26 September 2010

Cocoberry Muffins (Eggless)

Here's another batch of eggless muffins, adapted from my Eggless Double Choc Chip recipe.
Why is it called Cocoberry? Because I threw in coconut and cranberries into the batter. 

I'm beginning to really like this eggless recipe. It's so so so so so quick and easy, and the fact that it's cholesterol-free is a real plus!

Alright, enough 'talking'. Here's the recipe:

The Wet Stuff:
125ml milk
50ml oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond essence (optional)

The Dry Stuff:
110g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
50g white sugar
20g brown sugar
2 tbs desiccated coconut (or to preference)
30-40g dried cranberries (or raisins)
30g nuts (I used sliced almonds)

1 - Combine wet stuff.
2 - Combine dry stuff.
3 - Pour wet stuff into dry stuff, and mix till just combined. Batter will be lumpy. Do not overmix. 
4 - Pour into muffin cups or liners.
5 - Bake for 190 degC for 13-15 min till done. 

If you like your muffins with soft tops, cool them on a wire rack with a tea towel over them. Cooling them the usual way in the open will give you firmer, crusty tops. 

21 September 2010

Looks are deceiving...

Remember my Eggless Double Choc Chip Cupcakes?
I revisited this recipe today 'cos I had such a crappy day at work, I felt I needed a treat to cheer myself up.

Using my new silicone moulds in various shapes - round, heart, triangle, star - I quickly whipped up this batter and gleefully poured them in the moulds. After 15 minutes in the oven, and what seemed like the longest 20 minutes waiting for them to cool down, I finally sank my teeth into a soft, fluffy, chocolatey star shaped piece.  

Okay, feeling a little better now :)

And in all honesty, they really do taste better than they look. 

Damn, I really need a new camera.

19 September 2010

Crisco Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband thought I went mad when I bought 2 huge cans of 1.36kg butter-flavoured Crisco. But it was a really really good deal (50% off), and I didn't want to miss this offer...

So now with almost 3kg of shortening in the pantry, that Crisco cookie recipe was just calling out to me. 

Recipe (adapted from Crisco website):

165g butter-flavoured Crisco
170g brown sugar
2 tbs milk
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 egg
225g flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
100g milk chocolate chips
30g white chocolate chips
40g ground peanuts

1 - Beat Crisco, sugar, milk and vanilla till well combined.
2 - Add egg and mix well.
3 - Add flour, salt and baking soda will just combined.
4 - Stir in choc chips and nuts. Add more or less according to your preference. 
5 - Roll cookie dough into small balls and place on ungreased baking tray.
6 - Bake at 190 degC for 8-10 min for chewy cookies; 11-13 min for crispy cookies. If you're using a dark pan, reduce the temperature by 10-20 degC. 

Join me for tea?

Raspberry Jam Cheesecake

Here it is, my fellow bakers... the 2nd cheesecake of the week. 
This is a really simple yet attractive cake for any party!

With a Digestives crust, just bake a basic cheesecake (recipe here), and let it chill overnight in the fridge. For the jam topping, just take about 1/2 cup of your favourite jam, add a couple of tsp of water (unless your jam is already runny), and warm it up till it's a more liquid consistency.  Pour over the top of your cheesecake and smoothen with a spatula if necessary. Back into the fridge it goes for at least half hour to set.

If you fancy, you could even dress it with fresh fruit. Have a go!

18 September 2010

Mocha Marble Cheesecake

This week is cheesecake week.

Cheesecake #1 - Mocha Marble Cheesecake (special order from a relative)
Cheesecake #2 - Raspberry Cheesecake (for a potluck party)

The recipe is not complicated. All you need is the basic cheesecake recipe, divide the batter in 2 parts, and add the following into one part:
- 90g chocolate
- 2 tsp instant coffee powder
- about 4-5 tbs whipping cream
(combine all the above till smooth bain marie)
*Note: This amount was used for a 3-egg recipe. 

The tedious part is the marbling; but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty quick. Alternate spoonfuls of each batter into the middle of the pan. (This is how you get the kueh lapis-like layers at the side.) When all the batter is in the pan, use a chopstick and drag it through the batter in any pattern you fancy. Be careful not to overdo it, or the colours will combine altogether. 

Have fun!

Look out for my next post on the Raspberry Cheesecake.....

13 September 2010

Banana Walnut Cake

This is another favourite of mine :)
Bananas and walnuts make such a great combination, don't you agree?
I made this on Sunday afternoon, and by the next morning, it was all gone!

This recipe makes a soft and very moist cake.

1 egg
30g brown sugar
30g white sugar
1 tbs condensed milk
3 tbs yoghurt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
90 ml oil
1 banana, mashed
125g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

20g walnuts, crushed and dusted with flour
3-4 tbs ground peanuts for topping

1 - Cream egg and sugars till light and creamy.
2 - Add condensed milk, yoghurt, vanilla essence, cinnamon and oil. Mix well.
3 - Add mashed bananas and mix well.
4 - Sift flour and baking powder into egg mixture and mix till just combined.
5 - Fold in walnuts.
6 - Pour into 6" square pan (greased and floured). Sprinkle peanuts on top of batter.

7 - Bake at 160 degC for about 30 min till a tester comes out clean.

12 September 2010

Oreo Cocoa Cheesecake

Oreo Crust, for 8" cake:
150g Oreos, finely crushed
45g shortening or butter, melted

Combine Oreos and butter, and press into base of prepared pan.
Optional: Bake at 170 degC for 8 minutes.
Allow crust to set in the fridge or freezer while you prepare the filling.

Cheesecake Filling:
(I made a really small portion so my cake turned out really short.  For an average height cheesecake, use a 3 or 4-egg recipe.)

400g cream cheese
100g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

1 - Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract till smooth.
2 - Add eggs one at a time and mix well till smooth and creamy.
3 - Pour on top of Oreo crust and spread mixture evenly.
4 - Bake in a water bath at 150 degC for about 30 min till the centre is almost set.

5 - Allow cake to cool in the oven with the door ajar for about half hour. When completely cool, cover with tin foil and chill for at least 4 hours.
6 - When cheesecake is set, carefully unmould by using the tin foil to lift the cake out of the pan.
7 - To decorate, place stencil (or just a cooling rack) above the cake and dust generously with cocoa powder.

11 September 2010

It's Finally Here!!

Thanks Mom & Dad  :)

Matcha Cake with Red Bean Icing

Japanese dinner means Japanese dessert. 
Great opportunity to try my hand at green tea (matcha) cake. The original recipe called for green tea icing as well, but I thought that'd be OD-ing on green tea. So I improvised and created my own red bean icing instead.

Whoever thought of pairing green tea with red beans is a genius! The 2 flavours complement each other so well, it's amazing. I couldn't find adzuki beans, so I got the normal local red beans. Still tasted good, but I bet adzuki would really be awesome!

For a small 6" square cake:
40g plain flour
45g cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp green tea (matcha) powder
60g sugar
80ml oil
80ml plain yoghurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

1 - Sift all powdered ingredients. Mix well. Set aside.
2 - Beat sugar, oil and egg until smooth. Add vanilla extract.
3 - Gradually beat in flour, alternating with yoghurt. Mix well.
4 - Bake at 170 degC for about 30-35 min till done. Cool completely before icing.

Red Bean Icing:
100g dried red beans
About 6 tbs icing sugar

1 - Boil red beans with enough water to cover all  beans.
2 - Stop cooking when beans are soft. Set aside to cool. Then mash beans up with a blender till you get a fine paste. Add water by teaspoonfuls if required to get a smooth but thick consistency.
3 - When cooled completely, transfer to mixer and beat together with icing sugar. Adjust amount according to desired sweetness and texture.
4 - Chill for about half hour before spreading on cake.

In my mind, I had the vision of a moist crumbly cake (somewhat like a pound cake) with stiff icing. How nice that would be!

But it didn't quite turn out that way. (Fortunately the taste was ok.) I figured it had to be the cake method used for this recipe. By mixing the oil, sugar and egg first, it resulted in a texture similar to steamed sponge cakes. Next time, I'm trying this again with a pound or butter cake, or even a genoise sponge, method.

Stay tuned...

P.S.  A much better recipe of green tea (matcha) cake can be found on my Green Tea Swiss Roll post.


Craisin Nut Bread

I've been wanting to try a fruit and nut wholemeal loaf for a while. So when I stumbled upon a wholemeal bread pre-mix, I decided I'd give it a try. After all, the instructions looked pretty easy - mix the flour and yeast (included in pack), add water, knead, proof for an hour, then bake. 

So while kneading, I added cranberries + raisins = craisins, and some pumpkin and sunflower seeds. 

While the flavour was great (the fruits and nuts really jazzed up the bread), the texture left much to be desired - it was dense and heavy. Perhaps it was because the dough was proofed only once. But then, I followed instructions...

Oh well, next time, I'm going back to my good ol' traditional bread recipe, and take time to proof it twice. Lesson learnt: no short cuts to good baking. You just have to be patient; short cuts don't get you good results.

06 September 2010

Mini Pound Cakes

with Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds

I couldn't wait to try out my new mini bundt mould, and I was craving for pound cake. So without further hesitation, I whipped up some pound cake batter and into the bundt mould it went. 

90g butter (I used butter-flavoured Crisco + 3 tsp water)
30g sugar
pinch of salt
90ml condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 small eggs (45g each)

90g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
cranberries and pumpkin seeds (a big handful of each)

1 - Cream all of (A) except eggs till light and fluffy.
2 - Add eggs one at a time. Mix till well combined.
3 - Add all of (B) and mix till batter is smooth.
4 - Bake for 170 degC for 16-18 min till done.

Four simple steps!
Can it get any easier?

Mini Chocolate Macarons

Making macarons must have been one of my most challenging bakes. I can't recall when I started liking macarons but these little colourful domes sandwiched with creamy fillings are just so adorable! Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, these delectable treats are incredibly hard to make to perfection.

The ingredients are simple - egg whites, almond meal and sugar. The steps are minimal - whisk whites till stiff and shiny, fold in almond meal and sugar, pipe and bake. But virtually any step in the whole process could go wrong. I've baked macarons that had empty shells, were feetless, cracked on the surface, had batter that oozed out from the shells, were overdone till hard as rocks ... and many more misadventures.

Anyway, my last weekend was all about macarons. After a disastrous batch of macarons on Saturday, I was determined to try again on Sunday. This time round, my mini chocolate macarons turned out to be rather successful, which boosted my morale a bit. I made them tiny, about 2 cm each in diameter so they were pretty cute.

My ingredients are:

  • Almond meal: 70g
  • Pure icing sugar: 160g
  • Egg whites: 2 medium eggs
  • Caster sugar: 30g
  • Cocoa powder: 20g
  • Sift almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Whisk egg whites till foamy, add caster sugar and continue whisking till stiff peaks and shiny.
  • Fold in the powder in 3 batches.
  • Pipe into circle shapes on baking sheet.
  • Let it rest for about half an hour till the surface of the batter is dry.
  • Pre heat oven at 200 deg.
  • Bake at 200 deg for 2 minutes (the feet should start appearing). Lower temperature to 150 deg and continue baking for about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat further to 130 deg and continue baking for about 2 minutes.
Tip: Sometimes, it is hard to remove macarons from the baking sheet even after they are completely cooled. To remove them easily, place the baking sheet with hot macarons on a surface sprayed with water as soon as they are out of the oven.

04 September 2010

The Real Carrot Cake

So here it is, the carrot cake made to order...
(I hope it tastes better than it looks.)

Still a long way to go in piping and decorating...

02 September 2010

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm not a fan of carrot cake. But this was a special request that I could not refuse. So, to make sure that the real cake turns out just right, I made some trial cakes. To my surprise, they turned out rather good  :)  I may just start liking carrot cake...

Ingredients for about 9 mini-cakes:
35g walnuts, chopped
125 carrots, finely grated
100g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 small eggs (45g each with shell)
70g sugar
90ml oil
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 - Whisk eggs for about a minute or so till fluffy.
2 - Gradually add sugar till mixture is light coloured. 
3 - Gradually add oil and vanilla, and mix well.
4 - Add flour and other powdered ingredients and mix till just incorporated. 
5 - Fold in nuts and carrots.
6 - Bake at 180 degC for about 18 min. Cool completely before frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting:
(Only about half was used for these 9 mini-cakes.)
25g butter
100g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon
* Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

1 - With a mixer, beat cream and butter on low speed till smooth and creamy.
2 - Gradually add icing sugar and blend till well combined.
3 - Add vanilla and lemon zest.

When cakes are no longer warm, generously spread cream cheese frosting on top of each cake and top with a nice looking walnut. What a huge difference a little frosting makes!

01 September 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes & Rocky Road Brownies

Time really flies! I was so busy with work the last week, I just realised it has been over a week since my last post. 

I did get some baking done over the weekend - I was all too happy to bake a big batch of cupcakes for my sis-in-law's 21st birthday. I'd never done such a big batch before, and had never done frosting. But a promise is a promise, so Saturday night was spent baking the cuppies, and Sunday morning playing with frosting and sprinkles. It was also the perfect excuse for me to pick up the Wilton set of 12 icing colours  :) 

So we decided we'd make 2 flavours - plain vanilla and rocky road brownie. Plus 2 types of frosting, this is gonna be a fairly long post...


140g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g sugar
50g oil
120ml milk

1 - Sift flour, baking powder and salt two times. Set aside.
2 - Whisk eggs till light and fluffy.
3 - Gradually add vanilla and sugar and continue beating till batter is glossy.
4 - Combine oil and milk, and heat till just before it boils.
5 - With a balloon whisk, gently fold in flour, alternating with milk mixture.
6 - Bake at 160 degC for about 15 min or until done.


120g semi-sweet chocolate
110g butter
150g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
100g plain flour
chopped walnuts, as much as you like
mini marshmallows, as much as you like

1 - Melt chocolate and butter bain marie. Stir till smooth. Set aside to cool. 
2 - With a mixer, combine chocolate mixture, sugar, and vanilla. 
3 - Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
4 - Add flour and mix well. Then fold in walnuts and marshmallows. 
5 - Bake at 160 degC for about 18-20 min, or until you get moist crumbs from the centre. Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting. 


120g semi-sweet chocolate
120g butter
100g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 - Melt chocolate bain marie. Set aside to cool.
2 - With a mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
3 - Add sugar and vanilla and beat till light and fluffy.
4 - Add chocolate and beat on low speed until well combined. Then increase speed to medium-high and beat till frosting is smooth and glossy.


75g shortening
150g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
450g icing sugar, sifted

1 - Cream shortening, butter and vanilla till smooth and well combined.
2 - Gradually add sugar and continue beating.
3 - When you reach the desired consistency, stop adding sugar.
4 - Divide frosting into smaller batches, add colouring and mix well.