Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pineapple tarts (enclosed version)

This is the second year I baked pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year.  Instead of the open version, I decided to attempt the enclosed ones adapting a different receipe from Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.   Because I used the real butter SCS butter instead of Buttercup, the result was buttery and milky which somewhat overpower the the taste of the pineapple paste.  Nevertheless, it was so much tastier than the pineapple tarts I baked last year.  On a separate note, I do not reckon the receipe is the melt-in-your-mouth type.  Nevertheless, it was yummy and definitely a keeper!

(Upated 2 Feb 2018: When the tarts were freshly baked straight out of the oven, it actually have the 'melt-in-your-mouth' crust, literally 'pop' on the first bite (if you get what I mean).   The next day, it did not have the melty taste.  Rather crumbly.)

I baked these 3 weeks before the Chinese New Year so that I could give some to my friend, Hazel to try.  I was absolutely grateful for her comments and those from her family members:

"For me, I like it that it's not so sweet, tastes like a healthy version of those sold outside.  However, personally, I thought I taste more cheese in it, or is it juz butter?  I'm not sure.  I'd prefer less, but that's juz me, my other family members do not feel this way.  Also, it would be great if it has more crust on top, ie if the golden yellow part on top would look and taste nicer, also my personal opinion.  Otherwise, it's almost perfect!"

Thank you Hazel for her generous and kind words that put me on cloud nine.

Receipe adapted from Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover
350g butter*
100g condensed milk
2 egg yolks
510g plain flour

1 egg yolk + 1 tsp milk for egg wash

700g pineapple fillings**

* I used unsalted SCS butter
** Store bought Redman pineapple paste (AAA grade) from Phoon Huat which includes the core of pineapple (less sweet)

Store bought pineapple paste (AAA grade) from Phoon Huat

Saturday, August 5, 2017

52nd National Day 2017

Two years ago, Singapore celebrated its jubilee year, 50th birthday, at the Marina Bay platform. The RSAF (Republic of Singapore Air Force) put up a mind blowing aerobatic show featuring F16s fighter plane from the Black Knights.  What we were missing was the Red Lions due to bad weather.  Two weeks ago, we were back at Marina Bay where we stood at the same place but different spot awaiting for the National Day aerial fly-past.  Great weather despite hot and humid.  It was awesome sight when the Red Lions parachuting down right above us.   In coincide with NS50 (50th year milestone of national service of Singapore), F15s fighter plane were used and flew by NS men pilots.  The heart pounding moment was the entire aerial fly-past appeared so close to audience.  Fantastic performance indeed!  We did not stay for the fireworks as we had two years ago because it was a nightmare getting out of the place at the end of the firework show. 

Happy 52nd birthday, Singapore!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Blanched broccoli floret
Dried prune
Chicken ball
Steamed pumpkin (seasoned with soya sauce and mirin)
Carrot flower
Rice ball


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Craneberry yogurt chiffon cake

I have a soft spot for cotton, fluffy, spongy cake.  Whenever I have such craving, I will treat myself with the pandan chiffon cake from Bengawan Solo.  But I have never thought of baking one. Last year, whilst I was browsing aimlessly at Phoon Huat shop at Woodlands with my mum, I spotted some 17cm tube pans.  I bought it and started experimenting chiffon cakes since. 

I have attempted pandan chiffon, a tea flavor chiffon using TWG fruity tea leaves (gifted by our niece) and also, matcha powder which my hubby bought it in Tokyo during his business trip.  The recipe I tried used 3 eggs whites without cream of tartar.  And I beat the meringue till soft peak.  All of my chiffon cakes failed to raise resulting a rather dense and short cake. 

This craneberry yogurt chiffon cake, however, rose well and was taller than all the previous chiffon that I had baked although I had accidentally mix in additional egg yorlk (4 instead 3).  Egg whites was beaten to stiff peak as opposed to soft peak in my previous bakes. The inclusion of rice flour seemed to gives the chiffon cake a really nice soft and spongy texture.  I shall be experimenting more with rice flour in the future. 

Receipe adapted from Anncoo Journal's sakura yogurt chiffon cake.

3 egg yolks
25g sugar
40g oil
100g natural yogurt
60g cake flour
20g rice flour
4 egg whites
50g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp vanilla essence
60g dried craneberry (chopped to small pieces & coat with flour to prevent sinking to the bottom of the cake)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fuss free bento

A last minute request the night before his bedtime. No elaborate details.  Simply a fuss free bento which I rushed home to prepare after a yoga exercise in the mid-morning.  After that, I hand delivered to him at the designated school gate.

The paper baking cup came in handy which could hold two pan-fried gyoza and a small piece of black peppered salmon fillet.  Other side were just blanched leafy vegetables (cai xin) and carrot flowers.  Soup and udon noodles were packed in the vaccum flask.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mother's day

Do you honor your parents?

Mother's day is another occasion that is celebrated over a sumptuous meal (in my humble opinion).  Chinese restaurants will create a special menu for the parents and grandparents.  They do not just honor the mothers but both parents and grandparents (if any) making it like a great union or gathering.

Two weeks ago, I was literally heart broken when I was told by my dear 9 years old son that 'we do not celebrate Mother's Day in our house'.  That moment, I felt that I have failed my duty as a parent!  I began to question myself whether I have raised a child who lacks empathy towards parents.  Filial Piety, a virtue of respect for parents that I firmly believes begins at home.  Have I been too focused academic performance that totally neglected in character building for this little one?  What kind a person he will become? Upon reflection on my parenting journey, I come to realise that apart from the teachings in kindergartens and schools, kids learned from parents too. Papa, is the root of the problem.  He is brought up in a tradition Chinese family where woman is meant to serve the man and does not have equal status in a household.  He is a  'Male Chauvinist Pig' that I guess, has an influence over my son's behavior.  I hope to change the mindset of my son (since I am totally helpless with his Papa).   

Despite wrenching heart moment, I cajoled my boy to make a Mother's day card for me instead.  Most importantly, I reminded him that there is no need to buy expensive present to pamper your mother now.  (He can shower me with gifts when he grows up as a working adult later ;) And I even showed him what he had made/created during his preschool/kindergarten days like a jewellery box made from ice cream stick or a simple card with love message that, some of which, I have kept it. 

I hope there will be some nice surprise from him next year.