Monday, August 30, 2010

Marble Pound Cake

Ingredients:  (All at room temperature)

3 eggs (60g each)
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g sugar
1/4 tsp salt (omit this if using salted butter)
185g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • Lined and greased a 18 cm round cake tin or a 23 x 13 x 8 cm loaf tin.
  • Preheat oven at 170 degrees C.
  • In a medium bowl, lightly combine eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
  • In a larger bowl, combined flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Mix on low speed for 30 seconds or until blended.
  • Add in softened butter and half of the egg mixture.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Increase to medium speed.  Beat for about 1 minute.  Gradually add in the remaining egg mixture in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg.
  • Transfer half of the batter into another bowl and mix in sifted cocoa powder.  
  • Place alternate spoonfuls of the 2 mixtures into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes. 

This is a slight variation of the basic pound cake recipe shared by Stephanie Jaworski.  It uses the 'Quick Method' and is really easy to make. The result is a light, moist and velvety texture cake which seems to melt-in-your mouth.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chwee Kueh

Chwee Kuih ('Water Cake' in Hokkien) are steamed rice cakes with toppings.  In this second posting of Chwee Kuih  I've added some wheat starch (tang mein fun in Cantonese) into the batter and I find that the texture is much softer compare to my previous recipe


200g rice flour
4 tbsp (24g) tapioca flour/cornflour
2 tbsp (12g) wheat starch 
1 cup cold water
3 cups boiling water
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt

  • Sift rice flour, cornflour and wheat starch into a bowl.  
  • Add in salt, oil and cold water. Stir to combine. 
  • Pour boiling water into the batter and stir well.
  • Spoon batter into individual bowls and steam over high heat for 15 minutes.
  • Leave it to cool in the bowls.  
  • Remove the kueh and serve with toppings.


200g preserved radish (chye poh)- chopped
40g dried shrimps, chopped finely
3 shallots,  sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
40ml oil
soy sauce
chillies (optional)

  • Heat oil.  Saute shallots and garlic.  Dish out and set aside.
  • Stir fry dried shrimps and preserved radish separately.  Then put in the shallots and garlic.  Mix well.
  • Finally add sugar and soy sauce.

Orange Chiffon Cake

This delicious and light chiffon cake recipe was given to me by my former cooking-buddy Sock Ching, thanks for sharing dear.



7 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar


7 egg whites
125g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

6 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
200ml orange juice
zest of 1 large orange
155g self-raising flour

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  • (A):  Beat egg yolks for 1 minute.   Gradually add sugar and cream of tartar and beat for about 5 minutes.  Then beat in vanilla extract and oil.  Then add orange juice and  orange zest.  Beat until well combined. 
  • Sift flour into  a mixing bowl.  Gradually whisk in the egg mixture in a slow and steady stream.
  • (B):  In another bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, then add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff.  This will take about 10 minutes.
  • Fold the beaten egg whites into the flour/egg yolk mixture.  Fold until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased tube cake pan and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes.
  • Once the cake is out from the oven, invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Do not remove the cake until it is completely cooled. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lui Char (擂茶)


The traditional dish of the Hor Poh Hakkas, Lui Char Farn literally means "Ground Tea Rice";  the name derives from the way the soup was made. Traditionally, tea leaves and roasted peanuts were grounded together (in a special clay pot with a rough surface)  to form a paste -  with a wooden pestle made from guava tree branch. Then boiling water is poured into the peanut paste to steep before serving.   

Lui Char is in fact quite a healthy dish and consists of an assortment of  green vegetables, french beans, snake beans,  herbs like basil, dill and mint, bean curd, dried shrimps, preserved turnips (choy poh), etc served with fragrant garlic rice. 

I have no proper means of measurement for this recipe, as I always 'agak-agak' (guess) the proportion of the ingredients. 

My peanuts were not roasted until golden brown hence the light-coloured peanut/tea soup.  Besides I omitted the basil leaves as I couldn't find any at the market on that particular day.  

Peanut/Tea Soup: (serves 4)

500g roasted peanuts
1 cup of chinese tea 
a handful of basil (optional)
1500ml water (approx.)

  • Blend peanuts and chinese tea in a food processor into a fine paste.  Add more water if necessary. 
  • Boil water in a pot.  Add in the peanut/tea paste and stir well.  Set aside.

Side dishes:    

(Cut washed vegetables and beans finely)
french beans    
snake beans     
choy sum        
gai lan
firm tofu - diced finely
dried shrimps - chopped finely
chopped preserved turnip (choy poh)

a head of garlic - minced
1 cup oil

rice - washed and drained

  • Heat oil in a pan.  Fry garlic until lightly browned.  Transfer into a bowl.  Set aside.
  •  Put 2 tbsp of garlic oil in a frying pan and add in rice.  Stir fry for a minute.  Add salt.  Transfer into rice cooker.  When rice is cooked, stir in 2 tbsp of garlic oil and mixed well.
  • Lightly brown tofu.  Dish out and set aside.
  • Stir fry dried shrimps until aromatic.  Add in the cooked tofu and chopped dill.  Stir to combine.  Dish out.
  • Fry preserved turnip.  Dish out.
  • Using garlic oil, stir fry all the vegetables separately.  Season with a little salt.  [Caution:  It is better to under season than to over season because you can always add more salt later] 
  •  Bring the peanut/tea soup to the boil. 
  • To serve:  Spoon the rice into individual serving bowls.  Top with accompanying side dishes.  Ladle hot peanut/tea soup over this.

Curry Laksa

A bowl of piping hot curry laksa (albeit a cheat's version) especially on a cold wintry day sounds like heaven.  There are a few brands of Curry Laksa paste available in the market but my favourite brands are Chilliz and Tean's Gourmet - which I always have in my pantry.   I prefer to use home-made chicken stock instead of water for my Laksa broth. 

(Serves 3)


3 cups chicken broth
500g 'lai fun' (rice noodles) - blanched in boiling water for 1 minute, drained
choy sum - blanched in boiling water
bean sprouts - blanched in boiling water
tofu puff ("tofu pok") - halved
fish cake/fish balls
2 hard boiled eggs, halved
mint - for garnishing
150ml coconut cream (or more if prefer creamier laksa)
1 packet of  Chilliz Curry Laksa paste
lime (cut into wedges) - optional

  • Boil chicken stock and add in laksa paste and stir well.  
  • Add in tofu puff and cook for about 5 minutes; then add in fish cake/fish balls.  Bring to the boil.
  • Pour in coconut cream and stir well.  
  • Put a handful of  the noodles, choy sum and bean sprouts in a bowl, then ladle hot laksa broth over the noodles. 
  • Garnish with hardboiled eggs and mint.  
  • Serve with sambal belacan on the side.
           (Optional:  you can squeeze some lime juice into the laksa)

Curry Laksa on Foodista

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mua Chi

I remember the first time I ate Mua Chi was when I was a little girl.  It was served at a relative's wedding. I recalled the dough was cut using a piece of thread and then rolled with grounded peanuts and sugar.  I was told that the Hor Poh clan of the Hakka people always have Mua Chi (although it was called a different name)  during weddings.

I never knew making Mua Chee could be so easy until I stumbled upon  Lily Ng' recipe using the short-cut method.  The idea of zapping the dough in the microwave is brilliant.  I have some ground peanuts mixed with toasted sesame seeds left over from my Acar last week so I decided to give it a go.  And the results were fantastic!  


1 cup glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tsp sugar
4 tbsp coconut cream
1 tbsp cooking oil
150 ml water

2 tbsp fragrant oil (fried with shallots)


1/2 cup of chopped toasted peanuts
1/4 cup of fine granulated sugar
 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

  • Mix glutinous rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, oil and water in a microwavable  bowl and cook it on High for 1 minute. Stir well and cook for another minute. or more until well cooked.   Stir well.
  • Add in the 2 tbsp of fragrant oil.  Stir well with a plastic spatula. 
  • Let the dough cool a bit. 
  • Combine the ground peanut, sesame seeds and sugar mixture.  Put the dough into the peanut mixture and using a pair of scissor, cut into small pieces and coat well with peanuts. 
  • Serve.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Prawn Risotto


200g Arborio rice (alternatively use medium or short grained rice to achieve the rich and creamy texture )
2 tbsp olive oil
30g butter (extra 20g butter - optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced (extra minced garlic for prawns)
1 onion, chopped
5 rashers rindless bacon, sliced (can be substituted with Spam or Chorizo)
400g prawns, shelled
4 button mushrooms, diced
half a carrot, diced
1/4 cup green peas
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock (seasoned with salt and pepper) or more if necessary
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
chopped parsley or coriander
black pepper

  • Bring the chicken stock to the boil. Turn off heat.
  • Heat olive oil and butter under low heat in a heavy based saucepan. Add bacon, onion and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.  
  • Stir in the rice and cook over medium heat for about 3 - 4  minutes or until rice is opaque around the edges, stirring constantly to keep it from sticking.  Add in wine and let simmer to absorb the liquid, stirring constantly.
  • Add in hot stock gradually, one ladleful  at a time and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed.  (Mushroom and carrot can be added at this stage).
  • Continue this process until all the stock has been added to the risotto or until the rice is soft but with a slight bite to it.  [A traditional risotto is done when the grains are soft on the outside and slightly crunchy on the inside, but I personally prefer the rice to be soft all the way through]
  • Remove rice from the heat.  Stir in green peas, parmesan cheese and 20g butter (optional).  Stir well. Cover the pan and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate pan, fry some garlic in a little butter and olive oil until slightly browned.  Toss in the prawns and stir fry until just cooked.
  • Before serving the rice, stir in the prawns and chopped parsley. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rich Chocolate Cake

Thanks to my dear friend, MeeLan  who so generously shared this beautiful recipe with me.


400g good quality chocolate
250g butter
100g sugar
6 eggs

150g self-raising flour
3 tbsp milk


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Lightly greased a 20cm springform pan. Line the base of the pan with baking paper.
  • Placed chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water). Once the chocolate is melted, stir well, ensuring that it is completely smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
  • Stir melted chocolate into the batter until well combined.
  • Fold in sifted flour, alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir until just combined.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes. When the cake is cooked, a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
  • Cool cake on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Strawberry Friands

(Makes  10)


1½ cups (240g) icing mixture, sifted
½ cup (75g) plain flour, sifted
185g butter, melted
6 egg whites
1 cup (125g) almond meal
100g fresh/frozen strawberries (or any other berries)
2 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position so that the friands brown evenly.
  • Grease 10 friand pan holes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites lightly until foamy which takes about half a minute.
  • Add the melted butter, almond meal, icing sugar, desiccated coconut and flour.  Whisk until just combined.
  • Divide mixture among the friand pan holes, then push a strawberry into the centre of each friand.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until browned and cooked when tested.
  • Remove friands from the oven and allow to stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a small rubber spatula around the outside of each friand to loosen before turning them onto a wire rack to cool.


Tip: Choc-chips, almond flakes and other dried fruits can be added into plain friands

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Soy Sauce Chicken


1 whole chicken (about 1.2kg), clean and pat dry
1 1/2  - 2 cups light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce (optional)
1 cup water
1/2 cup Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
1/4 cup Shao Hsing wine
15g rock sugar
1 star anise
1/2 cinnamon stick
dash of pepper
2 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 slices ginger

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to the boil.  
  • Add the chicken and bring to the boil again.  Reduce heat.  Cover with a lid and let simmer for 45 minutes (or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of a thigh is pierced with a skewer or chopstick), turning over once or twice.  Baste the chicken with the sauce for a minute or more each time you turn it over.
  • Remove chicken from the pot.  Strain the cooking liquid (soy sauce mix).
  • Once the chicken is cool, cut into bite-sized pieces.  
  • Serve chicken with the sauce.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sausage Rolls


450g minced beef
250g minced pork
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, grated
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp mixed herbs
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp worcestershire steak sauce (optional)
2 eggs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs + extra breadcrumbs
beaten eggs (for brushing)
4 sheets puff pastry - halved

  • Heat oil in a pan and saute onion and carrot until softened.  
  • Mixed together minced beef and pork, onion, carrot, garlic powder, herbs, tomato paste, sauces, sugar, eggs, pepper & 1 cup breadcrumbs until well combined.  
  • Shape the meat mixture into 8 logs and coat with extra breadcrumbs.  Then place along the long edge of the pastry.  Roll up the pastry to make into sausage roll.  Cut into 4.  Place seam-side down onto a baking tray.
  • Brush sausage rolls with beaten eggs and bake in a preheated oven of 190 degrees C for 20 minutes or until golden and puffed up.  
  • Serve hot with ketchup.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pig's Trotter in Black Vinegar with Ginger


2 pig's hocks, chopped into pieces
3 pieces gravy pork, cut into pieces
1 bottle of black vinegar
1 bottle of sweet vinegar
700g ginger, sliced
1 piece palm sugar (200g) 
3 dried chillies
salt to taste

  • Blanch trotters and gravy pork.  Drain.
  • With a little oil in a wok, fry the ginger and trotter and pork for a few minutes until dry.  Add about a cup of black vinegar and keep frying until fragrant.
  • Transfer into a big pot.  Pour in the black vinegar and sweet vinegar and add in the palm sugar, salt and dried chillies.  (Adjust the quantity of the black and sweet vinegar and also the palm sugar according to your taste).
  • Bring it to the boil.  Then lower the fire and let it simmer for about an hour or until the meat is tender.
[This dish is best eaten the next day)

Pulut Tai Tai


700g glutinous rice
blue food coloring (or 'bunga telang'/Blue Pea flower- washed & pounded to extract the blue coloring)
1 cup coconut cream (with 1/2 tsp salt)
3 cups coconut milk
pandan leaves
banana leaves

  • Soak 1/4 of the glutinous rice in the blue coloring and the rest of the rice in water for about 2 hours.  (Squeeze a few drops of lemon/lime juice into the rice to give it a beautiful sheen and retains the color).
  • Drain rice well.  Line the bottom of a pan with banana leaves.  Put the rice and pandan leaves in and add half portion of the coconut milk.  Steam over boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • Then add the rest of the coconut milk and continue to steam for another 10 minutes.  Fluff the rice with chopsticks to mix well. (More coconut milk can be added if needed).
  • Remove the pan from the steamer and add in the thick coconut cream.  Using chopsticks, fluff the rice again.  Steam for another 5 minutes (or until the rice is well cooked).
  • Line a square pan with greased banana leaves.  Spoon in the rice and press down the rice with another banana leaf on top.  Weigh it down with a heavy object.  Leave to cool completely.
  • Cut rice into pieces and serve with Kaya .

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mini Bacon, Mushroom & Spinach Quiche


Fillings:  onion,mushroom,bacon,spinach, etc. (create your own fillings)
150ml cream
150ml milk
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
salt & pepper
puff pastry (cut into 8cm diameter rounds)
grated cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 190 deg C.
  • Grease muffin pans.  Line each muffin hole with pastry rounds.
  • Combine eggs, yolks, milk, cream with a whisk.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  • In a frying pan, cook bacon for about 3 minutes in butter, drain.
  • Saute onion until softened.  Add mushroom and stir fry for a minute.  Set aside to cool.
  • Spoon cooked fillings over pastry case. Top with grated cheese.  Then pour egg mixture over the fillings.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and puffed.
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