Lijit Ad Tag

Nov 27, 2010


♪♫ * Here's a story,
Of a man who's crazy.
With his friend, they cleaned out the entire boooowwll ..... ♪♫

*(Sing to the theme song of The Brady Bunch)

Needless to say, the two of them were off tiramisu for a long while after that. The funniest part of the story is .... I'd made the coffee mixture so strong, they didn't get to sleep til 6:30 am the next morning!
I guess you should decide how strong you'd like the coffee with bedtime in mind .... unless you're immune to the effects of caffeine. And of course, eating the whole thing didn't help! :D

Since this was the first time I'm working with pasteurized eggs, I'm not sure if it's just me but it seemed like it took a much longer time to whisk the funny-looking, cloudy egg whites into peaks. But eventually, it all came together nicely ..... phew!


2 cups strong black coffee
1/4 cup (or more, hic) coffee liquer of your choice (I use Kahlua, sometimes Dark Rum)
2 pasteurized eggs, separated
1/4 cup caster sugar
250 g mascarpone / ricotta cheese
1 cup cream, whipped
Savoyardi biscuits / Genoise sponge (here, I used savoyardi fingers)
Dark cocoa powder


6 1/2" X 8 1/2" X 3" deep dish
Create individual servings


Combine coffee and liquer in a deep bowl, wide enough to dip the biscuits in.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture turns pale and thickened. Add cheese and mix until just combined. Fold in whipped cream.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks stage and fold quickly and gently into cream mixture until well combined.
Dip the biscuits, one at a time, flat side down, one side only, into coffee mixture. * Do not over soak the biscuits otherwise it's gonna get all soggy. Line the base of serving dish in a single layer.
Spread half of the cream mixture over the biscuits. Smooth out the surface with a spatula. Dust with an even layer of cocoa powder.
Dip more biscuits and place over dusted layer. Spread remaining cream over biscuits. Smooth surface and finish off with another dusting of cocoa powder.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled on its own, with fresh fruits or a fruit coulis.

Nov 25, 2010

The Occasional Tip: Marshmallow Plug

Ever had an ice cream cone leak onto your favorite shirt?
Here's an easy and delicious way to stop all that mess. Place a marshmallow at the bottom of the cone before you top it off with ice cream. Eat your way through, plug and all!

Nov 21, 2010

Fried Pumpkin: Indian Style

(Thank you everyone for helping get this to FoodBuzz Top 9)

Hmmm ....... I seem to be posting lots of bake stuff lately. This should be a change ... and healthier too! Besides, there are pumpkins everywhere you turn, with halloween just over and thanksgiving a couple of days away.
This is one of my favorites from Indian cuisine and the recipe came to me by way of a good friend who has decided to uproot and re-plant herself and husband down under, leaving us a couple of good friends short over this end of the planet. Sigh. You know who you are.
But, on the positive side, we now have another place to visit for our holidays. Yay! And since she's not here to cook me this dish, I hope I'll do justice to this healthylicious recipe of hers.
Fortunately (for me), it's not too fussy a dish to make. You can even substitute the pumpkin with potatoes but you won't get the same sweetness.
I love this with naan bread.


1 small pumpkin, skinned and seeded, cut into large cubes (I used oriental summer squash and you can even leave the skin on if you like a bit more bite to the texture, just give it a good clean with a brush)
2 sprigs curry leaves, discard stalks
2 - 3 tbs mustard seeds
5 - 6 dried chillies or more if you like it kicking hot, soaked to soften and remove some of the seeds
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 - 3 tbs grated ginger
1 tbs turmeric powder
1 tbs coriander powder
oil for frying (I used grapeseed oil)


Heat oil in pan and stir in curry leaves, mustard seeds and dried chillies until the mustard seeds start to pop. Remove chillies.
Add chopped onions and grated ginger and fry until onions are soft.
Toss in diced pumpkin, turmeric powder and coriander powder and stir to combine.
Add about half cup of water, stir and simmer covered, until liquid evaporates and pumpkin turns soft. If needed, add more water, cover and simmer until the desired softness. Do not put in too much water or pumpkin will become mushy.
Add salt to taste.
(Sprinkle with some chopped fresh coriander if desired)

Nov 17, 2010


Call it what you like .... éclairs, profiteroles, cream puffs .... 'éclairs' simply means 'filled pastry' ..... 'filled choux pastry' to be exact. And the filling varies from pastry cream, whipped cream, some other cream to even, ice cream!
This is just as fun to make as the iced cookies in the earlier post. And, as usual, I can't stick to just one shape or design .... hey, I like some variety.
I do like to make them small and bite-sized, a mini mouthful, just right to pop it into the mouth in one go, no gooey cream oozing out all over. Just don't try to talk til you've swallowed ... especially if you've dusted it with powdered sugar!

For this recipe, I've filled the éclairs with créme patissiére (pastry cream) but feel free to fill it with whatever suits your fancy.


1/2 cup water
1/2 cup full cream milk
4 ozs butter
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain flour
4 eggs


Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with parchment or a baking mat.
Combine water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Stir in flour quickly and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until
mixture pulls away from sides of pan cleanly and forms a ball.
Transfer dough into a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat on low speed to cool slightly, about 3 mins.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 mins in the fridge. (Dough may be stored, covered, for up to 24 hours in the fridge.)
Remove dough from fridge and fill into a piping bag.

From this point on, you can pipe into rounds using a nozzle of your choice or cut a hole of about 1 1/2 cm at the tip of the piping bag and pipe little logs of about 5 cm in length ... or longer, if you want a bigger éclair or make the hole larger for a fatter éclair.
Or just simply place dollops of dough on the parchment.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 - 25 mins or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and using the tip of a small knife (I used a chopstick), pierce a small hole to allow the steam to escape. This prevents the éclairs from going soggy on the inside. You can also do this step and then place them into the oven for another 2 mins to dry it out.
Remove and allow to cool on cooling rack.


2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
2 tbs cornstarch


Place all ingredients into a saucepan and whisk until evenly combined.
Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil, stirring continuously.
When mixture thickens to a paste, remove from heat. Transfer pastry cream into a clean, dry bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool and then place in fridge until fully chilled.
When chilled, fill pastry cream into piping bag fitted with a tube nozzle and fill éclairs through the hole/slit you have made earlier.
Dip or drizzle top of filled éclairs with chocolate ganache.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.


1/3 cup cream
50 g dark chocolate, chopped


Heat cream over medium heat in a small saucepan until just about boiling. DO NOT boil.
Remove from heat.
Mix in chocolate pieces and stir until all chocolate has melted. Leave to cool. (Ganache will thicken when cooled)
Can be stored in fridge. Remove and stand container in a bowl of warm water to soften before re-using.

Nov 13, 2010

Egg White Biscotti

Biscotti. (noun) plural for 'Biscotto'. Definition: crisp cookie or biscuit. Language: Italian.
Origin: medieval latin - 'Biscotus'. Definition: twice baked / twice cooked.

Today, we associate the word with those teensy-weensy wafer thin cookies that accompany that fancy-pricey cup of coffee. Historically, 'biscotti' defined oven baked goods that were baked twice so that they were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time. The storage part doesn't necessarily apply in my home as it seems to disappear just as quickly as it's made...
It's quite addictive, and since this recipe isn't too sweet and doesn't contain any egg yolk, it's a healthy snack for anytime of the day ... unless you're allergic to nuts.

Happy munching!

LOAF TIN: L8" X W4" X H4"
Oil tin and line base and sides with parchment


125 g mixed nuts of your choice, lightly toasted and cooled
(I used 50g almonds & 75g unsalted pistachios)
3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted


Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add sugar gradually, beating constantly until mixture turns thick and glossy and all sugar has dissolved.
Add sifted flour and nuts. Gently fold together until well combined.
Spread into prepared tin and smooth the surface.
Bake for 30 mins or until the top is very lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool in tin.
When cooled, preheat oven to 160˚C.
Using a sharp serrated knife or an electric knife, slice loaf into thin slices.
Spread slices onto lined baking trays and bake for 8 mins, turn slices over and bake a further 8 mins, or until they turn lightly golden and crisp.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Sit back, have a couple of pieces with a cuppa java.

Nov 9, 2010

The Verdict: Korean Noodles

And now, we have THE verdict. The verdict to this interesting but crazy post from Babe in the City - KL. Check it out here.
The Korean drama series on tv seem to be the latest craze these days and apparently this dish/concoction was featured in one of the episodes.
The recipe called for Shin Ramyun noodles, a slice of cheddar cheese, one egg and potato crisps. Weird, isn't it? And if this wasn't weird enough, I had to add a little more weirdness to it.
Since I hadn't any Shin Ramyun noodles, but had some other brand of Korean Kimchi noodles, I used that, together with a lonely and neglected Thüringer Bratwurst (some fancy name for a pork sausage I bought from a gourmet deli) that was sitting in the fridge. I've never been able to eat instant noodles by itself without adding some kind of meat and vegetable, so this is a great opportunity to clear out my fridge. And since I also didn't have any cheese slices, I used the shredded cheddar that I was saving up for a pizza. Oh, I didn't have potato crisps either, but that's not a big deal coz I had some tortilla chips! Add the cheese just as the noodles are about done, stir in the egg, add a handful of shredded baby romaine, top with the tortillas.....
What's weird is...I actually thought it was quite nice! It's rich, creamy and robust with maybe just a tinge of too much saltiness due to the cheese and tortillas, which can be remedied by not putting all of the contents in the seasoning sachet that comes with the noodles. Otherwise, it's an interesting cocktail of flavors. I wouldn't have this too often tho....all that MSG and salt. Be ready with some glasses of water.
Oh...and my apologies for having no pic. I was really hungry.

Nov 8, 2010

Cut Out Cookies

Don't they look sweet?
Cut out cookies are such fun to make if you have a little bit of time on your hands...and then a little bit more after that to ice them. That's when you can let your imagination go and call a messed up design "creative" and your own. (Speaking from experience)
You wouldn't believe it but I actually found this very good recipe on the back of my cookie cutter packaging, tested it out and decided it's just too good not to share.
I am not posting the icing recipe here as I used store-bought ones for this particular post. There will be another post soon for homemade icing....with more cookies! Besides, it's the season for cookies and what better time than now to go wild with your creations. Deck the halls......lalala......
By the way, I used to get into the Christmassy mood in June! It's gotten later as each year goes by ........ too many distractions.


120 g unsalted butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 whole egg
2 cups self raising flour, sifted
3 - 4 drops vanilla essence OR
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 170˚C.
Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or baking mat.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add essence.
Add egg and beat well to combine.
Stir in sifted flour and knead gently into a ball. Divide into 2 - 3 portions (this is just to make it easier to roll out later), flatten slightly into discs, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Roll out each disc into 4 - 5 mm thickness on a floured surface or in between 2 plastic sheets.
Cut out with cookie cutters of your choice and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown slightly.
Remove and cool cookies on a rack.
Cool completely before icing.

Nov 4, 2010

Just a Bit of Sunshine

A couple of weeks ago, I was just hanging around waiting for someone. We were on the outskirts of the city, on a pedestrian bridge, over some railway tracks .... don't ask, that's a whole other story. FYI: It doesn't include jumping, leaping or any attempts at defying gravity.
The foot bridge linked a kampung (a small village) to the fringes of the city. In the short time I stood waiting, and the kampung-folk passed by me on the bridge, I had received more genuine smiles, waves and "hellos" than I would have been able to scrape together from a year's worth of city-folk passing me on the average city street.
The rat-race, we city-dwelling urbanites sometimes feel so privileged to be a part of, can so consume us that we lose sight of the simple but really important things ... you know, good manners, civility .... just being friendly. Making a living in a tough, competitive arena that is the city, is a poor excuse for replacing these simple courtesies and values with the selfish, detached and ultimately the arrogant creatures that urban living seems to breed.
It is a poor excuse because we all must realize that rural folks have worries and problems just as relevant and demanding as ours are to us. They just haven't forgotten to, pause ... breathe ... and actually live a little with their fellow man.
It took just simple smiles to make my day. I hope, my smile in return, even if just for an instant, brightened theirs too.

Warning: Beware of crazy, smiling woman at a city near you!

Nov 1, 2010

Soft As Cotton Custard Bread

Fresh & Piping Hot!

≈ Give a man a loaf of bread,
and he eats for 2 days.
Teach him to bake,
and he eats forever ≈

Okaaay.... maybe that's not exactly how the saying goes but, hey, it means the same thing and so absolutely true.
This mission to massacre the English language, stems from my schooldays, the good ol' days when I made my English language teachers climb the walls. I loved mashing the proverbs, sayings and adages, for example: an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.... unless it has a worm in it :D Those were gooood times!

Fast forward.....

You know those times when you walk into a bakery and smell that unmistakeable aroma of freshly baked bread? Mmmmm...I wonder if anyone has ever thought of bottling that as an air freshener for kitchens. Or even the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Double mmmm....

Seriously back on earth....

I found this lovely recipe at "Do What I Like" ... interesting name, don't you think?

I haven't baked any other type of bread for a long while ever since I tried this. It's soooo soft and cottony and with the little hint of vanilla I added to the custard, it is very difficult to not go back for seconds.... and thirds. This is a small enough portion to finish quickly leaving little chance for it to go stale, which is a good thing as there are no preservatives added.

LOAF TIN SIZE : L 8" X W 4" X H 4"

Oil tin, line with parchment and oil parchment
just lightly oil a non-stick loaf tin
(I used grapeseed oil)


1 egg yolk
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs bread flour / high protein flour
65 ml fresh milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract / 1/4 tsp vanilla essence


Put all custard ingredients (except vanilla) into a saucepan and whisk until smooth.
Cook mixture at medium heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens into a paste. Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla.
Transfer custard into a small bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for an hour.


250 g bread flour / high protein flour
2 1/2 tbs caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp quick active dry yeast
2 1/2 tbs milk powder
100 ml water
25 g unsalted butter


Mix dough ingredients with the cooled custard until well combined.
Knead dough until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky.
Place dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave for an hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch out the dough and knead a little to get rid of air bubbles.
Divide dough into 3 equal portions and shape them into neat little balls. (This part is optional. You can leave it as one big lump like the usual shaped loaf).
Place them side by side in the oiled loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and allow to rise for another hour or until dough rises up to about 3/4 of the loaf pan.
Bake in a preheated oven of 180˚C for 30 mins.
To prevent the top from over-browning, tent bread with aluminum foil after 20 mins into baking.
Unmold immediately when done.
Cool completely before storing.

PS: This is also great for bread pudding!