Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#36 - Baileys Butter Cake


Couple of months back, I was staring at my display cabinet at home and was left wondering. 

How on earth did Hubby & myself end up with these bottles and bottles of lovelies at home? We are running out of space in the display cabinet to store them. We always seems to buy them faster than we can consume them. Sure, leaving them in the cabinets is pretty, but isn't it such a waste? What can we ensure we put them to better use?

Other than the obvious choice of drinking them all up (since hubby & myself are not exactly heavy drinkers), what else can I do to make them into good use? Baking, it shall be. With that in mind, I went on my search of a simple nice recipe to incorporate alcohol in my baked goods. And I found it! 

Butter cakes. There is just something very enticing about these simple beauties. They are not as fanciful and elaborated like layered cakes, and neither are they as pretty and versatile like our cupcakes. But then again, when they are done right, butter cakes are our plain old simple solution at all times. It is also the cake to go along with a nice hot cup of coffee on a Sunday morning while reading your newspaper. Am I not right?

To this simple beauty, let us add in our Baileys Irish Cream! Personally, Baileys has always been one of my top 3 choice of drink when i am out with the girls. This is especially so when I am not exactly in a mood for strong drinks. There is something about the creamy & milky texture that reminds me of a iced chocolate drink and who doesn't fancy a iced chocolate drink at anytime of the day?

With that in mind, I was off to give the recipe a shot! 

In 2 weeks, I baked this butter cake twice and feedback from family and friends have been relatively positive. My Dad and & Mum (who does not even drink much alcohol) love the cakes (and commented an improvement on my baking skills) and even my mother-in-law (who is definitely well-versed in the culinary department) gave me a thumb up! It makes me really happy to be able to make them happy with my limited culinary skills. They are my motivation. Haha!

If I were to change anything in this recipe, I would probably cut down on the amount of cocoa powder used and to increase on the amount of Baileys in the batter. That would give the butter cake a more distinct flavour to it, I believe. 

Look at this simple slice of Baileys Butter Cake. I am so drawn to it because of its pretty marbly swirls.

For those of you who are interested to try out this recipe I am sharing, I am pretty sure that you would like to achieve these pretty swirls in your cake, isn't it? Just make sure you do not go overboard with your obsession of swirling in the batter. In fact, the technique I have used here is not exactly marble swirling. Instead, we make use of the technique in "Zebra Cakes" to achieve this result which I really like very much. 

In Step (9) of the recipe when you are alternating between the vanilla & cocoa batter, you may want to tap/shake the load pan very very lightly from left to right. This is just to help the batter to spread out better towards the side of the loaf pan. This will be useful as the vanilla batter can be a little bit on the thick side. When in the loaf pan, do not mix the vanilla & cocoa batter together. I not even swirl it further. Fear not, even if the batter looks ugly like what I have shown below. 

My First Try
My Second Try
The thing about creating cakes with interior designs is that you have absolutely no idea whether your attempt is successful until you cut into it. It took me so much self-control to stop myself from cutting into the cake on the night of completing the cake. While waiting for it to cool overnight, I could only keep my fingers crossed and pray that it will turn out exactly how I want it to be. 

Looking at the results, I am so glad that I have waited. It was much easier to get near and clean slices of the cake after it has been cooled overnight. 

My First Try
My Second Try

To me, the best part of my love in baking is to be able to share the fruits of my labour with my family and friends and it is such an added bonus if they like what I am making of them. Sharing is caring! 


Recipe: Adapted & modified from here (Connie Goh).

250g Salted Butter, softened
170g Castor Sugar
4 Eggs
220g Self Raising Flour, sifted
20g Cocoa Powder, sifted
4 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream (Caramel Flavour)
3 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 150C.

2. Grease loaf pan before lining with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. Add cocoa powder to Baileys and mix well. Set aside for later use.

4. In a mixer bowl, cream butter together with sugar until pale in colour.

5. Add in vanilla extract and milk to the mixture and mix well.

6.. Add in the eggs (one at a time), mixing well after each addition.

7. Fold in the sifted flour to the wet mixture, one third portion at a time and mix well until batter is smooth.

8. Divide cake batter into 2 portions. Stir in Baileys mixture in Step (3) into one portion of the cake batter.

9. Using a spoon or a spatula, spoon in the vanilla cake batter and Baileys cake batter into the loaf pan alternatively. Tap the loaf pan on the work surface lightly as you go along to ensure batter is evenly spread out and any air pockets within it are removed.

10. Bake the cake at 150C for 45 minutes and 160C for 20 - 25 minutes or until cake tester come out clean when inserted into centre of the cake. 

11. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the loaf pan for 10 - 15 minutes, before transferring it to the wire rack to be cooled completely.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

#35 - BEC Burger


I just made this yummy BEC Burger for my hubby this morning and he enjoyed it very much!

Bacon, egg and cheese burger (BEC Burger) is a popular breakfast choice in the United States. Instead of burger bun, it is also commonly assembled in a sandwich form or with a different choice of bread.

Many variations of this burger/sandwich also exist by substituting the choice of poultry (bacon / sausage / ham), choice of cheese (Swiss / cheddar) or even changing the ways of making the eggs (fried / scrambled). A pretty versatile item I would say.

This is definitely one breakfast item that I make pretty often and I especially turn to this recipe when my pantry is running low on supplies. The components needed are few and pretty basic in my opinion and that's a good thing! 

For my version of the BEC Burger, I like my burger bun to be buttery and toasted, and other than bacon, egg and cheese, I also like to add a little bit of Japanese Mayonnaise to it so as to provide a stronger flavour. If I have more components with me, I would also caramelised some onions or throw in some butter head lettuce to add more texture and crunch to the burger. If you ask me, with all the butter, bacon and cheese that go into this burger, it may not be the healthiest burger. But it goes without saying that this burger is good for either breakfast or brunch and is really satisfying in terms of its flavour!  

As with most sandwich / burger, this BEC Burger is best when served hot. 



Burger Bun
Cheddar Cheese
Back Bacon
Japanese Mayonnaise 
Salt & Pepper, to taste

1. Slice a hamburger bun into half, coat each side with some butter.

2. On one half of the bun, top with a slice of cheddar cheese and toast the two halves in an oven / air fryer. I used the air fryer and toasted both halves of the bun (with cheese on one of them) at 180C for 3-5mins. Keep an eye on the cheese slice. Once it has melted, removed toasted bun from the oven/air fryer. You should get a lightly brown crisp burger bun.

3. Using a saucepan over medium heat, fry the egg (sunny side up or over-easy, according to your desired preference). Season with salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. 

4. While that is being done, cook the bacon in the same saucepan until it crisp up. 

5. Remove egg and bacon from pan and you are ready to assemble the burger in your preferred order. My version - Bottom buttery toasted bun with melted cheese followed by cooked back bacon, top with sunny-side-up egg and a touch of Japanese Mayonnaise before the top buttery toasted bun. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

#34 - Earl Grey Cookies


If you are one who adore hard, crunchy cookies or if you prefer cookies that are stronger and sweeter in their taste, this recipe is not for you. This recipe yields the perfect soft-baked yet crumbly cookies. In terms of flavour, it is not strong and not so sweet at all. It is very light in terms of taste and it simply melts in your mouth. 

Earl Grey tea has always been one of my favourite tea and I am constantly thinking of ways to incorporate it into my baking. I absolutely adore this recipe because of the use of real tea leaves in the dough which I felt gave the cookies a delicate and fragrant flavour to it.

For me, I like to enjoy these cookies over a cup of Earl Grey Tea and the combination is just perfect. The tea will bring out every flavour there is in the cookies. This is just the perfect melt-in-your-mouth cookie to go for for an afternoon tea party.


Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Make approximately 4 dozen cookies

200 grams All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
250 grams Unsalted Butter, softened
80 grams Castor Sugar
40 grams Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2 tbsp Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
7 grams Earl Grey Tea Leaves, cut finely

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Prepare 2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. Sift and combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt). 

4. In a mixer bowl, cream together butter with both sugars until creamy and fluffy.

5. Add in egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice gradually and beat until smooth. 

6. Combine dry ingredients in Step (3) to the wet ingredients in Step (5), one third portion at a time and mix well.

7. Add in tea leaves to the batter. Mix well until a soft dough is achieved. Ensure that all the ingredients are well-incorporated.

8. Using a small ice-cream scoop, scope and divide the dough into small portions (ball-shaped). Place them on the baking sheets. Ensure that they are at least 3 cm apart from one another. 

9. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn light golden brown.

10. After removing cookies from oven, allows the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

(My hubby prefers cookies that are hard and crunchier in texture. Hence, I baked some of the cookies for an extra 3 minutes to achieve such a texture. Note that the colour of these cookies will be much darker.)

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