Saturday, 28 September 2013

#11 - Baked Cheesecake with Kiwi Topping


By far, this has got to be my favourite dessert among all the rest of the recipes which I have adapted and modified. I would say that it is also the most successful and tasty one as well. Yeah! I was (still am) so happy when the cheesecake came out PERFECT after hours of setting on the tabletop & fridge. Heavenly! 

The texture and taste of this baked cheesecake is very similar to those New Yoke Cheesecakes which are available around coffee places and cafes. I like the creamy, cheesy, lemony taste of the filling as well as the buttery and slightly salty biscuit base at the bottom. In just one day, 3 quarter of the cake is gone! Hubby prefer the plain cheesecake while I liked mine with the kiwi toppings. Fresh and slightly acidic, the kiwi gave a perfect punch to the flavour of the cheesecake. You can even bite into the small bits of kiwi pieces in the topping. Love it love it love it!

Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Make approximately 12 pieces

1 and 1/4 Cup Digestive Biscuits Crumbs
85g Unsalted Butter, melted

1135g Cream Cheese, softened at room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour, sifted
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest from 1 Lemon
Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Kiwi Topping
2 Golden Kiwifruit
2 Green Kiwifruit
50g Fine Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160C.

2. Grease baking pan (Medium spring form cake pan, diameter 22cm) by spraying a layer of non-stick spray on it before lining the base with aluminium foil on the outside. Set aside for later use.

3. To prepare the digestive biscuits crumbs, you may either break up the biscuits into crumbs using a food processor or place them in a zip lock bag and break them up to crumbs by rolling a rolling pin over the biscuits in the bag. 

4. Add melted butter to the crumbs and mix well. Pour the biscuit mixture into cake pan and pressed it firmly and evenly in the pan. You may make use of the base of a ramekin to help you. Bake for 8 minutes in the centre of the oven and set aside while making the cheese filling. 

5. Cream the cream cheese with sugar to ensure a good mix. Add eggs, sour cream, flour, salt and vanilla extract into the mixture and mix until smooth. 

6. Add lemon zest and lemon juice to the mixture and mix well. Once there are no lumps in the mixture, you may stop mixing. Do not over mix so as to prevent cracks on the cheesecake. 

7. Pour filling over the biscuit base. Shake the cake pan slightly to ensure that the filling is evenly spread and any air pockets within the mixture are removed.

8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes. 

9. When out of the oven, cool completely on table top (I cooled it for 4 to 5 hours) before transferring the cheesecake to the fridge to chill overnight. 

10. Blend the kiwi to a pureed. Place the pureed kiwi in a saucepan and sugar to it. Heat the mixture under low flame until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle the kiwi topping on the cheesecake before serving. 

#Note - 
Baking the cheesecake for 1 hour 10 minutes, the top of my cake is a little too brown. You may adjust the timing to bake for an hour. It should give a better colour. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

#10 - White Chocolate Brownies with Strawberry Glaze


Also know as Blondies, white chocolate brownies are the sweeter version of their sister, Brownies. If you are kind of sick and tired of our usual brown/milk chocolate (like I am), then you may want to play around with white chocolate instead.

I have recently expanded my baking collection with some new baking pans from Wiltshire! Yeah! Non-stick pans are my favourite! But the problem arises when I was preparing to bake these little darlings. Because I do not have a square baking tin as required in the recipe, I have to make use of what I have. Being the indecisive me, I could not make up my mind whether to use the Slice Pan (273 x 175 x 32mm) or the Oblong Cake Pan (335 x 230 x 45mm). On one hand, i did not want my blondies to be too thick and dense, but on the other hand, I wasn't sure whether the batter was enough to spread through the cake pan. Haha! Talking about being indecisive, I must be the classic of the classic! 

Anyway, I was greedy as I wanted to be able to bake as many of these blondies as possible as I have friends coming over. So, I decided to use the Cake Pan. WRONG decision! Haha! It caused my blondies to be too thin and it turned out that they were kind of overcooked (don't worry, they were not burnt) and the texture became somewhat in between a brownie and a soft cookie. 

Hubby called them the white chocolate cookies (not brownies) and he finished all of them in just 2 days. What can I say? I am so grateful to have my hubby as my all-time supporter and he makes my life that much easier by being the easy-eater who he is. Thank god he is not that much of a fussy eater.

Not to worry, I will be trying out this recipe again, once I get my hands on a new batch of white chocolate. 


Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Make approximately 30 brownies

1C All Purpose Flour, sieved
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1C White Chocolate Chips
76g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/2C Brown Sugar
1/4C Fine Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbs Sour Cream

Strawberry Icing
28g White Chocolate Chips
1tbs Unsalted Butter
50g Strawberry, pureed with blender/ food processor
1C Icing Sugar
2tbs milk, if necessary

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Grease baking pan by spraying a layer of non-stick spray on it before lining the base with non-stick baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. Sieve the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) and set aside. 

4. Add 2 tbs of flour to the white chocolate chips and mix well, making sure that all the chocolate chips are well-coated with a layer of flour. This will ensure that the chocolate chips will not sink to the bottom of the batter. 

5. In a mixing bowl, cream the soft butter and sugar together using a whisk. When a creamy mixture is obtained, add in the egg, vanilla extract and sour cream. Mix well to get a smooth mixture. 

6. Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture (1/3 portion at a time) into the wet mixture in Step (5) and make sure that the combined mixture is well-mixed, with no trace of flour. 

7. Add in the white chocolate chips and fold it into the mixture. 

8. Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan. Shake it gently to ensure that the batter is level. 

9. Bake for 25 minutes. Set aside for it to cool completely before cutting into bars.

10. To make the strawberry icing, melt the white chocolate chips and butter in the microwave/ oven. Once melted, add in pureed strawberries and icing sugar. Whisk well until mixture is smooth and well combined. Add in milk, if necessary, to get the correct consistency of the icing. Set aside.

11. After cooling and cutting up the brownies into small bars, brush a thin layer of the strawberry icing on top of each pieces, to get a glossy glaze. Garnish with a few white chocolate chips before serving. 

#Note - 

It will take some time to melt the white chocolate chips for the icing. Be careful to check and stir the butter & chocolate mixture when they are in the microwave/ oven. The white chocolate chips tends to burn a little instead of melting well (unlike milk chocolate chips).

In addition, you may also add in some macadamia nuts in the brownies if you like the nutty texture! 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

#09 - Mixed Berry Souffle


Looks like I am on a berries hype isn't it? Actually, not so. It is just that these berries (raspberries, strawberries and a couple others) are so pretty when they sit in the fridge but they don't last that long for me to wonder how I should play around with them. Hence, in my attempt to finish up the last few raspberries in the box, here comes my version of Mixed Berry Soufflé. 

#P/S: Yes, I still have another box of strawberries and those will be for another time, another recipe. 

As you can see from the photos, the rise of the soufflé isn't that perfect, but still, compared to my last attempt of Nutella Soufflé, this batch of Mixed Berry Soufflés has given a better height and they do look pretty nice right? However, I have to be very honest to say that the taste of the soufflés isn't really what I was looking forward to. It was a little too mushy and eggy and I presumed this is due to the egg yolk in the batter. After making this batch of Mixed Berry Soufflés, I have managed to find another recipe which does not require the use of egg yolks and I am planning to give that a shot soon. 

But still, I do enjoy sharing my recipes, whether they are excellent, good or just plainly average. I believe that it is the joy in sharing which motivates one to continue trying and experimenting. This is also the exact reason why I enjoy teaching as well. So, here we go with the recipe for Mixed Berry Soufflé. 


Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Serves 8

(Mixed berries jam)
165g fresh strawberries
97g fresh raspberries
50g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

150ml milk
100ml of whipping cream
20g all purpose flour
15g corn flour
3 eggs, separated
90g sugar

1. Preheat oven to 190C.

2. Spray the base and insides of 8 small ramekins with non-stick spray and dust them with cocoa power. Chilled the ramekins in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

3. Blend the raspberries and strawberries together using a blender / food processor until a smooth puree is formed.

4. In a saucepan, place the berries with the sugar and vanilla extract and heat them up slowly. Using low heat, stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. When the mixture is well-mixed, has thicken and starts to boil, remove from the heat. You should get a smooth puree.

5. Sieve this puree through a sieve to remove the seeds from the berries. You will need to push the puree through the sieve using a spatula to get a nice and rich jam mixture. Cool the jam in the fridge. 

6. Heat the milk and whipping cream in a saucepan until it is almost boiling and set aside.

7. Sieve the all purpose flour and corn flour together and set aside.

8. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar (40g) to get a creamy mixture. Mix in the flour mixture and combine them well. The flour will helps to thicken the mixture and you should a creamy and smooth texture. 

9. Add 1/4 cup of the heated creamy milk to the mixture and whisk well until the mixture is smooth. Gradually mix in the rest of the creamy milk and continue whisking. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk over low heat for 5 minutes to get a thick and smooth creamy mixture. Cool the mixture in the fridge. 

10. After both the jam and cream mixture has cooled down, add the jam to the cream mixture and mix well to get a nice and smooth texture. 

11. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites using a stand mixer, until soft peak formed. Gradually add in the sugar (50g) while whisking to get a thick, glossy and firm meringue.

12. Once the meringue is done, fold it in with the jam & cream mixture in Step (9) a third at a time. Make sure folding is done gently so as the air in the meringue is not knocked out of the mixture. 

13. Fill the ramekins with the soufflé mixture. Tap the ramekins gently on the tabletop to ensure that the mixture is evenly spread through the ramekins and air pockets within the mixture is removed. This will helps the soufflés to rise up evenly. 

14. To help the soufflés to rise better, smooth the top of the ramekins using the back of a butter knife and run a circle around the edge of the ramekins using your thumb. 

15. Bake the soufflés in the oven for 10-12minutes or until well risen with a light golden brown top. Serve immediately. 

#Note - 

If you would like to, you may dust with icing sugar and garnish with berries before serving. I did not do that because I felt that a good amount of sugar has already been used in the recipe as well as I do not have any extra raspberries for garnishing. 

As mentioned earlier, I also did not quite like the eggy taste in the soufflés itself which I believed was due to the egg yolks in the mixture. So I will be trying another recipe which does not require egg yolks in it. Hopefully that will cater to my tastebud better.

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with the appearance of the soufflés. They are pretty well risen (compared to my previous Nutella soufflés) and the texture of the light golden brown top was really chewy and nice. Got to keep improving! 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

#08 - Breakfast Banana Splits


Alright, alright, alright. I know the picture above does not look that appetising, but trust me, taste wise it is pretty creamy and sweet with a zest of citrus from the strawberries (which you are unable to see in this picture) and raspberries. Honestly, I never really understand why the strawberries we have in Singapore are never sweet. Or is it just me? I always seem to be buying strawberries that are sour no matter how ripe they are. Their bright red appearance are so deceiving! 

Anyway, Wednesday is usually my busy busy day with all the household chores to be done as well as lessons to prepare and to go to. So, just last Wednesday, I woke up in the morning with this feeling of wanting to fill myself up (with some good food, of course) for a busy day ahead. So, what I saw in the fridge were tonnes of fruits which I have bought over the weekend. So I thought, why not have a fruity morning! The idea of Breakfast Banana Splits just came to me. 

For those of you who know me, you will know that I am not so much of a citrus fan and that my tolerance level for sourness is really really low. Luckily, I found some grapes in my huge fruits collection in the fridge and of course I added them to the berries for my Breakfast Banana Splits. 

At the same time, I also wanted something a little crunchy and chocolatey and hence, I pulled out the last box of Koko Krunch cereal in the cupboard to go with the dish. If you are looking for something healthy yet yummy and at the same time, you are a huge fruits fan, try this recipe. Simple and easy to make and you are good to go in a couple of minutes. Have fun!

Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Makes 2 servings

2 riped bananas, peeled
20g Koko Crunch Cereal, chopped into smaller size (with food processor/ rolling pin)
140g plain yogurt
4 strawberries, sliced 
18 raspberries, sliced 10 (keeping 8 of them aside for garnishing)
18 grapes
10g walnuts, chopped

1. Slice the bananas in half (lengthwise) and place them separately in 2 serving dish.

2. Mix 3/4 of the Koko Crunch Cereal with the plain yogurt.

3. Spread half of the portion of yogurt mixture along the (top) length of the banana.

4. Place the berries and grapes on the banana slices. 

5. Spread the remaining yogurt on top of the fruits.

6. Sprinkle with chopped walnut and remaining 1/4 of the Koko Crunch Cereal on top.

7. Garnish with raspberries. 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

#07 - Chicken & Mushroom Baked Rice

If you have noticed, the weather nowadays has been pretty unpredictable. It can be bright and sunny in the late morning but towards evening time, it may just start to pour. With such uncertainty, I like to play around with my menu planning accordingly to the weather. On a hot and humid afternoon, I love to make some simple yet yummy popsicles (like my recent Mango Yogurt Popsicles) but on a cold and windy evening, I like to make warm comfort food which can warm up my stomach. 

This Chicken & Mushroom Baked Rice is a great one-dish meal anyone can make. It is simple with few ingredients and you can pretty much throw in whatever meat/ vegetable you have in your fridge to create various versions of it. It is pretty much a perfect comfort food! Recently I made a new version of Cheesy Salmon Baked Rice with some minor changes to the ingredients and it still tasted great! Hubby actually prefers the Salmon version though. Will be sharing the recipe on that very soon. 

Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Serves 4-6

2 cup uncooked rice
2 cup of water (to cook the rice)

2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive oil
200 g canned (whole) mushroom, sliced
100 g picnic ham, sliced
200 g chicken thigh meat, cubed
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
30 g shredded Parmesan Cheese
60 g shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1. Preheat oven at 200C.

2. Rinse (at least 3 times) and drained the uncooked rice. Set aside.

3. In a saucepan, add the olive oil. Once the saucepan is heated, add in the sliced mushroom, ham and chicken pieces. Stir-fry over a medium-low heat until the chicken is semi-cooked with a white surface. Do not over cook the chicken

4. Add the washed uncooked rice into the saucepan and continue frying and tossing. Add salt and black pepper to it. Ensure that the content is well-stirred. 

5. Transfer the fried rice into a rice cooker and add in the water to cook the rice. 

6. After the rice is cooked, portion the content into a casserole dish (I use a 10" pie pan). Pour the cream of mushroom soup sauce over the top of the rice. Spread the sauce evenly across the surface. 

7. Top the sauce with a layer of shredded Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

8. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and give a golden brown crust at the top of the baked rice. Serve it while it is hot. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

#06 - Mango Yogurt Popsicles


On a hot sunny day, nothing beats having an icy cold popsicle to take away the heat. Don't you agree? During my last visit to the local mart, I came back with tonnes of fruits. There were mangoes, apples, kiwi, oranges, lemons, pears, grapes, banana, strawberries and raspberries. My refrigerator looks like the local fruit stall at the moment. Haha! But that's okay! Fruits are good for us right?

With the huge varieties of fruits, how can I not make something which is fruity yet cooling in this hot weather. This is a really simple recipe which does not require much work. As long as you have some mangoes and yogurt on hand, you pretty much have everything you need. 

These were the mangoes I used. As you can see, the mangoes were not fully ripe but that's okay since we are looking for a more citrus taste for our mango yogurt popsicle. A slight tint of sourness will be just fine. We wouldn't want to be using mangoes that are mushy or have brown pressed marks on them. 

When I was younger, I used to removed the skin of the whole mango before cutting it up into cubes/slices. The problem with this is that it isn't that easy to remove the whole skin of the mango. I often ended up with mushy mangoes due to over handling of the mangoes.

The better way to cut and prepare fresh mangoes for baking / desserts is to make a slice down one side (slightly off the centre) of the mango. After that, make another slice on the other side of the seed of the mango. Then, you may make vertical and horizontal cuts on the fleshy parts to get your mango cubes. Make sure when you are cutting the cubes, your knife reaches the skin but do not cut through it. You may then scoop out the cubes of mangoes with knife or a spoon easily.

For the remaining flesh around the seed, you can first thinly cut away the skin with a knife just like you are pairing an apple. Then you are remove the remaining flesh around the seed.

With these mango cubes, we are really to make our mango yogurt popsicles!


Make 4 popsicles (depending on size of the mould)

2 mangoes
280g yogurt
1 tbs honey (optional)

1. Cut and prepare the mangoes. Place the removed mangoes cubes in a bowl.

2. Using a blender, blend the mango cubes and puree until a smooth blend is obtained.

3. Taste the mango puree for sweetness and add the honey, if necessary.

4. In a mixing bowl, fold in the mango puree into the yogurt using a spatula. 

5. Once the mixture if evenly folded in, pour it into the popsicle moulds. Freeze for at least 2-3 hours until the popsicles are firm. 

6. When removing popsicles from moulds, dip the moulds in a bowl of warm water. This will ensure that the popsicles come out smoothly from the moulds. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

#05 - Earl Grey Chocolate Cake with Almond


When I came back from Bali last week, I brought back with me packets of different types of tea. One of which is my all time favourite, Earl Grey. I really like the distinctive aroma of the earl grey tea, especially so when it is use in bakes. My initial idea was to make a simple Earl Grey Cake, with a light brushing of lemon syrup on the top. But since I was having this craving for chocolates, so I thought, why not combined the two? There, you go. Earl Grey Chocolate Cake. The almonds were added so as to give the cake a better texture and better crunch when you bite into the cake. 

Be prepared to receive a really moist chocolate cake with strong and rice flavour of earl grey in it. Yummy!

Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Serves 10 to 12

5 Earl Grey tea bags
1 cup hot water
3/4 cup (113g) chocolate, melted & cooled
2 cup (256g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup (201g) sugar
1/2 cup  (113g) butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup (140g) yogurt
1 cup of chopped almond bits
Icing sugar

1. Brew the tea in the hot water and let it simmer. Remove the tea bags after 30 minutes for a strong tea flavour. Set the brewed tea aside for later use.

2. Melt the chocolate using microwave and set aside. 

3. Preheat the oven to 180C and butter the bundt pan evenly.

4. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) and set aside.

5. Cream the butter and sugar using a mixer and when a creamy mixture is obtained, add in the eggs and melted chocolate. Make sure the mixture blend well. 

6. Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture (1/3 portion at one time) into the wet mixture and make sure the combined mixture is well blended.

7. Alternate the addition of yogurt and tea into the batter and you should get a well-mixed smooth and creamy batter with no traces of flour. 

8. Mix in the almond bits using the spatula. 

9. Pour the creamy batter into the bundt pan. Using a butter knife, run the knife through the batter a few times so as to remove any air bubbles.

10. Bake for about 35 minutes. Invert the bundt pan immediately on a raised cooling rack and allow the cake to cool. When the cake is completely cooled, removed the bundt pan and dust the cake with icing sugar before serving. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

#04 - Queen of Bread Pudding - Apricot Flavour


Whenever I have expired bread and I do not want to waste it, bread pudding will be the first thing that comes into my mind. My first attempt at bread pudding was many years back and the most interesting thing was that I managed to "bake" the bread pudding without an oven! It was merely using a small oven toaster. Surprisingly, the results was good! Sweet and milky! Till now, my hubby still often remind me about it.

Attempt 2 was couple of months back when I first started on this baking/ cooking craze of mine. I would not say that the attempt was a failure, but I could definitely sense that hubby was not impressed with the bread pudding them. According to him, my first try at most recipes always seemed to turn out to be better. Don't know whether I should be happy about it. I guess, not. 

Today, I decided that I must do something to reclaim my reputation with regards to bread pudding! Haha. Furthermore, I have some leftover bread on the counter-top which we have to finished before we go for our trip tomorrow. Hence, I decided to give bread pudding another shot! This time round, I am making Queen of Bread Pudding! 

Queen of bread pudding is a warm custard dessert, topped with fruity jam and a meringue. This is slightly more complicated as compared to the usual bread pudding as it involved 3 tier. For my version, I decided to use apricot jam which has a slight acidic taste to it (not just pure sweetness) which I felt would go very well with the lemon zest in the custard. If you are someone who likes custard, jam and meringue, this is the recipe you have got to try! 

I love how the sweetness of the apricot jam blends in with the light and chewy meringue. At the same time, not forgetting how soft and slightly acidic the custard is. In my opinion, the 3 layers blend really well with one another. Yum yum! 


Serves 6 to 8

Apricot Jam                   : 1/2 cup
Butter                             : 60 g
Eggs                               : 4 (separated)  
Lemon Zest                    : 1 lemon
Milk                               : 3 cups
Sugar                              : 4 tbs
Vanilla extract                : 1 tsp
White bread                   : 6 slices (crusts removed, cut into small pieces of 2 cm by 2cm)

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Butter a 10" pie plate and set aside.

2. Warm the milk using a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the butter.

3. Once the mixture of milk and butter starts to simmer, check that the butter is completed melted. When  this is done, remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the bread, lemon zest, 2 tbs of sugar and vanilla extract. Stir the mixture until dissolved. Allow the mixture to stand for 20 minutes, so that the breadcrumbs absorb the liquid. 

4. After 20 minutes, beat the mixture well with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. 

5. Whisk the egg yolk in a separate bowl. Slowly add the egg yolks to the mixture and whisk well. The combined mixture will form the custard of the pudding.

6. Pour the custard mixture into the 10" pie plate and allow it to bake for 25 minutes until the custard has set. Once the custard has set, remove from oven and set aside to cool. 

7. While waiting for the custard to cool, prepare the meringue. Whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer (full speed) until stiff peaks are formed. When whisking, add in the remaining 2 tbs of sugar slowly. 

8. When the custard is cool, spread the apricot jam carefully over the top of the custard. On top of the jam, place the meringue and spread it such that it covers the top of the pudding.

9. Lower the temperature of the oven to 150 degree Celsius and return the bread pudding into the oven to bake for another 10 minutes, until the meringue appears golden brown.

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