Monday, 5 May 2014

Elvis Presley's Favourite Pound Cake

Are you a fan of Elvis Presley???? I AM!!! Yes, I AM a big fan of Elvis Presley… Who else??? Wow, clap, clap , clap!!!! I can see all hands are high high up!!! Ok, ok, ok…. I see all your hands…! Yes, I think it’s almost impossible to see anyone, who is in that era, not a fan of Elvis Presley. He’s our evergreen idol but too bad, he left us at the age of 42 on August 16, 1977 in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.

With compliments from Shane Lee :)

We all enjoy Elvis Presley’s music but what about his favorite cake? Well, thanks to my friend, Shane Lee. He seeing my new interest in baking, gave me a recipe to try out.
It was Elvis Presley's favourite pound cake, baked by his mom, Gladys, and later his personal cook.
Overall, the cake was simply delicious and great to have it with a cup of hot coffee and it was even more delicious the following day!
It's just simply delicious

The bottom of the cake doesn't look that nice.

So here's Elvis Pound cake, with Shane Lee’s compliments

- 3 cups granulated sugar (I used 2 cups only)
- 1/2 pound butter, softened
- 7 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted twice, divided
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used vanilla essence)

Method :
1) Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
2) Thoroughly cream together sugar and butter.
3) Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4) Mix in half the flour, then the whipping cream, then the other half of the flour.
5) Add vanilla extract. Pour batter into prepared pan.
6) Set in a COLD oven and turn heat to 350 degrees F. (I set at 160 degrees Celsius as my oven heated quite fast. So, adjust the temperature accordingly ).
7) Bake 60 to 70 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted in cake comes out clean.
8) Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly.

Wishing all of you a very happy and wonderful week ahead :)

Do take note that I am experimenting taking pics with 2 different camera. That's why you can notice the difference tone of the images. Which one do you prefer?
The clear sharp images or....
the special effect with blur background images? 
Your opinion is highly appreciated :) Thanking you in advance!

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Monday, 7 April 2014

My Girl is Leaving Home for National Service Training Program /Pusat Latihan Khidmat Negara (NSTP/PLKN) and Healthy Mixed Congee with Ginkgo Nuts

Finally, my girl has grown up and has been selected for the National Service Training Program. Today (7 April 2014) is her 1st time she is leaving home and away from the family for 3 months. She is posted to Semarak Camp, in Pekan, Pahang. Of course, it’s very emotional for us; sobbing, hugging, encouraging and motivating words, and lots and lots of hugs and kisses.  We are going to miss her and she too.
For my foreign followers' information, the Ministry of Defence Malaysia had implemented National Service Training Program in 2002 and the program was fully operational since 2004. The first targeted group for National Service Program were teenagers born in 1986 or those 18 years of age in 2004. Since then, more and more teenagers who fall in this category are being randomly selected and expected to participate in the National Service Program.
The National Service Training Program (NSTP) is implemented to achieve the objectives as stated below:
1) To develop and enhance the spirit of patriotism among youths
2) To encourage national integration and racial unity
3) To build character through imparting core moral values
4) To instil spirit of volunteerism
5) To develop a young generation that is resilient, healthy and confident.
Her friends came to send her off :)
She is fortunate her good friend is under the same batch and camp as her.
For this posting, I have mixed congee with ginkgo nuts. With the current hot weather, it is great to have congee for lunch. Instead of plain rice congee, try adding your favourite ingredients. I love mixed congee and this time, I have ginkgo nuts added to the congee.

Ingredients :
-2 cups of rice (I used brown rice - washed)
-enough water for congee (add more water if you prefer your congee to be watery)
- 1 cup fresh ginkgo nut (membrane peeled, split and remove the pith/embryo)
- 1 tbsp Chinese Wolfberries
- 1 bowl of chopped kai lan/chinese kale
- 1 cup of mixed vegetables
- 2 thumb sized ginger (crushed)
Seasonings : (to taste)
- 1 tbsp miso
- salt
- soy sauce
- pepper

Method :
1) Add enough water to boil rice. Add ginger. If you prefer watery congee or porridge, add more water accordingly.

2) When rice have split but not fully cooked, add ginkgo nuts and mixed vegetables.

3) When congee is cooked, add Chinese kale and Chinese Wolfberries. Stir and mix well.

4) Lastly, add seasonings to taste.
5) Serve hot or warm.
Just for your info, I won't be available from tomorrow till next week. Till then, have a nice day and cheers :)

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

2nd Blogoversary and My Maiden Attempt in Chocolate Cake

Unbelievable!!! Today, 18 March 2014, without realizing it, Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living is in her 2nd year. Well, time passed by without my knowledge and honestly speaking, when I first started blogging, I had neither goals nor expectations. I was merely blogging for fun and for my eyes only (syiok sendiri, hehehe). I had no idea or knowledge that as a blogger, I need to do some blogwalking and knock at other bloggers’ doors! I just blog whatever that comes into my mind and expect other bloggers to read what I wrote!! So naive!!! As time goes by, I realised that in order to attract comments to my posts, I need to put comments on other blogs. Since then, I get to know some bloggers who are so kind enough to pay me a visit and left their fingerprints and some even their footprints! Most importantly, I have made some great friends along the way. Initially, I only blogged on healthy living and later I had the courage to blog on food. Gradually, I found myself loving blogosphere more and more.
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I am proud to say that I take pride in surviving into my 2nd year of blogging. Over time and along the way, I am lucky to meet and get to know some very good blogger friends who have constantly give me sweet compliments and encouraging words. Without these regular followers and readers, I won’t be here today. A very BIG THANK YOU to all of you who have taken your time to drop by and commented on my postings. You all are my biggest inspiration for better improvement!
Blogging does take up a lot of my time. Besides being a working mum and wife, I still managed to steal some time for blogging. At times, no doubt I feel very tired, however, I am still motivated to blog when seeing my fellow blogger friends tirelessly giving me encouragement and motivation to move on. I am also glad to say that on my blog’s  1st blogoversary, there were 29,982 page viewers. However, today, exactly 2 years, the page viewers of Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living has soared to 171,030! Without your support, I won’t be this far!

Once again, my BIG THANK YOU and gratitude to each and everyone here who takes a little time out of your busy schedule to read and put comments on my posts. It really means the world to me. At the same time, I always love reading all your comments too. Thank you everyone for your generous and tireless support! 
Another good news is that, today I'm also glad that I get to share with all of you my very first cake which turned out to be quite successful and delectable too; recipe courtesy of MamaFaMi. How is my STEAMED CHOCOLATE CAKE??? Passed??? hahahha…
I am even more thrilled about this post as the photo shooting turned out to be not too bad lah, hehehe. My photography skill has improved too over the years, hahahaha… (*So vain!) Most importantly, hubby and my two girls gave me their two thumbs up.
This is my first maiden cake post and frankly speaking, I am instantly encouraged by the end result of this awesome and delectable maiden chocolate cake! Ahem…. feeling happy and proud of it…. aiyoh, so egoistic, hehehe…..
*Remember to be patient when waiting for the cake to set.  Don't be like Ivy, a bit impatient to cut the cake when it was not completely set yet. Notice the runny chocolate at the bottom of the cake? Hehehe... so, please be patient...:)*

This cake is indeed very simple and easy to make and for those who have countless cakes ended up in the garbage bins (*wink* who else, but yours truly!), this cake will be in no time ended up in your tummy and it’s a sure fail-proof! MamaFaMi, thanks for your recipe!
Ingredients :
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup corn oil
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup self raising flour

Method :
1) Mix ingredients (A) and cook in double boiler until sugar melt.
2) Let it cool completely.
3) Beat 3 eggs (B) until light and fluffy and add in to the cocoa mixture.
4) Fold in 1 cup self raising flour (C) and mix well.
5) Grease cake tin, pour in the batter and cover with aluminium foil.
6) Steam for 45 minutes.
7) Cool the cake completely at room temperature.

Topping :
- 1 cup chopped chocolate
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup condensed milk

Method :
1) Mix all together and cook in double boiler.
2) Pour on top of the chocolate cake.
3) Chill the cake in the refrigerator until the topping is set.

I topped it with pieces of chocolate and some mixed dried fruits

The cake is so moist and tempting
If Ivy Sew can do it, so CAN YOU!!!
Have a wonderful week ahead and cheers :)