Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Simple Brownie

Ever since I moved into my new house, I am hooked to a channel from Starhub - Asian Food Channel (AFC). I love many shows from there and recording them down and refused to delete away even after I watched. I happen to watch one Taiwanese cooking show named 真能煮 by 阿娇. She will invite chefs to her show. For a period of time, she invited 孟兆庆, the author of "孟老师教的100道面包" to teach us baking. I was delighted and recorded all the shows until one day, she changed the chef. Upset. I continue to watch the show hoping that she will invite her again. This brownie recipe is one of the few that she taught in the show. Quite easily done. 孟老师 is so meticulous. She will highlight the pitfalls in the recipe which is useful for beginners like me. After watching the show, I went to Kinokuniya to buy her 4 books that were available on the shelves. For the bread making one, it comes with a VCD. Haha. I shall try out her recipes some day when I am free. This is the first recipe by her.

Brownie by 孟兆庆


unsalted butter 125g
sugar 80g
cocoa powder 30g
2 eggs
cake flour 145g
baking powder 1/2 tsp
baking soda 1/4tsp
1/2 cup of milk
chocolate chips 100g
walnuts, chopped 50g (I added in myself)

1. Melt the butter and sugar over boiling water.
2. Add in the cocoa powder while it (1) is still hot.
3. Cool the mixture then add in the eggs one by one.
4. Sieve in half the flour and pour in half the milk.
5. Stir till no flour is seen then add in the rest of the flour and milk.
6. Stir in mix direction till no flour is visible. Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
7. Pour into a square mould (forgot what is the size, should be 7 in by 7 in) and bake at 180oC for 15 minutes.

This brownie is great be it warm or chilled. Worth trying. It doesn't take long to prepare. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


My favorite past time is to watch Asian Food Channel and to stay in the kitchen creating miracles. Haha. I love to watch 三菜一汤 from channel 8 too. I picked a few simple recipes to try out for my dinner. Potato omelette is one of them. It is simple and delicious. I even recommended this recipe to my brother who is in Sweden now. You just need eggs and potatoes. This can serve as a main dish or side dish. Very versatile.

Potato Omelette

Before marriage, I only baked for my parents, never really cook a decent meal for them before. Only recently, then I invited them to my house to have a simple lunch. I made simple pork burger with Wafu style salad. I only added onion, carrot, bread crumbs, soya sauce, pepper, sesame oil and corn starch to my minced meat. Pan fried them till golden brown. The taste is quite good but the way I present it not very appetizing. Haha. Still have a long way to go. But I am glad that they like it.
My Burger!

Wafu Style Salad

The only thing I scare about playing in the kitchen is washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Luckily my husband will do the dishes after every dinner if not I don't think I will cook that often. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Dinner

I love to cook dinner for myself and my husband. However, due to my hectic workload, there is fewer and fewer chances for me to cook. Whenever I can go home earlier, I will seize the chance to whip up some simple dishes. Then it will become part of my bento the next day. Haha. These are some of the dishes that I attempted. The advisor is of course my mum. Before I cook my dinner everytime, I will give her a call and ask for the steps and tips as well. So far, everything is edible. Haha. These is my first attempt.

Stir fry sausage with red pepper and celery

Potato with Luncheon meat

Fish soup with tofu and meatballs

Simple and healthy dinner which I love. Yeah!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Soft Cheesecake

This cheesecake recipe is obtained from Kitchen Corner, which she tried recently. Being a novice in baking, you don't expect my cheesecake to turn out as beautiful as hers. I tried my best but I still make few mistakes which I am going to share with you here.

My cake is sunken and a bit soggy at the base when I unmoulded it 2 hours after baking. It rose beautifully for the first 30 minutes of baking but I made the biggest mistakes in cake-making, which is opening the oven door while the cake is baking inside. I was so afraid that the water will dry up so I opened the door to add it hot water. Big mistake. Regretted doing that as the water level is about the same after the whole baking process. Second mistake. The water seeps into my springform baking tin which made the sides and base a little soggy. I realised that to avoid this situation, I should have wrapped aluminium foil around it before placing it in the water bath. Luckily the cake is still edible and quite nice in fact. Just that is not soft and fluffy, rather it is a bit on the dense side. My family still finished the whole cake. I will try it again. Hee hee.

My First, considered successful, Chiffon Cake

I haven't been really successful in cake making. I only started baking in September 2008 so I guess I need more failures before I can have a taste of success. As this week I have more free time, I decided to try baking a chiffon cake. I browse through a couple of blogs. Initially, I wanted to make a pandan flavour one but I am afraid that this bottle of essence will sit in the fridge until it expires. Since I have cocoa powder that will be expiring in May, I decided to hunt for a chocolate chiffon cake. Then I came across the chocolate marble chiffon cake from Cooking Crave. Her cake looks so beautiful. I decided to make this but omitted the marbling effect as I think I better keep it simple. This is how my cake looks like.

As I have experienced so many sunken cakes, I was so afraid that I might over-mix my batter. So I folded in the egg white very carefully and decided to stop folding it after all the egg white was covered by the batter. But actually there was still lumps of egg white in it which formed the white patches that you see in the picture. Luckily it did not affect the taste. It is moist and soft. Not too sweet. My mum says she loves it. So encouraging. It is a good attempt for me at least it is recognisable as a chiffon cake, unlike my previous attempts. 加油!:)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm back.

I have neglected my blog for about 5 months. I was so busy in November, preparing for my wedding, went for my honeymoon in December. After honeymoon, I spent quite a while adapting to my new life whereby I need to do all the household chores on top of my work. Luckily my hubby did help out with me. But I am still in the process of getting use to it.

However, I did not gave up my love - baking. I did bake and try out new recipes but I recorded down in my traditional diary as I am not an IT savvy person. Now that I have my own kitchen, I spent the whole day there whenever I am free.

Yesterday, I made Red Dates Longan Konnyaku Jelly. My mum gave me lots of red dates and dried longan and told me to brew it to drink. According to her, it will build up my immunity. I was to busy to do so. Since they were sitting in my fridge for so long, I decided to whip up a jelly with them.

First, I threw 12 red dates and 48 pieces of dried longan into 1.2l of water and brew it for about half and hour. Threw away the red dates and longan as they were tasteless. Measured 950ml of the longan drink, together with 210g of black sugar, 24 pieces of new dried longan and the jelly powder, I stirred it over medium fire until it boiled. Off the fire and stir the mixture till there was no more bubbles. It filled up 3 standard konnyaku jelly trays. Chill before serving.

The taste is refreshing and taste just like the red dates longan tea that you drink . I placed a piece of longan in each jelly to add in some crunch. If you want to get a red pyramid for your jelly, you may reduce the sugar by 30g. Haha. I think it is really good if you add black sugar instead of castor sugar in order for your jelly to taste authentic. Haha. My family loves it. I accept each comments that they gave me. Be it positive or negative ones. It helps me to do better next time. Baking is a lifelong learning process. And I love it.