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Jul 25, 2011

Golden Passionfruit Jam

Such a lot of fruit out there these couple of months. So many varieties, so many choices. Imported and local. They all look so gorgeous, so tempting. I keep buying and then find out there's no space in my fridge ... sigh.

I mentioned about our homegrown strawberries in the earlier strawberry jam post and how amazing they turned out these days ... big, red and juicy ... good stuff.

Well, on Sunday, I visited our pasar malam (literally translated: night market. Check this out : and found some gorgeous homegrown golden passionfruits, also known as yellow passionfruits and also known as Lilikoi in Hawaiian. There were also the usual purple ones but these yellows were giving out the most beautiful, sensual fragrance ... I couldn't resist. (Apparently, the purple ones are supposed to be more fragrant and the yellow ones are the juicier but I guess the purples weren't ripe enough to seduce my senses). They aren't the prettiest looking fruits when ripe.

What I wanted to make with them, I had no idea at the time. I brought them home, stared at them for awhile, then decided I should turn them into something that will keep until I have some idea what I need to use them for. See, once you open up the fruit, the pulp and seeds don't keep too well. So, jam it is.

You may wonder why we use the pulp from under the skin. Reason being, there's tons of pectin in them! But don't overdo the amount since it does have a slight bitterness that may overpower the lovely passiony-fruity flavors :D

Oh, and if you should decide to blend the pulpy-seedy stuff, you may want to use a good blender and blade otherwise you will get some very sharp bits of seeds ... not nice. I leave them be ... nice crunch.


10 passionfruits

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cups sugar


Wash the passionfruits.

Halve and scoop out the pulpy seeds. Put aside in the fridge.

Put half the quantity of the shells in a pot and fill with enough water to just cover the tops. Boil for about 30 - 40 mins or until it turns translucent and soft.

Drain & cool for easier handling. Save 1 cup of boiled liquid.

When cooled, scoop out the inner flesh and discard the papery skins.

Pulse in a food processor or blender until a smooth puree.

Add to reserved seeds together with the lemon juice, reserved liquid and sugar in a deep stainless steel pot.

Stir over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Then bring to a boil.

Set timer to 15 mins and allow to boil slowly without stirring too much except for the occasional scrape or two with a wooden spoon to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom and burn.

Skim scum. (Say that quickly 5 times :D)

Turn off heat and cool for 15 - 20 mins before ladling into clean, sterilized jars.

* Great as plain ol' jam with toast or use as a filling for pastry or a topping for cheesecakes, ice creams .... go crazy!

Jul 18, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes : An Opinion & A Recipe

Warning: This is a very opinionated post

(Never write when grumpy)

Red Velvet ... another fad? Why not green velvet or blue velvet or some other velvet? I doubt any of those "velvets" will work for me .... I'm not into coloring. Now, maybe I should use beetroot juice to color these but will it alter the taste? I'm quite certain it will. A friend told me she had some made with beetroot juice and it was nice and she couldn't tell at all.

So why did I make these?

I had to, I was curious as to what all the fuss was about. I know it's been around for awhile now but I've never felt like I needed to make any.

I had some at a cake shop with a friend. The stained tongue, fingers and lips didn't really look too chic and the taste wasn't too out-of-this-world either. And then I tried it at another place, ho-hum. Just like any other cupcake, except the texture is nice and fine and the added buttermilk and vinegar made a slightly more interesting taste. I just had to search for a recipe and try it out ... just curious, you know.

This claimed to be one of the better ones. I tried it out. It's good ...... but ...

Nothing's wrong with the recipe. It's just me. Maybe I'm not a cup-cakey person, maybe the red color puts me off, maybe the amount of coloring used puts me off ...

Oh yeah, another thing .... ignore the frosting. I'm hopeless at piping. Practise, practise ....

On a less grumpy note, I've been wanting to feature this brilliant idea for awhile now ... cupcake wrappers. I can't remember where I'd got the template for mine but I prefer these to the ones that need glue to put together (notice the tab and slot). Just google for "cupcake wrap templates" and there are a ton of them for you to choose from. They have made my otherwise plain ol' cupcakes a little prettier.

And funnily enough, when things look good, they seem to taste a whole lot better. (Ahem)


2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

2 oz red food coloring ( I didn't use that much, I used abt 2 tbs and scared myself)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line tins with cupcake liners.

Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste, without lumps. (Since I used less liquid coloring, I had to add a little water to make a paste). Set aside.

In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste until well mixed.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, stir to mix well, then beat in half the buttermilk.

Stir in another 1/3 of flour then the other half of buttermilk. end with the last 1/3 of flour, mix until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix together vinegar and baking soda.

Add to cake batter and stir well.

Fill cupcake cups to slightly under 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes on a wire rack completely before frosting.

Frost with your favorite topping.

* Here I used cream cheese frosting which didn't quite hold up in our humid weather and today was exceptionally hot, hot, HOT!!

Jul 9, 2011

Lemon Curd

Zesty, tangy, refreshing .... a great accompaniment to many desserts.

I actually had it with my toast this morning ... woke me up! :D

The people who enjoy this are surprisingly the men in my family. Funny, I've always thought men don't like sour stuff.


1 cup sugar

225 g unsalted butter

finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons

5 egg yolks


In a stainless steel or heatproof bowl, put in sugar, butter, lemon juice and zest. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water until butter is melted. Beat well.

Whisk in egg yolks and continue to cook until curd has thickened ... about 15 mins.

Keep in a clean, sterilized jar.


*Note: This recipe makes a thick curd. Use half the amount of butter and 3 - 4 yolks for a less rich and runnier curd.

Jul 2, 2011

Plum Cobbler for July 4th

Fruit cobblers are as American as it gets. History says that it was concocted by early settlers in the USA when they couldn't get their hands on the usual ingredients for their suet puddings. And since July 4th is just around the corner .... heck, why not. I'm not pro to any country, my country's flag is also red white and blue, with 2 splashes of yellow. So where's the yellow? Umm.. how about the lemon rind in the topping?

And since I've decided to make this into individual servings, I've sort of un-cobbled the cobbler and turned into a spiral instead ... did you know it's called a "cobbler" because the original blobs of biscuits on a large dish is suppose to resemble the cobblestones on the streets?

In any case, this was delicious. We also had some lovely vanilla ice cream to go with it. That, will have to be another post.



5 plums, washed, pitted and sliced

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 tbs cornstarch (you can reduce this to 1/2 tbs, I like my filling gooey)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

TOPPING: (*Note: this makes enough dough for 2 quantities of the filling)

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tbs sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tbs baking powder

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2 oz cold butter, diced

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup cream

1/2 - 1 tsp grated lemon peel


1/2 tbs sugar

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon


1 tbs cream



Toss together all filling ingredients. Place in a deep dish and bake in a 180˚C oven for 30 mins.


Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, grated lemon peel and ground cinnamon.

Place flour mixture in to a food processor together with the diced butter.

Give a few buzzes until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and 1/4 cup cream.

Pour egg / cream mixture slowly through the food processor funnel and buzz a couple of times until just combined. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.

Remove filling from the oven, give it a stir and place balls of dough over the top, or in my case, I spooned the filling into individual ramekins, rolled the dough into thick ropes and coiled them around the top.

Brush with cream. Sprinkle with mixture of 1/2 tbs sugar and 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon.

Bake in oven for about 20 - 25 mins until golden browned.

Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream.

*Note: Since it's too bothersome to halve an egg yolk, feel free to double the recipe for the filling. Otherwise, refrigerate half the portion of dough until your next usage (not too long tho). Thaw well before using.