Saturday, 14 February 2015

Pineapple Tarts 黄梨酥


It has been quite awhile since my last post for Christmas as I have been so busy after that.  

Every year, around this period, I’m so ready for all things to welcome Chinese New Year.  I have started to get organised since January by listing down things that I need for spring cleaning. 

 I would survey the house by looking around the rooms, closet, desk, storage cabinet, etc and take inventory on what need to be cleaned, de-cluttered and also what are those stuff that need to get rid.    This is also a time that I would check and replace the beddings, upholstery, furniture, etc.  I would also schedule some dates and assign everyone in family a task to a job as I think I should not be doing all these alone. 
Look! Look! Look at my balcony.  Finally, I had made a point to do something to it.  I had beautified the corner by adding some plants and displays to it.  Now it has become a little home garden of mine and I could really feel that Spring is coming! J

Ok ok ok…  Pardon me.  I know I’m supposed to share what I have been baking lately and not about my spring cleaning.  But I really couldn’t bear not to share what I had done to my balcony for this year’s spring cleaning :P

Ok!  How about this? J
Can you tell they are pineapples and not porcupines?  When my good friend commented these porcupines are cute and my response was “huh! What? Porcupines?” :D
I must say that Chinese New Year is incomplete without pineapples cookie.  It is a festive cookie that all families wouldn’t want to miss it.  Pineapple cookie has become a must for all families and also one of the gift items for Chinese New Year.  For this reason, I’m making it and guess it will become one of a "must bake" cookie for CNY.
This year, instead of doing the usual Taiwan style of pineapple cookie, I decided to try this new recipe from Butter, Flour & Me.  Apparently, my family and relatives prefer this to the one I made for last year.

125g       Unsalted Butter
50g         Icing Sugar
25g         Egg Yolk
½ tbsp     Condensed Milk
220g       Plain flour
35g         Egg Yolk Powder (I used Pillsbury Custard Powder)
2 tbsp      Milk Powder (I used Anlene)

Pineapple fillings
I’m using the same recipe, which I learnt from a home based baking teacher last year.  My friends and I made the fillings about 1 month ahead and store in an air-tight container in room temperature.  For enclosed tarts, the pineapple jam has to be completely dry and sticky.  This is the reason we are making it ahead and left in room temperature for few weeks before used.

1.Preheat the oven at 170°C and line the tray with baking paper.

2.Beat butter and icing sugar together until the colour turn pale.

3.Add egg yolks and follow by condense milk.  Mix well.

4.Sift flour together with milk powder and custard powered into the butter mixture.

6.Roll dough into a ball of 12g and roll pineapple into a ball of 10g.  Flatten the dough and wrap it with pineapple fillings. 

7.Roll the dough with pineapple filling to slightly oval shape.  Use this type of scissor to cut the surface of the dough in layer of sharp edges.

Wishing all of you happy baking for Cook & Celebrate: CNY 2015 hosted by 3 of my favourites bloggers - Yen of Eat Your Heart Out, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

I’m also submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015Event.  Theme: My Homemade Cookies organised by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

Friday, 13 February 2015

Earl Grey (Oolong) Milk Tea Cookies

It is known by everybody that Earl Grey Tea gives out a very rich flavour to cookie and I was thinking it would be wonderful if the cookie could give out the flavour of Oolong Tea.  So I decided to give it a try.  But I was pretty disappointed as the cookies turn out to be flavourless.  There wasn’t any slightest flavour of Oolong Tea at all L
However, the consolation part is that the texture of the cookie is crunchy; not so buttery and it goes really well with cup of Lipton Tea J.  
But if you will to ask me whether I will bake this again for Chinese New Year?  My reply to you is… I doubt I will. 

The recipe yields 30 pcs.  But I think I only managed to pipe out less than 15 pcs and by evening, the cookies were all gone.

150g       Butter
100g       Icing Sugar

20g         Egg Yolk

60g         Ground Almond
200g       Cake Flour

50g         Milk
5g            Earl Grey Tea Leave
(I replaced with Oolong because nobody drinks Earl Grey Tea at home)

(1)Softened the butter and cut into dices.  Place ingredients C in a same bowl.

(2)Line a baking tray with non-stick baking mat.  Preheat oven to 180˚C.

(3)Place Ingredients A into mixing bowl.  Using a whisk, beat the mixture till light and fluffy.  Add Ingredients B in 2-3 batches and beat well after each addition.

(4)Heat milk to 90˚C and remove from heat.  Add in tea leaves and cover with lid for 5 minutes.

(5)Filter the milk tea, and place some of the leaves into the mixture (3) and beat well.

(6)Sift in Ingredient C.  Mix until the mixture is well combined.

(7)Place the dough into plastic bag and slightly flatten it, wrap tightly.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

(8)Remove the dough.  Sprinkle some flour over workspace and roll the dough out to a thickness of 0.5cm.  Use cookie mould cutter to cut out the dough and place them onto a baking tray.  Instead of using cookie mould cutter, I pipe out the batter onto the baking tray.

(9)Bake in oven for 20 mintues.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

This recipe is taken from the cookbook – The Secret of Cookies 告诉你饼干的密秘  This cookbook is a Christmas gift from my elder boy.  He said the cookbook is value for money as it contains so many recipes at the price of less than S$20. Ha ha ha!

Wishing all of you happy baking for Cook & Celebrate: CNY 2015 hosted by 3 of my favourites bloggers - Yen of Eat Your Heart Out, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

Seaweed and Meat Floss Cookies

I hardly make cookies because my family prefers cakes to cookies.  The only time that I baked a lot of cookies is during the Chinese New Year period and it is also the only time that I will eat a lot of them.
This is one of the cookies that I will bake again for Chinese New Year.  They are so well received by my children.  Seaweed and meat floss are great combination.  These sweet-savoury cookies are crunchy, taste and ADDICTIVE!   
This recipe is taken from the cookbook – The Secret of Cookies 告诉你饼干的密秘  


75g         Butter
10g         Caster sugar
3g            Salt

50g         Whole Egg

150g       Cake Flour
3g            Baking powder

5g           Seaweed sheets
20g         meat floss

(1)Softened butter and cut into dices.  Beat with whole egg.

(2)Place ingredients C into a same container.  Cut Ingredients D into small pieces.

(3)Line a baking tray with non-stick baking mat.  Preheat the oven to 170˚C.

(4)Place Ingredient A into mixing bowl.  Using a whisk, beat the mixture till light and fluffy.  Add Ingredients B in 3-4 batches and beat well after each addition.

(5)Sift in Ingredients C.  Using a spatula, press down till the mixture is well-combine.  Add in ingredient D, keep pressing the mixture with your hand and a scraper till a dough is formed.

(6)Place the dough into plastic bag and slightly flatten it, wrap tightly.  Refrigerate for 30 mintues.

(7)Remove the dough, Sprinkle some flour over your workspace and place the dough onto it.  Roll out the dough to a thickness of 0.4mm

(8)Cut the flatten dough into triangle of 5.5cm on each side.  Arrange them onto baking tray.  Bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool

Wishing all of you happy baking for Cook & Celebrate: CNY 2015 hosted by 3 of my favourites bloggers - Yen of Eat Your Heart Out, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

I’m also submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event.  Theme: My Homemade Cookies organised by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Honey & Black Pepper Baked Ham


Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas!
You know what?  My family would never live through a Christmas without ham and this year I decided to make my own ham.

I learn to make this ham from a baking session with few friends from church.  We had a great fun baking ham together and we had baked about 15 hams on that day.  Every one of us got to bring home a ham. 

My hubby and children gave a thumb up after eating the ham and that inspired me to bake my own ham for this Christmas.

A baked ham isn’t ham without the glaze.  Look!  The ham looks so gorgeous after the glazing. 

One of our favourite ways to eat ham is to go with baked vegetables.  The baked veggies, especially the capsicums(bell peppers) and carrots , bring out the sweet flavour that goes beautifully with the ham.  

Not forgetting the mango sauce.  The pureed mangos and honey mustard blended with brown sugar and lemon juice make a delicious fruit-flavoured sauce to go along with the baked ham.
The best ham I ever had for this Christmas!  
I’m contributing this recipe to Cook and Celebrate Christmas 2014 and I hope you will like the recipe.

1 kg        Half cooked ham
400g       Coke Cole
1 can       Beer
2 tsp        Peppercorn
1 pce       Bay leaves
2 small   Onions

(1)Mix the ingredients together in a pot and boil it for ½ hour.  Do not discard the stock.  
(2)When ham is cooled, score ham.  Scoring the ham lets the glaze penetrate into the meat.

1 tbsp      Orange Marmalade
1 tsp        Honey mustard
1 clove    Garlic chopped
1 tbsp      Brown sugar
½ tsp       Black pepper
1 tsp        Worcester sauce
1 tbsp      Black pepper sauce
Mix all ingredients and rub onto the cooked & scored ham and cover with foil and bake for 10 mins at 180ºC.

HONEY GLAZE (2nd layer of glaze)
100g       Stock from boiling the ham.
40g         Honey
20g         Brown sugar
1 tbsp      Chopped onion
1 tsp        Black pepper
½ tbsp     Black pepper sauce

(1)Mix the ingredients.  Cook the ingredient until it is thick.
(2)Glaze the ham and put it back to oven and bake for 10mins.
(3)Remove from oven and glaze the balance sauce and bake for another 5 mins.

1 tbsp      Honey Mustard
1 tbsp      Black Pepper
1 tbsp      Chopped garlic
1 tbsp      Salt
3 tbsp      Olive oil
4 large    White onions, cut into large wedges
2 large    Potato, cut into wedges

(1)Mix the ingredient (except the olive oil) and toss the vegetables together in a baking dish.  Before putting it to the oven, drizzles olive oil over it.  
(2)Bake the vegetable until they are soft.

2 tbsp      Brown sugar
¾ cup      Pureed from 2 small mangoes
3 tbsp      Honey Mustard
1 tbsp      Lemon juice
½ tsp       Worcester sauce (optional)

(1)Mix the ingredient and heat it warm.
(2)Arrange the baked vegetable around the ham and served it with mango sauce.

I’m submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organised by Yen from Eat Your Heart Out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Juicy Barbecued Pork


Year end is the time where friends get together, and catching up with old friends is always a great joy.

Lately I’ve been talking, laughing and sharing life with some really great friends for over 3 decades.  We have the opportunity to catch up on what have been happening and reminiscing on the time we spent together in school, reliving old jokes, sharing our dreams and future.  Encouraging and support each other emotionally and we even get some really helpful advice from our chat too!

One of the things I always tell my friends after meeting with them is that we mustn’t leave it so long next time… I’m so glad that we invariably do it though.  It is tough finding the time in the middle of busy lives.  But often it only takes 1 person’s crazy plan to make occasion happened.

Yes.  This was why I’ve been quiet for a period of time since my last post.  I’m now back again and ready for Christmas recipe!!

How about Juicy Chinese Barbecued Pork, something different for this Christmas? J

Here’s another recipe for Char Siew which I have made recently.  The seasoning is good.  It is sweet and savoury finger licking.  This is the 1st time I’m using pork butt to make char siu.  The meat turned out to be bit dry but it is healthier choice of meat.  The belly is of course the most tastier.
The recipe is adapted from one of Christine Ho’s cookbook – Easy Recipes.
700g               Pork butt
4 tbsp              Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
1 tbsp              Honey, or to taste

1 tbsp              Shaoxing wine
2 tsp                Freshly grated ginger juice 
1 tbsp              Light soy sauce


(1)Rinse and cut the pork into strips about 2” to 2.5” in width.  Marinate pork with the char siu sauce and seasonings.  Cover and chill in fridge.  For a better result, marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

(2)Preheat oven to 200˚C.  Remove the pork from the fridge and rest in room temperature for 10 minutes.  Transfer into a oven proof ceramic tray (I used non-stick baking pan for easy washing later) with all the marinate.  Cover with foil.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Remove the foil, lower the heat to 100ºC.  From now on, keep an eye on it.  Spoon the sauce over the pork every 10 minutes to keep moist.  Turn to the other side and continue baking.  Keep basting sauce over the port keep moist (This is the key to baking succulent and juicy BBQ pork).  When the sauce becomes less and thickens, brush the pork with honey and bake for 10 minutes (Do not brush any honey too early or the pork will be burnt easily.  Just apply when the pork is nearly done).  The pork will gradually turn red in colour.  When you are satisfied with the colour and the consistency of the gravy, it is done.

(3)Remove from the oven and let the pork rest for 10 minutes.  When it cools down a bit, slice and serves with the gravy.

I’m also submitting this to this post to Cook-Your-Book #19 hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavour.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Grilled chicken with Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette (Bobby Flay)

This is a Lovely Gift by a Lovely Friend from Melbourne.
Just before I went for my Penang trip, I had the pleasure to meet up with 2 bloggers (Zoe and Diana) whom I have known through blogging over a year.  The meeting was so fun. We had a great time chatting and laughing, and the sharing we had was so inspiring.  

There’s something wonderful about meeting someone in real life that you’ve already known online.  It’s just like an instant friend.  Do you agree with me? J

Ok now.  Look at this dish!  
Did it make you salivate?

I love this chicken recipe from Bobby Flay.  The ingredients used for marinate is so simple but it has tons of flavour that would sure delight you.


(For 4 servings)

Grilled Chicken
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, about 6 ounces each
4 bone-inch chicken thights
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola Oil

Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tbsp              Canola Oil
½ pound         Applewood smoked slab bacon, cut into lardon
¼ cup              Red wine vinegar
1 heap tbsp    Dijon Mustard     
1 tsp                Clover Honey      
2 tbsp              Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
                        Parsley leaves, for garnish


Grilled Chicken
Season the chicken well on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30mins before grilling and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.  Brush the chicken with canola oil.  Place the thighs/breasts on the grill.  Grill pan skin side down and cook slowly, until the skin is crisp and renders fat and pulls away from the grates easily, about 6 minutes. 

Turn over and continue cooking until bottom of the breast is golden brown and thighs/breasts are just cooked through.  Remove to a plate and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.  

Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette
Heat the canola oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the bacon and slowly cook until the bacon is golden brown and crisp and the fat has rendered.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

Heat the rendered fat in the sauté pan over low heat.  Whisk in the vinegar, mustard and honey and cook for 30 seconds, to warm through.

Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add the bacon to the pan.  Serve a breast and thigh on each plate and lightly spoon the sauce over, garnish with parsley leaves.

I’m submitting this post to Cook-Like-A-Star, which is organised by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Grace from Life Can Be Simple.

For November and it’s also the last even for 2014, we’re cooking and baking recipes from Bobby Flay

I’m also submitting this to this post to Cook-Your-Book #18 hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavour.

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