Simple Suji Butter Cake

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Hey guys. Okay, I know I said in my Tiramisu Crepe Cake that tiramisu was my mom’s favorite food. I was lying. Well, not quite, I mean she loves it too, but her all time favorite treat is butter cake. Pure, simple, butter cake. She asks me to make it every. single. time. I’ll have a recipe for traditional butter cake coming up soon (I know, it’s in reverse) which is SO DELICIOUS, but meanwhile, I have this Suji Butter Cake that’s equally delicious! My mom LOVES having a slice of butter cake with her coffee every morning, so you know it’s delicious if it managed to get that prime breakfast coffee spot.

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Buttermilk Pancakes

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I love breakfast. There’s only one way to say it. I love it. I suppose it’s because that’s the only time I can eat sweet food as a main meal without being judged: (honestly though, if I could, I would eat dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner.). I personally do not like the whole eggs and beans and sausage thing, so instead, I make pancakes, waffles and crepes!

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Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Decadent, rich, and with a deep chocolate flavor – this dark chocolate cheesecake is just divine

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This has officially become one of my dad’s favorite desserts. Probably because he loves his 99% dark chocolate (as a natural sweet-tooth, I don’t particularly like it). I added a mix of the 99% dark chocolate into the melted chocolate, and I think it really takes this cheesecake to the next level. The cheesecake isn’t too sweet, which is unusual for me, but honestly, it is just so delicious I love it!

I cannot explain in words just how good this cheesecake is. Not too sweet, creamy, rich and filled with the deep dark chocolate flavor. It’s so easy to make too – a simple but delicious cheesecake.

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Apple Shortcake

Getting ready for fall? I am! This is THE perfect dessert for the switch between summer and autumn!

Apple Shortcake

It’s that time again. Summer is over, it’s back to school, but then you have so many things to look forward to: Halloween, Christmas, (and for me) Chinese New Year. It’s probably why I love the end of the year so much. The hottest days are sort of over (if you don’t count Vietnam’s irregular scorching hot days), and everyone’s sort of getting into the fall groove: apples, pumpkins etc. but not in full swing, because it isn’t really OFFICIALLY fall yet (I know I sound insane).

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Lemon Curd Muffins

These  muffins are just bursting with a bright, tangy delicious lemon curd!

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I’m finally back in Vietnam! School starts in about 2 days, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one whose sorta excited. I mean, the sense of restlessness is unbearable – I need something to do! Most of the time I bake to occupy my free time (instead of doing the homework I should be doing), but Malaysia has just gotten so hot even being in the kitchen with 2 fans on still made me sweat.

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I had some leftover lemon curd from when I made my Lemon Macarons, so naturally I tried to think of something to make with lemon curd so it wouldn’t go to waste when we went back to Vietnam. I scoured the good ol’ internet for ways to use up lemon curd, but the majority of websites just recommended putting it on scones or sandwiching it in between cakes – I couldn’t be bothered to spend hours in that hot kitchen making layers of cakes so I could use up the lemon curd! I wanted something where I just had to add the lemon curd and the throw it in the oven – easy.

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Then it hit me.

Muffins. So versatile and easy. I made some super simple vanilla muffins, place a little lemon curd in between and it brought those simple muffins to the NEXT LEVEL.

Aaaand, as an added bonus, they couldn’t be easier!


Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 225g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125g plain yoghurt
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled (if using salted omit salt from recipe)
  • 150g lemon curd

Method:

  • Line a muffin tray with 12 paper cases. Preheat the oven to 180◦C
  • Place flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine and aerate
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg, yoghurt, whole milk, and butter
  • Pour into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined
  • Spoon about 1 ½ tbsp of mixture into each case and top with a generous 1 tbsp of lemon curd. Add a final ½ tbsp of batter and gently spread to cover the lemon curd
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

*Tastes best still warm*


How do you use up your leftover lemon curd? Let me know in the comments below!

Tiramisu Crepe Cake

The divine combination of 2 mouthwatering desserts makes one incredible yet classy dessert!

 

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The crepe cake is a classic French cake also known as the Mille Crepe (implying there’s a thousand layers). First just a little shoutout to my mom cuz it’s her birthday! Woooo! Anyway, I knew I had to make something, but a plain old cake wouldn’t do. Recently she went out with her friends and brought back a slice of cookies and cream crepe cake for me. Hold on, a bit of backstory here: my mom is does not like wasting money, like seriously doesn’t. Anything she can do herself instead of having to pay money for, she will do herself which isn’t always too bad. I clearly remember her telling me it cost RM 15 for one slice, and my grandma gasping in the corner. The slice tasted reaaaal good, but RM15? C’mon. So when her birthday rolled round, I thought I would make her a crepe cake and tiramisu flavored because she looooves tiramisu.

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It’s quite a easy cake, just really time-consuming – but then again not the kind of stressful bake, actually therapeutic, stacking all those layers. The first time I made this type of cake was a while ago, and I thought I could freehand stack the crepes – I ended up with this weird dome shaped cake, real ugly. SO MY ADVICE: use a springform pan. It’s also easier!

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My haphazard pile of crepes

This tiramisu crepe cake is made of coffee crepes with the classic tiramisu filling and cocoa.

I left the last crepe bare because the top will become the bottom after so put your prettiest crepe at the bottom of the pan and the second prettiest on the top.

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Then, just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate! After you can just invert it onto a plate and if you want you can either dust cocoa powder straight on top, or what I did was spread some of the left over filling on top and dusted with cocoa powder.

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NOTE: it’s gonna get a little messy, so maybe wear an apron? I did not and my shirt was coated in cocoa (and some filling):

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This recipe is from the YouTuber Tatyana’s Everyday Food


Makes 1 9 inch cake

Ingredients:

FOR COFFEE CREPES:

  • 8 eggs
  • 828ml (3 ½ cups) milk
  • 118ml (1/2 cup ) STRONG coffee
  • 113g (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 50g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 312g (2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 354ml (1 ½ cups) heavy cream
  • 226g cream cheese
  • 236ml (1 cup) sweetened condensed milk
  • 226g (1 cup) butter at room temp.
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

  • Place all the ingredients for coffee crepes in a blender and blend. (if blender is not available, whisk together all liquid ingredients and gradually whisk in dry until no lumps remain)
  • On a pan over medium heat, grease the pan slightly and add about ¼ cup of batter, swirling the batter until it coats the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 1 minute. When the edges turn golden, flip and cook for a further 30 seconds. Repeat until all the batter is used. Stack on a plate and allow to cool
  • Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the condensed milk, butter, salt, vanilla and heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy. DO NOT OVERMIX (filling will separate!)
  • Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment. Place one crepe on the bottom, spread a thin layer of filling, and sift some cocoa powder on top. Repeat until you get to the last crepe. Do not add filling or cocoa onto the last crepe
  • Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours. Flip the pan onto a plate and remove the springform pan. At this point you can either dust with cocoa or add more filling on top and then dust with cocoa.

What’s your favorite dessert? Let me know in the comments below!

Life Update: Summer 2016 Krabi

Hey guys! So I’ve just gotten back from my summer holiday trip to Krabi, Thailand. I love going to Thailand because for me it’s one of the best food places in the world! Krabi is quite a touristy area though, which means there are alot of shops and food, but can be a bit crowded sometimes :/

Day 1: So we decided to catch a early morning flight to make sure we had a full day in Krabi. I think I woke up at 4am? Anyway, we arrived at Krabi Airport at around 8am, and caught a bus that took us straight to our hotel in Aonang. If I remember correctly, it costs about 150 baht for one person, and they take you directly to your hotel. Our hotel was called the Aonang Beach Resort, and I was very satisfied. I remember my mom thinking it was a bit shady because of the low price she got the rooms at 🙂 The location was also very good, with lots of shops, restaurants, massage parlors, tailors, tourism shops and even tattoo parlors all the way up and down the street, and the beach is literally across the street. We spent most of our day shopping (I bought a bit too much). The shopkeepers are super friendly and nice, and bargaining for a lower price is quite common. Most of the shops sell very similar items: clothes, souvenirs, towels, bags, phone accessories, swimsuits…a whole variety! About food options: the restaurant promoters are VERY PUSHY, so you shouldn’t find it hard to choose a restaurant you like: they serve all types of cuisines: (Italian, Indian, Thai, Western, Chinese), so if you are not a big fan of Thai food, you won’t have to worry.

Day 2: Our second day we booked a tour to the Phi Phi Islands, where we could swim and snorkel, visit different beaches, and look at some reaaaaally nice scenery. It. was. beautiful. The water was so clear and blue it was surreal.

We also visited Monkey Bay, where the monkeys are willing to walk into the sea to get on the boat just to steal some food! Beware not to bring any belongings down though, just in case! I saw one monkey jump onto a boy to steal his water bottle! I tried not to laugh because the boy was freaking out – but failed.

That night we went for a massage which typically go for around 200 baht for a traditional Thai massage. (so relaxing especially because my shoulder muscles were aching from swim training)

Day 3: Our second tour was to the Emerald Pool and hot springs. It took us about an hour to get to the hot springs where the temperature is about 40 C, and feels soooo good (the tour guide said the waters had fluoride which apparently was good for our skin?). The good bit comes when you get out of the hot spring though, it feels so cool and nice especially on a hot day. After we headed onto the Emerald Pool – it’s about a 1.5km / 800m walk (depending on the route you decide to take) but the scenery along the way is gorgeous and it’s all worth it!

The pool is so refreshing and the tour guide claimed it was mineral water which again, was ‘good for our skin’ (I’m starting to see a trend here). Anyway, there were even little fishes in the water and it was just very relaxing. Just outside the Emerald Pool there were street vendors selling all kinds of food from fresh coconuts going for 30 baht (the cheapest we had seen), barbecued sticks of chicken (10 baht – THEY WERE DELICIOUS), cubes of ice cream on sticks, and there’s a restaurant as well where I saw alot of people eating at.

The tour ended at around 3pm so we went back to the rooms to freshen up, then decided to do more exploring around our area. We walked all the way up (turning left as we left the resort) where we found some delicious pad thai (80 baht for a bowl me and my sisters all shared) and thai lemon tea (from this shop called DERN KIN???). The shops further up also sold the same things but at cheaper prices, so if you happen to be there, go check it out!

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We had eaten so much we didn’t really feel like having a full dinner (except for my dad) so we went to this seafood restaurant where I had some real good Papaya Salad. I have an immense fear of cats (like my oldest sister Yuen) and my middle sister really likes stroking my leg to scare me, so throughout dinner I kept telling her to stop. Little did I know, one time a cat actually walked through our table and brushed past my leg. Me, thinking it was my sister (Rui), went: “Rui – oh my god it’s a real cat Yuen move” and literally pushed Yuen who was next to me out of her chair (while she was still eating papaya salad). It was one of the scariest moments of my life (seriously my fear of cats is THAT big)

Day 4: Our flight back to Malaysia was at 5pm so we had the morning to kill. The night before we had found a bus that went to Krabi town for 60 baht per person (a 40 minute drive). In the end we decided not to go that evening and headed back. So this morning we decided to check out early, get our luggage and hop on the bus to Krabi town, going straight to the airport after. We went to the Vogue Department Store first, but didn’t really find anything we liked, so we just walked down the streets (where there are quite alot of little shops). Again they sold barbecued pork for 10 baht (I bought 4 stick because it was so good) and drinks, and these pancake thingies (I apologize for not knowing what they’re called). We ended up leaving our luggage with this woman who we booked a van to the airport with because hauling our luggage across the streets was getting tiring.

A few more purchases and food eaten later, we met this man as we were walking along this lake (near an eagle statue thing) who convinced us to go on a boat tour on this lake (100 baht per person for 1 hour). We had the boat all to ourselves so it was really fun and the wind in our faces was a pleasant feeling. The boat took us first to a cave (30 baht per person) and then through the canal where there were mangroves and we saw some iguanas. Unfortunately, it started to rain (we were initially going to go to the fisherman’s village) so we headed back. After getting drenched by the rain we stopped at a restaurant for some lunch, and then went to the Maharaj Market just opposite. OH MY GOSH the mango sticky rice there was so good (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND). The lowest price we had seen (50 baht), and such big portions (the lady who runs it puts like 2-3 whole mangoes in one portion). My dad also stocked up on nuts and durian (ew.) On the way to airport it took about 30 minutes so we got the airport just fine 😀

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(apologies I took this picture in the van on the way to the airport)

So in the end I do recommend going to Krabi/Aonang for a holiday – there’s alot of things to do, lot’s of great food with good prices and everyone there is really friendly! However, it is quite a lot of tourists so at times it can be crowded – ALSO try not to go during rainy season (which is what we did). I mean, it’s still alright, just sometimes the rain ruined our shopping plans (we ran all the way back to our resort with our bags over our heads looking like lunatics). All in all, I have to say Thailand is one of my favorite places to visit!


What’s your favorite holiday destination? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake

This coffee glazed chocolate cake has such a deep chocolatey flavor it’s a must-try for all chocoholics!

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Most of the time when I’m in Malaysia my aunt asks me to bake something for her to bring when she goes to potlucks or barbecues (she normally just buys ice cream or something) so when she asked me to make something, I thought I couldn’t go wrong with a classic chocolate cake, could I?

The cake rises in the oven slightly but will deflate and flatten as it cools. The cake is then inverted to cool further, and also leaves a nice flat bottom to glaze!

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I paired this cake with a coffee glaze, which I made without cream (really because I ran out), replacing the cream for butter and milk instead (science!). The coffee flavor isn’t too strong, but just enough to heighten the chocolate flavor!

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Oh my gosh, look at that chocolatey-coffee goodness! I made sure I had some leftover so I could lick the bowl! IF you despise coffee (which I doubt anyone could ever do), you could just omit the coffee and leave it as a chocolate glaze. OR, you could just leave the glaze out, the cake is just THAT GOOD. The possibilities are endless. You have to act quite fast at this stage because the glaze is essentially a ganache, which thickens as it cools, so it’s best to pour it on while it’s still liquid, but at room-temperature. I just poured it on and used my ladle to nudge the glaze down the sides. I quite liked the look of the glaze drizzled down the side but y’know more glaze the better right? To even out the glaze you can always tap the cake a few times on the counter. But seriously guys, this cake is SO DECADENT AND DELICIOUS! I even added a little bit of coffee to the batter which I do to anything chocolate, because it really brings out the chocolate flavor and you can’t even taste the coffee! AND, if you want to make a layered cake, just multiply the recipe and you can get one super cute chocolate layered cake with the decadent glaze dribbling down the sides – real classic.


Makes 1 8 inch round pan

Ingredients:

  • 170g (3/4 cup) butter, at room temperature + extra for greasing
  • 88g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder + extra for dusting
  • 94g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 118ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk/sour cream (TO MAKE BUTTERMILK: Add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar to a measuring cup and pour milk up to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp instant coffee

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350◦F / 180◦C. Butter a 8 inch round pan and line the bottom with wax paper. Grease the wax paper and then dust with cocoa powder.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, instant coffee and salt.
  • In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed beat in ½ the flour. Beat in the buttermilk/sour cream. Beat in the rest of the flour
  • Spread the batter into the cake pan and bang on the counter to remove large air bubbles.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then flip the cake out onto the wire rack (bottom side up) and leave to cool completely.
  • OPTIONAL: glaze with chocolate glaze

What’s your favorite thing to bring to a potluck/barbecue? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

Citrus Chiffon Cake

This Citrus Chiffon Cake is so light, fluffy and moist with a nice hint of citrus flavor!

Citrus Chiffon

When my grandma asked me to make a butterless treat for her friends the other day, I was so happy when I found this recipe. Not too sweet, yet moist with a scrumptious lemon/orange flavor, my grandma came back later and told me the four of them had eaten it all!

Many people get intimidated by chiffon cakes but the key to making the perfect chiffon cake is to be careful not to deflate the batter when folding in your egg whites. That, and also remembering NOT to grease the cake pan. This is all to ensure that the cake rises nice and high, and doesn’t deflate once you pull it out of the oven

This cake pairs so nicely with a cup of tea!

This recipe was adapted from Jenny Can Cook‘s recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Zest of (1 or 2) large oranges + one lemon
  • Juice of 1-2 oranges + water up to ¾ cup (based on how juicy oranges are and desired orange flavor)
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) oil
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 egg whites
  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 180g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 162◦C / 325◦F.
  2. In a small bowl combine juice, zest, egg yolks, oil and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and beat with an electric mixer for one minute.
  5. With clean beaters, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form
  6. Fold 1/3 of egg whites gently into the flour mixture. Add remaining egg whites and continue folding gently (being careful not to knock out air) until no more streaks remain.
  7. Pour into an UNGREASED pan. Bake for 60 minutes. (if it’s browning too much make a tent out of aluminium foil and place over the cake)
  8. Immediately remove from the oven and invert onto a funnel. Cool completely before running a knife along the edges and removing from tin.

 

LEMON MACARONS

These lemon macarons are bursting with flavor, tangy, and are the perfect summertime treat!

Lemonmacarons

Hey guys! So I’m currently in Malaysia for my summer holiday, and boy, IT IS HOT (and  humid). I’ve had quite a wild ride with these good ol’ macarons, but came across a new method of making them. I’d heard whispers of this method but never really thought of trying it out, but after probably 10 failed attempts at the French method over 4 years, I thought I’d give it a go – result: I WAS AMAZED, and it totally made my day. The Italian method wasn’t that much harder than the French and the macarons turned out great on the first go. Trust me, after having such bad experiences with macarons, I was literally so happy when I saw those little feet on the macarons in the oven.

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I still remember the first time I made macarons. A 11 year old me, that didn’t quite understand the fickleness and difficulty of macarons. I ended up with a neon pink caterpillar of super sweet, slightly chewy cookie-like things which I ended up eating before workouts to give me that ‘sugar boost’. I had wanted that cute baby pink color but did not realize Malaysian ‘rose pink’ food dye was neon pink. I piped them so close together and didn’t let them dry out that they just joined together in the oven! A few more tries along the way I ended up making super crunchy chocolate buttons rather than macarons, and the one time I did have feet the macarons were so hard I couldn’t even sink my teeth into them. Needless to say, macarons are certainly not my best friends.

I decided to make lemonade/lemon inspired macarons because it was way too hot in Malaysia and I was craving a ‘teh limau ais’ (basically iced lemon tea). My mom hates using food colorings because she claims its highly unhealthy and artificial, so I resorted to making just plain white macarons with a delicious yellow lemon curd in between.

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Now, the Italian method involves mixing icing sugar, almond flour, and a little bit of egg whites until it forms a paste (quite thick). Then, you boil sugar and water together and while your egg whites are whipping, drizzle the sugar mixture in to make a meringue (which by the way, tastes like marshmallows and is so good). After, you fold the meringue into the almond paste and you’re done! Ha! If only it were that simple. The good thing about the Italian method is that since you make a meringue by drizzling in the hot sugar and water, the egg whites are more stable so when you fold the mixture, there’s less room for error (as in its not as easy to overmix). The macaron batter should be thick, and fall in thick flowing ribbons from the spatula, and go back into the mixture in around 20 seconds. It’s better to undermix than overmix because when you transfer it to your piping bag, and pipe it out, you’ll be mixing it a little bit more. But once you overmix, there’s no going back, so BE CAREFUL!

NOTE: I suggest making these when it’s not raining so there’s less humidity and your macarons dry out quicker!

This was adapted from The Finer Cookie‘s recipe.


INGREDIENTS:

– 106g almond flour

– 106g powdered/icing sugar

– 41g egg whites, at room temperature

– 45g egg whites

– 118g granulated sugar

– 79g water

METHOD:

1) Place the almond flour and icing sugar in a food processor/blender and pulse.

2) Sift the mixture into a bowl (this is very important in order to aerate the mixture and remove lumps)

3) Fold in the 41g of egg whites. It will be very stiff but don’t worry

4) In a saucepan over low heat with a candy thermometer, place the granulated sugar and water. Stir constantly until all the sugar has dissolved. Then, stop stirring and increase the heat to medium

5) When the sugar mixture reaches 203°F / 95°C,  reduce the heat to low and in a clean bowl (no grease), begin whipping the 45g of egg whites on low speed until soft peaks. (you can use a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer)

6) Without stirring, heat the syrup to 248°F / 120°C. When it reaches this temperature, slowly drizzle the syrup in a steady stream into the egg whites while mixing.

7) Turn mixer speed to high and continue whipping until the temperature of the bowl has cooled to room temperature, and the meringue is stiff and glossy. (Roughly 3-5 minutes)

*about 1 minute before finishing whipping the meringue, if you would like to add coloring, do so at this stage*

8) Add 1/3 of the meringue into the almond mixture and fold until the texture is uniform and well combined.

9) Add the rest of the meringue and fold gently. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT STAGE.

10) Fold gently until the mixture becomes almost lava like – it should fall off the spatula in thick, flowing ribbons and dissolve into the rest of the mixture slowly. Be careful not to overmix.

11) Fill a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip or with the end cut off. Place a sheet of parchment paper or a silpat onto a baking tray and pipe roughly 2.5cm circles. If you would like a printable piping guide, you can get one HERE.

12) Bang the tray on the counter several times to force large air bubbles to the top. Leave the macarons out to dry (you can speed up this process by turning on the fan). The macarons should have formed and skin and not be sticky when touched.

13) Bake in a preheated oven of 325°F / 162°C for 8-10 minutes in a convection, or 10-15 minutes in a standard oven setting. NOTE: (I like putting my tray in the lowest shelf to avoid browning). The macarons are done when the tops are shiny and crispy.

14) Remove the tray from the oven and let the macarons cool slightly on the tray before peeling them off the paper and cooling further on a wire rack.

FILLING:

15) You can fill these macarons with whatever you would like but if you would like my recipe for lemon curd, you can find it HERE

*I find these taste better a one or two days after they have been baked and filled*

*these freeze very well too!*