Monday, September 29, 2014

Expresso Pecan Brownies

Let's chase away this Monday blues with this chocolaty and moist pecan brownies! Great with along a glass of cold milk or for a more sinful treat, top with a huge dollop of vanilla ice-cream! 


  • 80gm dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 90gm unsalted butter
  • 80gm plain flour
  • 30gm cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp Nescafe coffee granules
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 150gm sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 50ml sour cream
  • 1 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped 
  • 1/3 cup mini dark chocolates chips for topping
  • 12 whole toasted pecans for topping


  1. In a medium bowl combine butter and chocolate. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally till chocolate is well dissolved. Cool down slightly.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and sour cream and whisk till mixture is smooth. Add chocolate mixture and stir till will combined.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, coffee granules and salt over, fold lightly till well blended. Fold in pecans.
  4. Pour batter into a fully lined pan and spread evenly. Press whole pecan lightly on top of the batter. Sprinkle chocolate chips over.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 35 mins. Leave brownies in pan to cool. Cut into 12 squares .

I'm joining Best Recipes for Everyone September 2014 Event Theme: Chocolate Wonderland hosted by Fion of XuanHom's Mom.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Salted Caramel Apple Pound Cake

Yummy... another apple cake to share! Actually is the salted caramel that is the centre of attraction ;) Now I know why some of you are so crazy over this sweet salty sticky caramel sauce! I'm sold too hahaha....Back to this cake, if you have sharp eyes you will notice the ugly crack surfaces on the cake. Oops it got disfigured by me as I did not do a proper job in preparing my silicon bundt pan thus making it difficult to unmould after baking :( Lesson learnt, do not be lazy, greased and floured the bundt cake pan properly before using!

Lovely nutty caramel flavour of this cake, the texture looks rather compact but it is very moist and tender!

The process of making....

Before & After

  • 120gm unsalted butter
  • 100gm castor sugar
  • 100gm light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce + 1/4 cup for drizzle
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 120gm plain flour
  • 240gm cake flour
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced (lightly coat with some of the flour above)

  1. Using a electric whisk, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in caramel sauce till well blended.
  2. Add in eggs, one at a time, beat till well incorporated. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Sift in the dry ingredients, in 3 batches, folding in alternate with the milk, ending with flour at the end. 
  4. Add in apples and fold lightly till evenly distributed.
  5. Pour batter into a well greased and floured bundt pan. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Remove cake from oven and cool in pan for 10mins. Gently unmould the onto a serving plate and cool down completely.  Drizzle 1/4 cup of salted caramel sauce over the top.  Slice and serve.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Apple Lady Apple Cake

I was browsing through my blog and realised I did not do much bakes with apples, only an apple muffins I've did a couple of years back and the most recent ones were apple cheddar galette and  mini rose apple tart :) Actually there are several ways of incorporating fresh apples into cakes, each giving different texture and taste. So I decided to bake a cake that is filled with lots of apples...really lots of apples! :) I've first saw this recipe at Lena's blog, I really loved the look of the cake which have layers of apples in between. Unlike usual sponge cake, it tasted more like a pudding cake, moist and custardy....indeed a very nice cake to serve as afternoon tea! 

Recipe source : One Perfect Bite
  • 60gm plain flour
  • 60gm sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • finely slivered zest of 1 lemon
  • 900gm baking apple, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
  • 60gm sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • finely slivered zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg cel. Line a 8" square pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, stir to blend.
  3. Add in vanilla, eggs, oil, milk and lemon zest, stir well to combine. 
  4. Add apples and stir to coat them with batter. Spoon the mixture into prepared cake pan. 
  5. Bake in oven for 35-40 mins until fairly firm and golden.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Combine all the topping ingredients and mix well. Remove cake from oven and pour the mixture over. 
  7. Return cake to oven and bake until top is deep golden brown, for about 10-15mins.
  8. Cool cake in pan for 10mins. Unmould onto a serving plate, slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chinese Braised Peanuts

Let's have something light for lunch today! Simple Teochew Muay (潮州糜) with simple light dishes  to go along :D One of my boy's favourite dish is Chinese braised peanuts. He can easily polish up a whole canned braised peanuts if I do not stop him! hahaha Luckily his little sister did not fight with him for this dish as she simply don't touch it at all! As I do not have a pressure cooker, it took rather a long time to achieve a really soft texture by cooking over stove. Though they are not as soft as canned version one, it still tasted very delicious as they were fully infused with spice flavours after long hours of braising. 

Raw peanuts and spices 

Recipe source : My Kitchen Snippets
  • 200gm peanuts - soak overnight
  • 2 pieces tong gui 当归
  • 1 piece dried orange peel
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 pieces rock sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

  1. Rinse soaked peanuts and drain well.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a pot with some water (completely submerge the nuts) and bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until the peanuts are soft, about 2 hours. 
  4. Serve braised peanuts warm or at room temperature.

A warm and hearty bowl of porridge with braised peanuts, preserved radish omelette, grilled chicken and 油麦菜

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apple Stuffed French Toast

Waking up to a chilling cozy morning after a heavy downpour! Wanting to clear the balanced apple cinnamon filling I've made last week, I made it into a stuffed french toast inspired by Martha Stewart :)   Warm, sweet apple stuffed french toast with along a cup of earl grey tea, what a simple delicious breakfast to start the day!

Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart's video HERE and HERE
Ingredient (2 servings)
  • 2/3 cup Apple Cinnamon Filling
  • 4 slices bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

  1. Heat pan with some olive oil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. 
  3. Add in zests, lemon juice, vanilla, salt & sugar. Mix well.
  4. Dip bread slices into egg mixture.  Quickly lay it on a shallow plate.
  5. Spoon apple cinnamon filling over, dip another slice of bread with egg mixture and put it on top of the apples.
  6. Gently slide it onto heated pan and pan fried over medium low heat until bottom is well browned. Flip to the other side and fry till brown. Remove and repeat with the remaining bread slices.
  7. Serve warm with icing sugar and honey.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

潮州肉脞面 Teochew Bak Chor Mee

I was actually pondering for quite a while whether to attempt this Teochew bak chor mee as it involves quite a few process in preparing all the ingredients! The pot of good stock base and braising of  the mushroom took quite some time, therefore I've prepared the stock and mushroom the day before.  Follow then is the preparation of a list of side toppings! Marinating the pork fillet/minced pork, pan fried fishcakes/fishballs, homemade fried shallots/oil...Oh I did not prepare sambal chilli paste (no time) nor any lard oil/bak yew pok (fried lard), you may think this bowl of noodle will lack the 'oomph' without the lard. For healthier option I replaced it with my homemade shallots oil, together with the gravy from the braised mushroom and lots of black vinegar, it is more than enough to flavour up the noodle :D 

Yah my little kitchen became like a mini war zone after all the preparation work hahaha...but is worth the effort after seeing my little ones polished up their plate to the bottom ^.*

I've used premium dried shiitake mushroom (花菇) which has a better fragrance and thicker flesh.

Slowly stewing in a small slow cooker. I managed to fill up the pot with 20 dried shiitake mushroom and 2.5 cups water. 

This is how the texture becomes after stewing over 8 hours! So soft and bursting with flavours! 

This amount for this braised mushroom is definitely too much for 4 servings. It took quite some time to cook, therefore it is more cost effective to prepare large amount and freeze it if necessary! 

Braised Mushroom
  • 20 premium dried shiitake mushroom, soaked till soften
  • 1 bulb garlic, rinsed
  • 5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2.5 cups water

  1. Remove the hard stem of the softened mushroom, place all ingredients including the soaking water, in a medium pot. Bring to boil. 
  2. Transfer the mixture into a small slow cooker and stew for 6 hours. Remove the mushroom and cool down. Slice the mushroom thinly and return to the slow cooker. Continue to stew for another 2-3 hours till the gravy thickens and mushroom is tenderly soft. 

I've prepared the below ingredients enough for 4 pax...

Meat & Other Toppings
  • 150gm minced pork (with at least 30% fats)*
  • 150gm pork fillet, thinly sliced*
  • pig liver,  thinly sliced
  • braised mushroom
  • pork meatballs
  • fish cake, fried & thinly sliced
  • assorted fried fish balls
  • dried sole fish, fried till golden brown
  • lettuce
  • spring onions
  • fried shallots
* Marinate each minced pork and pork fillet with 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 tsp cornflour

Noodle Preparations (1 serving)
  • 70gm fresh Mee Pok/ Mee Kia Noodles
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shallot oil
  • 2 tbsp dark vinegar, or to taste
  • 2 tsp crunchy chilli pepper, sambal chilli paste or ketchup, to taste
  • 2 tbsp gravy from braised mushroom
  • 2 tbsp stock

  1. Combine noodle seasoning in a serving bowl. Mix well. Cook the noodle and meat ingredients  simultaneously over 2 stoves if you can manage!
  2. Place some stock and pork meatballs into a medium pot and bring to boil. Put adequate amount of minced meat, sliced pork and liver into a sieve. Lower the sieve into the boiling stock and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Cooking the noodle : Prepare a large pot of water for cooking the noodle and large bowl of icy cold water for blanching. When the water has come to a rolling boil, place the noodle in a big sieve and lower it into the boiling water and cook for 2 mins. Shake away excess water and quickly dunk into the icy water to remove the excess starch. Briefly cook again in boiling hot water for another half minute. Drain well and slide the noodle into the bowl of seasoning. Toss well to combine.
  4. When the meat are cooked, place it over the noodle. 
  5. Top with rest of the ingredients and serving immediately with a bowl of the soup. 
Recipe largely adapted from Tummy Troll

The seasoning for the noodles...more black vinegar please! ^0^

Toss the sauce evenly with the cooked Mee Pok

Blanching the meat ingredients with the soup base

Assemble the rest of the ingredients onto the noodle and serve right away! 

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #11 Sept 2014 : Singapore hosted by Life can be Simple

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

肉脞面 Bak Chor Mee (Soup Version)

Have you patronise the popular Bak Chor Mee stalls located Bedok Fengshan Food Center? You will be spoilt with choices as there are 3 stalls near to each other selling this noodle soup...yes only soup version is available, not the Teochew style Bak Chor Mee! It's been a long time since I visited the stalls after I shifted out of Bedok area :) Fret not, I shall try to replicate one in my little kitchen ^0^ This noodle soup looks rather simple with just lots of minced pork and pork meatballs. The main important component actually lies on the soup base! Let's find out what are the ingredients needed in this simple and yet wholesome tasty soupy Bak Chor Mee :D

Ingredients for the stock base soybeans, dried anchovies, chicken bones, pork bones and dried sole fish

A pot of awesomeness after simmering for 6 hours
Simple toppings for the noodle soup, just marinated minced pork and pork meatballs

Cooking the minced pork and pork balls in the stock base. No additional seasonings added, only dash of shallot oil and pepper

Cooking the fresh Mee Kia (wonton) noodles

Combine everything into a serving bowl and ready to dig in! Try it today and see whether you like this soupy Bak Chor Mee? Though mine may not taste exactly like the 85 famous stalls but I'm glad I've tried this out ^0^

Recipe by Peng's Kitchen
Soup Base
  • 500gm pork bones
  • 2 sets chicken carcass
  • 100gm soy beans, soaked overnight
  • 50gm dried anchovies, rinsed
  • 1 dried sole fish, pan fried till golden brown

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in pork bones and chicken carcass and boil for a minute. Drain away water and rinse well.
  2. Add all ingredients into a large stock pot, add in 3.5L water. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 6 hours. Strain the stock and discard the ingredients. For a less greasy stock, you may cool down the stock and chill it overnight. Scoop away the top layer grease before reheating for use.

Soupy Bak Chor Mee (Minced Pork Noodle Soup)
Ingredient (4 servings)
  • 280gm fresh Mee Kia noodles (about 70gm per serving)
  • 24 pcs pork meatballs
  • 200gm minced pork (preferably with at least 30% fats)
  • fried shallots/ shallot oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • spring onion, for garnishing
  • sliced red chilli, for garnishing

  1. Marinate minced pork with all the seasoning and mix till a sticky paste is formed. Chill in fridge for at least 30mins.
  2. To cook the noodle (1 serving at a time) : Prepare a large pot of water for cooking the noodle and large bowl of icy cold water for blanching. When the water has come to a rolling boil, place the noodle in a big sieve and lower it into the boiling water and cook for 2 mins. Shake away excess water and quickly dunk into the icy water to remove the excess starch. Briefly cook again in boiling hot water for another half minute. Drain well and place into a serving bowl. Toss evenly with 1/2 tbsp of shallot oil.
  3. Meanwhile place a cup of stock into a saucepan and bring to boil. Add in 6 pork meatballs and  2 spoonful of marinated minced pork. Stir and break up the pork pieces. Drizzle in some shallot oil and dash of pepper. Cook for about 3 mins. Pour the soup into the prepared noodle and stir lightly to mix. Garnish with spring onion, fried shallots and red chilli. Serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #11 Sept 2014 : Singapore hosted by Life can be Simple

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hawthorn Apple Tea 山楂苹果茶

Oh my goodness....the haze is back!!! Hope it won't get worse as the days comes by >.<" Meanwhile let's drink more water to stay well hydrate. Bore with plain water, try this lovely sweet hawthorn apple tea.  We love to serve it chilled, refreshing and bursting with apple fragrant! :D

  • 40gm dried hawthorns
  • 6 small red apples
  • 50gm rock sugar, or to taste
  • 8 cups water

  1. Rinse dried hawthorns a few times. Soak in some water for 15 mins. Drain away water and rinse briefly.
  2. Peel and core apple. Cut into quarters.
  3. Put hawthorns and apple in a pot with 8 cups water. Bring to boil. Cook over medium low heat for about 45 mins. Add rock sugar to taste and simmer till sugar is well dissolved.
  4. Serve warm or chilled.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


This is another new pastry I've learnt if I did not come across this month theme for  Bake Along #68 - Popovers! I never eaten or seen a popover so google is my best friend to find out more hehehe ^.* Popover is actually an American version of Yorkshire pudding which is origin from England. It is made of egg, flour and milk, very simple ingredients required. The batter is then pour into a special popovers pan or just a muffin pan. The result is a light, crisp and hollow roll  which can be served with meat roast or as a dessert. 

Ingredient (6 popovers)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm fresh milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 95gm plain flour
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 230 deg cel. Grease 6 metal muffin cups.
  2. Break eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk lightly. Add in salt. Gradually beat in warm milk and whisking at the same time.
  3. Add in all the flour and beat till frothy. Stir in olive oil and combine quickly.
  4. Pour batter into the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 mins until puff up.
  5. Reduce temperature to 180 deg cel and bake for another 15-20 mins until they are golden brown.
  6. Remove the popovers from the muffin pans and serve while it still crisp and warm.

Serving the warm Popovers with Strawberry Jam and Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce!

Strawberry Butter
* 90gm butter
* 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
- Beat butter and strawberry preserve till light and creamy. Use immediately.

Homemade Salted Caramel
* 200gm granulated sugar
* 90gm salted butter, thinly sliced
* 120ml double cream
* 1 tsp salt

- Heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. It will comes into a crumbs, just keep stirring.
- Once sugar is completely melted into a thick brown liquid, add in the butter. Mixture will bubble rapidly. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely dissolved.
- Drizzle in the double cream and stir to combine. Boil the mixture for 1 min.
- Remove from heat and stir in tsp of salt. Cool down before using.
- Can be stored in air-tight glass container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm up the caramel briefly before using.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nasi Lemak & Sambal Ikan Bilis

Nasi Lemak is a popular rice dish which can be served all day long. It is usually comes with simple fried fish, omelette, fried peanuts/anchovies and the sambal chilli paste/sambal ikan bilis! But in Singapore Chinese cooked stall, you can see that there are varieties of other side dishes like fried chicken, hotdogs, fish cake,luncheon meat, stir-fry cabbage/long beans....But I still prefer the simple Malay style, just omelette, fried peanuts and huge dollop of sambal ikan bilis will do! Looks intimidating to come out with this platter of Nasi Lemak? It is actually very simple and uncomplicated as the sambal ikan bills and fried peanuts can be prepared in advance and kept for several days. On the day itself, I just need to prepare the steamed coconut milk rice, fried the fish and egg. In no time a plate of irresistible Nasi Lemak is ready to be served!

1st step....making of sambal ikan bills which can be made in advance and chill in fridge till serve

Preparing the coconut milk rice....submerge the washed rice in coconut milk, water, garlic, shallots, ginger, salt and of course pandan leaves! Steam till rice is cooked and liquid absorbed.

Sambal Ikan Bilis (Anchovies)
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste (dissolved in 1 cup water)
  • 1 cup dried anchovies
  • 10 dried red chilli, briefly soaked in water to soften
  • 2" belachan (prawn paste)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar, or to taste

  1. Wash the dried anchovies and drain away the water. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan. Pan fry the anchovies until they are lightly brown and crisp. Set aside.
  2. Remove the seeds from the dried chills. Place the chilli, shallots, garlic, prawn paste into a food processor. Blend into a fine paste.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in pan and sauté the chilli paste till fragrant for about 5 mins.
  4. Add in sliced onion and fry till onion is softened.
  5. Stir in 3/4 cup of the tamarind juice. Add salt and sugar to taste. Simmer over low heat until the gravy thickens. 
  6. Stir in fried anchovies. If mixture is too dry, stir in remaining tamarind juice. Add in more sugar to taste if necessary.
  7. Remove and set aside. Cool completely before chilling in fridge if necessary.

Coconut Milk Steamed Rice
  • 2 cups rice
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 250ml water
  • 2 slices ginger, lightly crushed
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • dash of black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 3 pandan leaves, knotted

  1. Wash, rinse and drain the rice. Combine all the ingredients evenly in the rice cooker, if using. Cook as usual.
  2. Alternatively : Place the rice ingredients over a preheated steamer and steam over medium high heat for 15 mins till rice is cooked through and liquid absorbed.
  3. Rest rest for 15 mins. Remove pandan leaves and fluff up the rice. Serve with sambal ikan bills,  turmeric ikan kembong, fried peanuts and omelette.

Simple side dishes...Turmeric Ikan Kembong. Clean the fish thoroughly and season with some turmeric powder and salt, then pan-fry till crisp and golden brown on each sides.

Homemde Fried Peanuts and Anchovies...just rinse the dried peanuts and anchovies and drain well. Place on kitchen paper to dry them up. Deep fry individually till crispy and lightly brown. Toss them together evenly with some salt. Cool and store in air-tight container.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #11 Sept 2014 : Singapore hosted by Life can be Simple

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