Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

For those of you who have been following my blog, you might have noticed that I have taken a new interest, that is baking.  Honestly speaking, after my few quite successful (ahem...) in baking, I am thrilled as well as my family.
Even my friends are excited (cos' they got to be my guinea pigs besides my family!) and their expression would be like "Wow, you can BAKE???" or "Never know you have interest in baking..... blah..blah....".
I have also tried various cupcakes which is very easy and even my girls have no problem trying their hands in it.  This Chocolate Chip Cupcakes is my first cupcakes experience and we like it very much.  Since then, we have fun creating different flavor of cupcakes according to our palate and stay tuned for more cupcakes to come.

Recipe source : Wokking Mum (with minor modification)
Ingredients :
- 220 gm butter (soften)
- 180 gm sugar
- 4 eggs
- 220 gm self-raising flour
- 150 chocolate chip
- 1tsp vanilla
Method :
1)  Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
2)  Add 1 egg at a time and continue beating.
3)  Add vanilla and mix well.
4)  Add in flour and beat well till mixture is smooth and pale.
5)  Fold in chocolate chip till combined.
6)  Spoon batter into muffin cups.
7)  Bake for 20 minutes in pre-heat oven at 180 Celcius.
8)  Cool on rack.
Easy peasy cupcakes 
Great to serve it for breakfast or tea time

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Canadian Lemon Pound Loaf

Know what?  I am in cloud nine ever since yesterday!  A dear friend, Shane, gave this Canadian Lemon Pound Loaf recipe to me quite sometimes back and I have doubts that I am able to bake it successfully.  Still remember my Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake where I failed at my first attempt and only succeeded thereafter?  Yes, I have this fear and doubts and worst of all, no self-confidence to try my hand at this Canadian Lemon Pound Loaf.  So, in order to have more baking skill practices, I have tried baking a few easy peasy cakes and they did give me quite good results.  Hence, yesterday, I told myself, it's time for me to give a try on this Lemon Pound Loaf.
My family members are thrilled (ahem..) to see that I can produce a cake like this and are very excited too.  While I was clicking away at my "beyond my expectation cake", hubby also busy clicking away and sharing it with his sisters and nieces.
As usual, my cake still cracks but to me, it's perfectly ok as long as the cake is delicious and beautiful.
See.... get what I mean?  This lemon pound loaf is very moist, soft, lemony and beautifully glazed with sweet, tangy lemon icing.

Recipe source : Shane (with minor adjustment)
Ingredients
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tbsp  lemon juice (I used 1.5 tbsp)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (I used superfine flour)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 baking powder
- 1/2 cup light sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
Glaze:
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used 1.5 tbsp)

Method :
1)  In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time.

2)  Beat in lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla.

3)  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; stir into butter mixture alternately with sour cream/yogurt, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of sour cream.

4)  Scrape into greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pan.

5)  Bake in 160°C oven until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let it cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.

6)  Turn out onto rack; let it cool completely.

Glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk sugar with lemon juice; pour over cake, spreading over top and letting the icing drip down sides.
This cake if wrap in plastic wrap can be stored for up to 2 days or wrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 1 month.
This Canadian Lemon Pound Loaf is a very wonderful versatile cake.  You may serve it as a snack, breakfast, dessert or for tea time.
If you like cakes, then, this recipe is a keeper!
If I can do it, so CAN YOU!!!!
Thanks for stopping by and do have an awesome week ahead :)


*Shane, the first song is specially dedicated to you :)*

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Friday, 11 July 2014

Rolled Oat Apple Bread/Cake

Who doesn't like quick and easy as well as hassle-free baking?  As for me, I am always on the look out for such recipes.  Moreover, when comes to baking, I am hopeless. So when I happened to see Ann's Oat and Pear Bread, wow, I told myself, this is indeed absolutely easy peasy and even no kneading or bread machine is needed!  That means, less washing, hehehe... Without wasting anytime, I immediately tried my hands at it that very night with whatever ingredients that's available.  

Luckily I still have rolled oats in the pantry as nowadays I used to have overnight oat for breakfast.
A peek at my usual healthy breakfast which consists of overnight oat

Overall, the bread or should I say cake (as the crust tasted like bread but inside it tasted like cake) is good and healthy too. The bread cake is more yummy the following day. It's soft and moist. Give this a try if you need something fast and quick for breakfast the next morning. Thanks Ann!

So, here is the recipe with some modifications according to my available ingredients, hehehe...
Ingredients:
- 1 cup milk
- 65g rolled oats
- 60g butter (softened)
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 60g sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 chopped red apples

Method:
1)  Preheat oven to 180C. Grease  pan with butter.

2) Combine and mix milk and rolled oats in a large bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to soak.

3) Add butter, egg, sugar and vanilla to oat mixture. Stir to combine. 

4) Sift flour and baking powder over oat mixture. 

5) Add chopped apples and stir to combine.

6) Transfer mixture into greased pan. Sprinkle extra oats on top. 

7) Bake for 45 minutes or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 
8) Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.   
Serve
Do enjoy  :)



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Friday, 27 June 2014

Old-Time Favorite Iced Red Bean Popsicles - The Picnic Game 2014 (3)

The current hazy, hot and humid weather is so unbearable. And isn't it a perfect time for cold and refreshing desserts? So, I decided to make an old-time favorite ice popsicle which mum used to make for us when we were kids. This ice popsicle is extremely simple and easy peasy to prepare.
I am going on a picnic and I am bringing..... 
B - Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns
C - Chicken Piccata
D - Darned Easy Potato Salad
E - Eccles Cakes filled with Leeks, Spinach and Blue Cheese
F - Fourth of July Picnic S'more Tartlets
G - Gluten-free & Eggless Chocolate Steamed Cake
H - Ham Cheesy Patties
I - Italian Frittata with Vegetables
J - Jelly Roll
K - Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Bread
L - Lemon lavender Cupcakes
M - Meringue Roulade with Raspberries
N - Nutella Rice Pudding
O - Old-Time Favorite Iced Red Bean Popsicles
P - Pickles
Q - Quinoa Blueberry Mango Salad
R - Raspberry and Fig Cobbler
S - Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
T - Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread
U - Uninvited Smashed Potatoes
V - Vegan Mango Salsa
W - Watermelon Salad
X - X'mas Coconut Wreath Cake
Y - Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche
Z - Zucchini Cake-Double Chocolate

Ingredients :
- 1 cup red beans (washed)
- 10 cups water
- 6 pandan leaves (washed and knotted)
- 5 tbsp sugar (to taste)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup coconut milk (to taste)


Method :
1) Combine red beans, pandan leaves and water in a pot and boil until red beans become soft. (I took about 2 hours to really soften the red beans).

2) When the red beans is almost ready, add sugar and salt. Let it cook over low heat until sugar dissolved.

3) Turn off the heat. Add coconut milk. Stir to mix well.

4) Let it cool before transferring the dessert to your preferred containers or moulds.

5) Freeze at least 6 hours before serving.
Freeze it in your favorite moulds
Have a nice day and do enjoy :)


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Monday, 23 June 2014

Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread -The Picnic Game 2014 (2)

I first came across this recipe in Facebook and was quite skeptical about its two-ingredient recipe. Using ice cream and only self-rising flour for baking a bread? Someone must be kidding!  So, I wouldn't want to be tricked into it, hence, I googled for 2-ingredient ice cream bread and there, I found it all over the net! True enough, this recipe seems to be quite popular among food bloggers (how can I miss this?).  
So, I tried adding some salt to it. To me, it sure tastes better as a tinge of salty flavor goes well with the sweet taste of ice cream. This is just my personal opinion and preference.

Without wasting any time, I just made do with whatever ice cream I had in my freezer. Lady luck was on me and I still had a new tub of vanilla flavored ice cream with chocolate, cashew nuts and chocolate chips in the freezer.
This quick bread is so easy peasy and even my girls can also do it.  It tastes and looks like cakes, but who cares as long as it is quick and easy.  Besides, it's great for children to try their hands in baking too.

I am going on a picnic and I am bringing..... 
B - Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns
C - Chicken Piccata
D - Darned Easy Potato Salad
E - Eccles Cakes filled with Leeks, Spinach and Blue Cheese
F - Fourth of July Picnic S'more Tartlets
G - Gluten-free & Eggless Chocolate Steamed Cake
H - Ham Cheesy Patties
I - Italian Frittata with Vegetables
J - Jelly Roll
K - Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Bread
L - Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
M - Meringue Roulade with Raspberries
N - Nutella Rice Pudding
O - Old-Time Favorite Iced Red Bean Popsicles
P - Pickles
Q - Quinoa Blueberry Mango Salad
R - Raspberry and Fig Cobbler
S - Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
T - Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread
U - Uninvited Smashed Potatoes
V - Vegan Mango Salsa
W - Watermelon Salad
X - X'mas Coconut Wreath Cake
Y - Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche
Z - Zucchini Cake-Double Chocolate

Ingredients:
- 2 cups ice cream - softened at room temperature (any flavor)
- 1.5 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease an 8" or 9″ loaf pan with butter.
2) Stir ice cream until smooth. Then, add self-rising flour and salt.
3) Stir until well combined.
4) Transfer batter to prepared greased pan.
5) Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown or when toothpick inserted in center come out clean.
Serve this amazing ice cream bread with your favorite hot coffee
This ice cream bread is slightly moist and soft.
Great to bake this 2-ingredient bread if you are in a hurry and need something quick for tea
Will definitely try this again with different flavor of ice cream
and you may also add your favorite nuts and even raisins into the batter
Oh yeah, the next round I am going to enjoy it with a scoop of ice cream on top too.  Yeah!
Here's your share.  Enjoy :)


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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Basil Leaves(九層塔 jiǔ céng tǎ) in Caramelized Prawns - The Picnic Game 2014 (1)

Time really flies.  It has been a year since I first joined The Picnic Game 2013 hosted by a very sweet lady, Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations. Since then, I have been waiting for the next Picnic Game and am glad that this year is my 2nd time joining in the fun.  The rule of the game is each participant is to choose an alphabet and to prepare a dish starting with the chosen alphabet.  Well, this year I have chosen the letter B and T.   For a start, here I have prepared Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns.  Do stay tuned to know what is in stored for T.

To know more about the game, do please visit her Picnic Game 2014's rules.
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing ....
B - Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns
C - Chicken Piccata
D - Darned Easy Potato Salad
E - Eccles Cakes filled with Leeks, Spinach and Blue Cheese
F - Fourth of July Picnic S'more Tartlets
G - Gluten-free & Eggless Chocolate Steamed Cake
H - Ham Cheesy Patties
I - Italian Frittata with Vegetables
J - Jelly Roll
K - Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Bread
L - Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
M - Meringue Roulade with Raspberries
N - Nutella Rice Pudding
O - Old-Time Favorite Iced Red Bean Popsicles
P - Pickles
Q - Quinoa Blueberry Mango Salad
R - Raspberry and Fig Cobbler
S - Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
T - Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread
U - Uninvited Smashed Potatoes
V - Vegan Mango Salsa
W - Watermelon Salad
X - X'mas Coconut Wreath Cake
Y - Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche
Z - Zucchini Cake-Double Chocolate


Why Basil Leaves?
I have abundance of basil plants in my garden and I used to have it in my cooking and even made dipping sauce out of it.  Thai basil is very easy to grow and if pruned regularly, it encourages speedy sprouting and you can even have some extras for your neighbors and friends!

Benefits of  Eating Thai Basil Leaves (九層塔 jiǔ céng tǎ)
Thai Basil Leaves are dark in colour.  The leaves are rich in Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, beta carotene, calcium, flavanoids, folate, zinc iron, magnesium, selenium, niacin, lycopene, thiamin, riboflavin and potassium  among others.

Thai Basil leaves are widely used in traditional medicine for its healing benefits. They are used for common cold, influenza, cough, fever, sore throat, mouth infections, teeth and skin problems, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, earache, headache, stomach upset, heart disease, viral hepatitis, malaria, and tuberculosis. It is also used for mercury poisoning, to promote longevity, as a mosquito repellent, insect stings and to counteract snake and scorpion bites.

It is also used as a nerve tonic, memory empowerment, phlegm removal, respiratory problems, kidney stone, heart problems, blood cholesterol reduction, and reduces stress.

Ingredients :
- 500gm big prawns (cleaned and snipped off the sharp points. Marinate with pepper)
- 1 tsp pepper (for marinate)
- 2 big onions (sliced)
- 1 tbsp shredded ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- a handful of Basil leaves
- 2 tbsp cooking oil

Seasonings Sauce (to taste) :
- soy sauce 
- salt
- 1 tbsp thick caramel sauce
- 1.5 tbsp palm sugar/gula melaka (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp plum sauce

Method :
1)  Heat oil in wok and pan fry prawns.  Drain and set aside.
2)  Leave the remaining oil in the wok and saute onions, ginger and garlic till fragrant.
3)  Over low heat, stir in the seasonings until it is almost caramelized.
4)  Return the cooked prawns into the wok and stir fry until the sauce is well mixed and coated with the prawns.
5)  Lastly, add in basil leaves and give it a quick stir.
6)  Serve immediately with hot steamed rice.
This caramelized prawns with Basil leaves is so flavorful and full of sweet aroma
You can add some bird eyes' chilies for a little bit of 'oomph..' if you like.  However, I omitted this as my girls can't take spicy food.
Make sure to suck out all the caramel juices from the shells..... slurrppp.....
This is finger licking good!!


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