
  • Walnut for decoration
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, sift flour, custard powder, salt and baking powder together. Whisk ingredients together and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer set to medium high speed, cream sugar and butter together until slightly pale and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add in egg and vanilla and beat on medium high speed till fluffy and light.
  4. Fold in flour mixture in two parts. Refrigerate dough overnight.
  5. Bake salted egg yolks for 5 minutes at 160ºC. Set aside to cool. Cut each yolk into 6 pieces.
  6. Mix melon seeds with lotus paste. Divide fillings into about 25g each.
  7. Wrap a piece of salted egg yolk in each ball of filling.
  8. Take out dough from fridge and divide into portions of 20g each.
  9. Wrap fillings into dough and decorate with walnut.
  10. Apply egg wash on mooncakes and bake at 160ºC for 10 mins.
  11. Remove from oven and allow mooncakes to rest for 10 mins. Re-apply egg wash and return to oven and bake for another 20 mins or till golden.

 

Claypot Chicken Rice

claypot chicken rice | Delicacious

Dinner at home is typically 三菜一汤 (three dishes and one soup) on weekdays but lately, with the addition of an infant, we have been trying to simplify dinner. One dish meals seem to be the way to go and this claypot chicken rice is one of our favourite Chinese one dish meals. It uses simple ingredients, is fast to prepare (start to finish is just slightly more than an hour) and is definitely satisfying. Of course, it can’t beat claypot rice that is cooked over charcoal fire but this definitely comes close. My hubby loves scraping up the slightly charred crispy rice bits at the bottom of the claypot!

Here are some tips for preparing claypot chicken rice. Firstly, cooking times with a claypot would vary with the size of claypot and the fire used. I’ve given guidelines that work for my claypot in my recipe but you may wish to adjust the timing after you’ve tried the recipe for the first time. For the claypot, I’ve used a Tanyu flat bottom claypot, but you can use any seasoned claypot. Noobcook has some good advice on preparing a claypot for its first use here. I’ve adjusted the liquid amount for this recipe so that the rice is moist but not soggy. If you prefer the rice to be drier, you may wish to reduce the liquid amount further. Lastly, whenever possible, use a low sodium chicken stock. If using chicken stock cubes/packaged chicken stock, it would be advisable to use half water and half stock as the stock is usually rather salty.

And now for the recipe…Continue Reading

Pandan Snow Skin Mooncakes

Pandan snow skin mooncakes

Mid-autumn festival is approaching and I’m back on the blog after a 2 months hiatus. I gave birth to my 2nd baby girl two months ago (she’s such a cutie) and have had my hands rather full. Now that she is slightly older, hopefully I’d have more time to blog (fingers very crossed). But I digress. Let’s go back to mooncakes.

I have fond memories of mini pandan snow skin mooncakes that my mom would buy from this old fashioned bakery near Alexandra during Mid-autumn festival. I was probably in my teens then and to me, those were really delicious snow skin mooncakes. They were freshly made, had a strong pandan flavour and the snow skin was very soft. Unfortunately, the bakery closed down a couple of years later and I couldn’t find similar mooncakes. So a couple of years ago, I decided to start making my own. One of the more popular mooncakes I’ve made are these Red Wine Berry Snow Skin Mooncakes.

Pandan Snow Skin Mooncakes

Continue Reading