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2015 11 23 - WESA Bakery - Pandan Cake

I’m not a big fan of cakes but I’m a HUGE fan of Chiffon Cakes! They’re as light as feather, as soft as cotton. Moist on the inside and a tad bit charred on the outside; just the way I like it. And, most of all definitely healthier than traditional butter cakes.

If you must know, chiffon cake was invented in 1927 by Harry Baker, a California insurance salesman turned caterer. He kept the recipe secret for 20 years until he sold it to General Mills, which spread the recipe through marketing materials in the 1940s and 1950s. (Yes, I went to Google that because curiosity got the better of me.)

Thankfully, he sold his recipe, else we wouldn’t even be talking about Chiffon Cakes today!

While there are many different variations of chiffon cakes, my favourite is still the Pandan Cake BUT I like Yuzu too! Lately, I’ve been drinking too much Yuzu drink. And what hub said got me thinking about the possibility of making a Yuzu Chiffon Cake!

As I was making yet another cup of Yuzu drink for myself one evening, he laughed and said “Yuzu AGAIN? Seriously? The amount of Yuzu you’ve been drinking could fill a bathtub! Why not take a Yuzu bath while sipping on your pipping hot Yuzu drink with a slice of Yuzu cake?”

“Why not?” I said. “Honey, you have no idea what goodness Yuzu fruit contains…” and so I went on. I didn’t went on and on just to annoy him, lah! There are some really awesome health benefits of this magical fruit!

HEALTH BENEFITS OF YUZU FRUIT

Yuzu-Fruit

  • Good source of antioxidants – Help replenish dead skin cells.
  • Great source of vitamin C (3 times more than that of lemon)
  • Contains vitamin P – Helps absorb vitamin C and promote healthy blood flow.
  • Contains collagen – Helps to rejuvenates maturing skin (like mine), activates cell and has fat burning effects.
  • Contains Nomilin (Yuzu skin essential oil component) – Aids in relaxation.
  • Yuzu is not only for eating, we can use them for a hot bath too! It is believed to ward off winter colds and flu, and healing of chapped skin.

YUZU CHIFFON CAKE RECIPE

So I started goggling for a recipe and found something from Everybody Eats Well In Flanders website. Her cake looked divine and I had to bake it!!!

Here’s how you go about baking one…

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

First, you will need a good bottle of Yuzu marmalade. You can easily get this from Korean or Japanese marts, or local supermarkets too!

Strainer-for-tea

Stir Yuzu Tea together with very little hot water, then remove the reside using a strainer. Make sure you have a total of 90ml of Yuzu Tea mixture. Set aside.

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

  • Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
  • Beat egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add oil into mixture and continue beating.
  • Add Yuzu mixture and vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Add dry ingredient (flour, baking powder, and salt), mix until just combined.
  • Set aside.

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

  • In another mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.
  • Add cream of tar tar and whisk.
  • Add sugar and whisk until stiff peak stage.

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

  • Mix 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk batter using a spatula.
  • Gently fold the remaining meringue into the batter until well mixed. Be carefully not to over mix the batter.
  • Transfer batter into a 23cm tube pan.
  • Bake at 160°C for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the stick comes out cleans.

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

Invert and cool completely before you remove the cake from the cake pan.

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

There you go… The perfectly charred on the outside, light, soft and moist on the inside kind of YUZU CHIFFON CAKE! Beautiful!

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

Perfect dessert for almost any occasion. Now that CNY is coming, I’m planning to bake some of these yummy Yuzu Chiffon Cake for my guests! They go well with a nice hot cuppa tea!

Besides baking a tasty light, soft and moist cake, presentation is also very important. Serving desserts on plates and bowls are way too common. To make my PERFECT Yuzu Chiffon Cake stand out, I’ll serve them on a woody chopping board and my guests will use woody utensils. I’m still looking out for some woody mugs for tea (that’s in the pipeline)!

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

In less than 10 minutes, this is all that’s left (no pun intended). I don’t tell tales. Go bake it yourself and you’ll know why they get snapped off so quickly!

Yuzu Chiffon Cake

Click on above image for printable recipe.

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2015 had been an awesome year for WESA. Along the way, we learned so much. Parenting two toddlers was fun and enriching! We’re truly thankful for all that we have and all that we can give. It was an exciting ride and now, we look forward to the next roller coaster ride ahead of us. Bring it on, 2016! And to everyone out there, have a happy new year!

 

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2015 11 23 - WESA Bakery - Pandan Cake

 

One year ago, I started baking and haven’t stopped since. I love baking and my three-year-old daughter naturally takes after me! She can handle basic pouring, stirring, sieving, mixing, folding, and even separating egg yolks from the egg whites. This weekend, we want to share with you our ALL TIME FAVOURITE – PANDAN CAKE!

pandan cake

It’s so soft and fluffy, slightly charred on the outside and moist on the inside. It isn’t too sweet and we used only freshly squeezed pandan extract and coconut milk. Suitable for the young and old. In fact, I seriously think it tastes better than the famous Bengawan Solo Pandan Cake. Hey, I’m not boasting! I did a survey.

I had my Homemade Pandan Cake cut into cubes and placed it on a white plate (I call my kitchen the “WESA BAKERY”). Then I had the famous Bengawan Solo Pandan Cake, also cut into cubes, placed on a white plate. Next, 10 people tried both cakes and the results…

Vs

Yeah! We won!

My family loves the pandan cake we baked and we will carry on working on different recipes, perfecting them, and sharing them with you! Good things must share, no?

Here’s my version of HOMEMADE PANDAN CAKE! I’ve tried various recipes, tweaked and changed a little here and a little there and finally gotten THIS. It was hard work. And you are lucky, because now you don’t have to go through the same heartache as I did.

 

HOMEMADE PANDAN CAKE RECIPE

Recipe

BEHIND THE SCENES

Don’t doubt your toddlers’ ability to work in the kitchen. They are very capable of baking a cake (of course with some assistance). You wouldn’t want them anywhere near the oven though. So what are we waiting for, let’s start B.A.K.I.N.G!

baking

Sonia’s first task was to separate 7 egg yolks from the egg whites. Don’t crack all 7 eggs in one bowl and have your child separate the egg yolks because once one egg yolk breaks, the entire bowl of egg white is wasted.

WHY?

Egg yolks contain fat. Even a speck of yolk can prevent a bowl of egg whites from whipping properly, so if some yolk winds up in your whites, you should discard the contents of the bowl, wash it scrupulously, and start again. To prevent waste and bother, separate your eggs one at a time in a small bowl, transferring each successfully separated whites to a larger mixing bowl as you go. This way, you won’t waste the entire bowl of eggs.

baking

She’s not always perfect. Sometimes she breaks an egg yolk or two and we have to do it all over again. Wash her hands, scrub the bowl, get a new egg and do it again. But don’t blame or reprimand your child, she’s still learning. Encourage her. Trust me, encouragement does much more than scolding.

baking

This time round…

baking
She did it!

baking

Now, combine egg yolks, coconut milk, pandan extract and pandan paste (optional) in a mixing bowl.

baking

It should look something like ‘this’. Whisk the mixture till they are well combined. She shuffled using her right hand, then left because, as she puts it “mummy, my hands are very tired you know; not easy”, combined with a frown as she shook her head. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

baking

“What are you doing?” I exclaimed.
She replied “mummy, I’m smelling the pandan. Can you smell the nice nice smell? Mmmm… my cake will taste so good, better than my school’s pandan cake.”

baking

Next, she sifted the flour, baking powder and salt into the same mixing bowl. I bought this cup style flour sifter instead of the traditional type because it’s more manageable for kids. We want to minimise the mess, don’t we?

Click on highlighted text to purchase.
Keywords: 面粉筛子

baking

After combining the flour to the mixture, add caster sugar in the same mixing bowl.

baking

Mix until well combined.

sonia

Add in the oil and whisk again. After whisking for so long…

baking

“Mummy, my arms are so tired. I need a break. But you don’t touch my cake, okie. I will do it all by myself” said Sonia.

baking

Then she pretended to close her eyes and said she needed to catch a wink but was awake in less than 3 seconds. Such a drama queen.

baking

We are almost there…

baking

While Sonia work on whisking her mixture, I beat egg whites, cream of tar tar and sugar together till forms firm peaks.

baking

Here’s how my egg whites look like! Beautiful!

baking

Slowly fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture. After which, pour the entire egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture and mix thoroughly. When all is done, pour into an Angel Cake Pan.

pandan cake

We used an 8-inch Angel Cake Pan. Bottom measures 8-inch, top measures about 9-inch. It’s the perfect size for our family. Each time we bake a Pandan Cake, it’s gone in two days. On the day we baked the pandan cake, 3/4 of the cake is gone. The remaining 1/4 slice of the cake is finished the next morning.

Click on highlighted text to purchase.
Keywords: 中空天使戚风蛋糕模, Angel Cake Pan

pandan cake

This recipe is definitely a keeper. We get a tall and mighty pandan cake every single time we use this recipe and it promises a soft and fluffy, moist yet not oily, tasty yet not too sweet, light and yummy cake! I’m not exaggerating any bit. Bake it and try it!

 

TIPS AND TRICKS

And before I forget, here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way. Read this before you bake to save yourself heartaches.

  • Do not use non-stick pan. The cake will sink and not expand as it should. Use only traditional aluminum Angel Cake Pans.
  • Make your own pandan extract from fresh pandan leaves. Pandan essence doesn’t taste half as good.
  • I used 55g eggs. Tried using 65g eggs and failed. Yes, egg size matters. If you only have 65g eggs, you may want to use 6 eggs instead of 7.
  • Use a CLEAN bowl when beating egg whites. Oil on the surface of an improperly cleaned bowl will corrupt an egg white foam, coating the proteins and inhibiting their ability to link up with each other to firm the flexible web needed to trap air bubbles.
  • Throw the entire bowl of egg whites if you accidentally spill a little bit of yolk into your whites before whipping. Egg yolks contain fat. Even a speck of yolk can prevent a bowl of egg whites from whipping properly, so if some yolk winds up in your whites, you should discard the contents of the bowl, wash it scrupulously, and start again. To prevent waste and bother, separate your eggs one at a time in a small bowl, transferring each successfully separated whites to a larger mixing bowl as you go. This way, you won’t waste the entire bowl of eggs.
  • Use room-temperature eggs. They whip up better than cold ones. The coiled proteins in egg whites will relax slightly as they warm up, so that whipping them will take lesser time.
  • Whip the whites by themselves at least until they reach a foamy, almost soft peak stage before adding sugar. (Reason being the sugar will slow down the incorporation of air into the mixture.)
  • Use cake flour, not all-purpose-flour. Different types of flour have different amounts of protein. Protein provides strength and structure to baked goods. In general, cake flour has between 7.5% and 9% protein, and all-purpose-flour has a protein content of about 12%. Low-protein cake flour will give the cake a soft and tender crumb. All-purpose-flour will result in a tougher cake. It’s good for baking cookies though, since it gives them a nice shape.

Baking is science.

I wish you success in baking your pandan cake! Good luck!

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WESA Bakery - Chocoffee Macarons

Macarons are the MOST famous cookies in the world! They crown our coffee breaks and tea times. Who can resist their colourful shells and luscious fillings?

As ‘upscale’ as they may seem to be, these cookies are not impossible to make, but they can be very finicky. And if you are about to stat web searching for the best Chocoffee Macarons, look no further. I’ve spent much time discovering this formula and da~dah – here you go, a recipe made to impress. Don’t worry, I will share some tips and tricks along the way.

Before I unleash the recipe, here’s why I call it “Chocoffee Macarons”. All because it’s a good blend of CHOcolate and COFFEE! Look, I’ve just coined this word! But having coffee in the macaron means it isn’t quite suitable for kids. So just replace the same amount of coffee powder with cocoa powder and your kids can enjoy the same (though, it wouldn’t taste as good as the Chocoffee version).

Alright, now back to my CHOCOFFEE MACARONS RECIPE. This is simple to make.
(Printable Chocoffee Macarons Recipe available at the end of the post)

INGREDIENTS FOR MACARONS

  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 110 g of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 large egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 5 tbsp of caster sugar

DIRECTIONS FOR MACARONS

FIRST

Place almond flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, and sea salt in a food processor and pulse for about one minute until fine and combined. Then sift mixture into a large bowl, set aside.

SECOND

Eggs

 

Place the egg whites in a clean bowl. I used 65 grams eggs. Make a meringue by beating egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add caster sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the whites are shiny. Do not overwhip.

THIRD

mix

Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in three batches until the dry ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix or the meringue will deflate.

FOURTH

chocolate in da bag

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag. Then cut a small hole at the tip of the bag and start pipping. Pipe out 1.25 inches rounds onto the macaron silicon mat.

FIFTH

macarons

Let the batter sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes or until a skin forms on top of the macarons. You can make macarons in batches of 18, 30, or 48. I bought the mat that allows me to make 48 macarons at one go because they are all gone too soon and I will have to make a new batch of Chocoffee Macarons again. Or maybe, I might try a new flavour later. Meanwhile, preheat your oven at 160°C and arrange rack in the middle.

(Click on highlighted text to buy)

SIXTH

macarons

Bake for 14 minutes, or until macarons are dry with “feet”. Do not overbake. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and cool completely.

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOFFEE GANACHE

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 115 g of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp of coffee powder

DIRECTION FOR CHOCOFFEE GANACHE

mixture for filling

  1. Place the chocolate and coffee powder in a large bowl.
  2. In a small pot, heat the heavy cream over medium heat unit it just comes to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream into the bowl of chocolate and coffee powder. Allow it to stand for about a minute before adding the butter.
  4. Stir the mixture until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
  5. Chill the ganache for at least 30 minutes or until it is firm yet still spreadable.

TO ASSEMBLE

chocoffee macarons

Remove the ganache from the refrigerator. If you choose to pipe the ganache, transfer it to a pastry bag and snip about 1 cm off the tip, then squeeze the ganache to about 1 tsp onto the centre of a macaron shell. I chose to scoop the ganache. It’s really up to you. Next top with another macaron shell and press gently. The filling should not ooze out the edges. Once you are done with the rest of the macarons, refrigerate, covered, for at least 24 hours before serving.

Macarons should always be stored in an airtight container and they should be eaten within 4 to 5 days. If storing for more than a day, store in fridge. Take them out of the fridge 15 to 20 minutes before eating so they come back to room temperature. That way, their flavour will be at its best.

 

Chocoffee Macarons Recipe

(Click on image for printable recipe)

 

You got to try the Chocoffee Macarons! The ultra rich chocolate flavour with a hint of espresso is THE perfect combination. This macaron shell is thin and crisp on the outside and divinely soft and chewy on the inside.

Happy baking!

Ciao.

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Almond and Chocolate Chip Muffin

I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but this is the best ALMOND & CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN I’ve ever eaten. Even better than the Chocolate Chip Muffins I baked some two days ago. Light crisp on the outside, fluffy, soft and moist on the inside. So yummy, I couldn’t stop eating (I ate three muffins at a go). Everyone at home loves them, the young, the old. This is a keeper!

INGREDIENTS

  • 175 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 58 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 90 g caster suger
  • 1 egg (55 g)
  • 123 g whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup crashed almond

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Toss together the flour, baking powder, salt, crashed almond and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla paste. Slowly add dry ingredients. Gently fold together until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into a 12-mini-muffin-cup-tray and bake at 220°C for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 180°C and bake for another 5 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy the mini muffins warm.

NOTE

  • This recipe makes 12 mini muffins (5 cm in diameter). Double ingredients when making 12 normal size muffins (7 cm in diameter).
  • Can store muffins in airtight container at room temperature for one week. However, muffins taste best when consumed on the same day.

 

Click below image for printable recipe

Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe

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Chocolate Chip Muffin

INGREDIENTS

  • 175 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 58 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 90 g caster suger
  • 1 egg (55 g)
  • 123 g whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Toss together the flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla paste. Slowly add dry ingredients. Gently fold together until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into a 12-mini-muffin-cup-tray and bake at 220°C for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 180°C and bake for another 7-8 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy the mini muffins warm.

 

NOTE

  • This recipe makes 12 mini muffins (5 cm in diameter). Double ingredients when making 12 normal size muffins (7 cm in diameter).
  • Can store muffins in airtight container at room temperature for one week. However, muffins taste best when consumed on the same day.

 

Click below image for printable recipe

Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

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I’m not sure if you know how incredibly, ridiculously easy it is to make your own Peanut Butter from scratch.

I never thought it was possible for me to do something like this until yesterday and I just have to share it with you.

Homemade Peanut Butter beats those commercial Peanut Butter as you need not worry about the presence of preservative or hydrogenated oil. It’s nice to know what you are eating and have control over them. The downside is a shorter shelf span (though this is not something I need to worry about because they will all be gone before it becomes a problem). However, don’t expect to get a repro of “Skippy” for example. But if you are one who loves healthy and nutritional homemade product, then try this!

And if you must know what’s in those commercial Peanut Butter, this is a good read.

2015 06 22 - WESA Bakery - Peanut Butter Recipe

Click on image for a printable A4 sized recipe

 

STEP ONE

Step 1 - Rinse nut

Rinse the raw peanuts under running water. Pat dry with kitchen towel and leave it to air dry. I used “Sun Kee” raw peanuts and you can easily get them from NTUC.

 

STEP TWO

Step 2 - Place it on baking tray and roast it in the oven

I baked the peanuts for 30 minutes and it was a tad bit over roasted. Check your peanuts often to make sure they don’t get over done, else you might end up with a jar of charred peanut butter. Ok, I exaggerated. Not charred, but a little bit of, just a little bit of bitter burnt taste. It was a spoiler but the overall texture was awesome! It didn’t stop my family from eating them. Will try this again and make sure my peanuts don’t get over roasted.

 

STEP 3

Step 3 - Stir peanuts every 10 min

Remember, do not overcook your peanuts like I did.

 

STEP 4

Step 4 - Remove from oven and leave to cool

Give it a taste check.

 

STEP 5

Step 5 - Remove peanut skin then grid

Remove the peanuts skin only after they are cooled. You don’t want to burnt your fingers, do you?

 

STEP 6

Step 6 - Peanut texture will turn from being coarse to fine and finally becomes sticky

Place 2 cups of peanuts into the blender and grind until texture turns sticky.

 

STEP 7

Step 7 - Add Honey, salt and oilIf you reserved some nuts for chunky peanut butter, add them in now and pulse a few times to incorporate.

 

STEP 8

Step 8 - Keep in jar

Transfer the oh-so-healthy-and-yummy peanut butter to a jar and store in the fridge.

 

BENEFITS OF PEANUT BUTTER

Adapted from Health Ambition

I don’t know why I feel the need to convince you that peanut butter is healthy and actually beneficial to our health, especially homemade peanut butter like the one above, I just had to do so.

It is absolutely a myth that peanut butter is unhealthy and makes you fat, because on the contrary, it actually aids in weight loss!

No. 1 – It Helps You Lose Weight

It may sound crazy but it’s not. Despite all it’s fat content, researches from all over the world had already established that peanut butter is actually good for you. Its protein and fiber content makes you feel fuller for longer. This means, you are less likely to crave junk food and it also means that you eat less overall, and thus make losing weight easier.

No. 2 – Source of Protein

Two tablespoons of peanut butter are what you should consume if you want to stay on the healthy end of the peanut butter consumption scale. These 2 tablespoons pack in 7 g of protein. This is why peanut butter on toast makes for a great breakfast or mid morning meal choice. As a protein-rich food, when you eat peanut butter, you feel full longer. Additionally, the protein is also good for building and repairing muscles, which is especially important if you work out a lot.

No. 3 – Heart Friendly

Asked the Harvard Medical School if the health benefits of peanut butter extended to heart health, their answer is a resounding “YES”. Peanut butter has its share of saturated food, but like olive oil, it also has a high percentage of unsaturated helping it qualify itself for the healthy camp. When consumed in moderate amounts, eating a healthy peanut butter like this can actually improve your heart health, especially when compared to those who seldom or never eat nuts.

No. 4 – More Potassium

Peanut butter acts as an excellent source of potassium, and potassium can go a long way towards countering the dangers of sodium.

No. 5 – Healthy Fat

A common worry about eating peanut butter is the fat content. However, as mentioned above, peanut butter contains more unsaturated fat than saturated fat. This means, it is actually a great source of “healthy fats”. A healthy body needs a good supply of healthy fats and like olive oil and avocado, peanut butter is a friendly fat food.

No. 6 – Energy Booster

As already discussed, peanut butter contains good amounts of healthy fats and protein. This means it contains plenty of calories that will give you lots of energy for your activities. Again, perfect for a morning meal as it gives you an energy hit for the day.

No. 7 – Fiber Rich

Two tablespoon serving of peanut butter not only packs in lots of protein but also gives you 2 grams of fiber. Adequate consumption of fiber is important for the healthy functioning of your body and of course you can get more fiber from other meals but peanut butter can help supplement this.

No. 8 – Packed with Nutrients

Protein, fiber, healthy fats, potassium and now antioxidants, magnesium and others too. The list of good things about peanut butter just go on. One serving of peanut butter will give you at least 3 mg of the antioxidant Vitamin #. Additionally, you will also get magnesium (about 49 g) which is excellent for bone building and muscle recovery and a small but still important amount (0.17 mg) of vitamin B6 that help bookst your immunity. You can also find a small amount of zinc in peanut butter and this too can act as a good immunity booster.

 

In the nutshell, it is healthy for you, your little one, and the entire family!

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Cheese lover?

If not, skip this post altogether.

My hubby and daughter love cheese and since Father’s day is around the corner, we have a reason to celebrate. And we need a cake! Actually, we need no reason to bake a cake but having a purpose makes baking more meaningful, no?

I’ve seen so many recipes on Japanese Cheesecake that promise a soft and fluffy texture but I’m not sure which to try. So I filtered a handful that looked intriguing, adjusted the ingredient portion based on my gut feelings (not scientific, I know, but I’m a cancerian), and with a stroke of luck, I present to you my virgin Velvety Smooth Japanese Cheesecake.

Japanese Cheese Cake Recipe

Click on image for a printable A4 sized recipe

 

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of cheese cake. In fact, this is my first time baking and eating one. But my hubby and daughter like it, and that’s all that matters. They like the velvety smooth, creamy and fluffy texture. Besides, my cheesecake isn’t too sweet, so it’s ok if Sonia wants a second serving.

 

TIPS & TRICKS: Read this before you bake

Which brand of cheese did you use

cheese

I go for the most popular brand – Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It had worked for many avid bakers so I took their recommendation. I always do my research before baking because ‘why go through the same heartaches, learn from their mistake, don’t make the same ones’. (wink)

What type of eggs you use

55g eggs

I’m not an egg professional. I can’t tell the difference between corn egg, carrot egg, omega egg, cholesterol free egg and what not, but from my previous experience with baking a Pandan Cake, I learn that using eggs of different sizes will affect the outcome of you cake. For this recipe, I used 55g eggs.

What kind of cake pan to use

8-inch cake pan

The recipe asked for an 8-inch one-piece cake pan but I only had a 9-inch springform cake pan, so I made do with it. But, really, save yourself the trouble and go buy the right cake pan. The result of using the wrong type of cake pan – (1) a too shallow cake, not tall enough, and (2) it leaked and allowed water to seep into the cake. Only the top 2/3 of my cake was nice and fluffy. I had to cut the bottom 1/3 of the cake away because it was a little damp. If you really have to use a springform cake pan, remember to wrap a double layer aluminium foil around your pan to prevent water from seeping in.

How to prevent the surface of the cheesecake from peeling and cracking

As you might have already noticed, the surface of my cheesecake wasn’t all smooth but thankfully there wasn’t any crack. So what went wrong? It was smooth when I took it out of the oven, de-pan and place it on the rack. But when I tried transferring the cheesecake into my cake container after the cake has cooled down, the ‘skin’ sticked on to the baking paper I used to transfer the cake. After much research, I realised that once the cake cools, the ‘skin’ becomes damp and sticks to whatever you are using to de-pan or transfer the cake. So do whatever you need to do when the cake is still warm.

Why didn’t my cheesecake crack?
Because I used a light coloured cake pan. A dark coloured pans will absorb heat easily and cause the sides of the cake to bake faster than the middle, thus resulting in a cracked cake. Also, try to avoid opening the oven door while the cheesecake is baking inside. Big cracks are often caused by drafts and temperature changes. Once the cheesecake is done in the oven, simply turn the over off and leave the oven door ajar for 10 minutes before removing. A sudden change in temperature will often cause cracking.

What do you mean by water-bathing the cake

It means that you have to use 2 pans for your cheesecake. Place the 8-inch cake pan that holds the cheesecake into a larger pan with hot water inside. Bake it with both pans, so the water on the second pan heats up to help cook the other. This method is used because the hot water steam will ensure even baking, thus reduce the likelihood of a cracked top.

When baking is done, remove the inner pan and leave the larger pan with water in the oven until it cools down completed. It is easier to move a pan that isn’t filled with near boiling water around the kitchen.

 

Have fun baking!

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Sonia loves decorating cakes most! The fun parts are levelling the whipped cream, decorating it with sprinkles, candies, or fruits, and eating them with her bare hands. Heavenly nectarous! Slurp! Her favourite part – the light and fluffy whipped cream.

Since Mother’s Day is approaching, I baked some vanilla and chocolate cakes for the kids! I know they will like the idea of being able to decorate their own cake in their fashion for their mama.

Here we go…

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Here are half the cakes. They are supposed to filled the first layer with a generous portion of whipped cream and fruits of their choice.

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We had strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and longans. After that, I placed the second half of the cake on the spread and they started decorating the top of the cake.

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Tah dah! All’s good to eat! I thought the cakes looked decent! And very much edible.

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CHEERS!

And HAPPY ADVANCED MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL!

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Sonia came up to me and said “Mummy, I want to bake cake, pleaseeeeee!”

And I said “sure, why not”, Sonia the Little Miss Baker.

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We started weighing all the ingredients, cracking eggs, and mixing them up…

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Sonia was very focus!

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She poured the ingredients into the bowl carefully, trying her best not to spill the content off her bowl.

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By now, you probably know what we are going to bake!

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YES, PANDAN CAKE!

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After an hour, the cake is done but too hot for consumption.

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So she waited patiently for the cake to cool down (of course she didn’t sit still and wait the whole time; she went upstairs to play with her toys some five minutes later).

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Tah Dah!

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A very soft and yummy Pandan cake for all to eat.
We had an awesome tea time!

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It felt like yesterday that I was at the labour room PUSHING…

And then, POP, he arrived and our life had never been the same.

It only gets better…

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Our little bundle of joy – Arnold Ong.

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We were only beginning to bond and know each other, and suddenly he turned one month old.

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And then, five months old. This lucky boy got to travel to Adelaide when he was only five months old. And boy, he enjoyed the weather, the company, and car rides (thankfully).

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 I’m sooooooooo thankful that my gems loves each other sooooooooo much!
Guess my worries were for naught.

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We spent Christmas unwrapping presents together…

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We played dress up (thanks Kirby and Kimchi for the pretty Korean costumes).

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Arnold learned to stand and walk (assisted by clinging onto chair, table, etc).

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And he attempted to eat read books.

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We did so many things together, I think I could write a book!

And now, Captain Arnold Turns ONE. So fast, right? I know!

My dear son, slow down. I just want my baby to be my baby for much longer.

Of course, I can go on and on about how I don’t want him to grow up so quickly but nevertheless, he will grow up (whether I like it a not). That’s why I cherish every single moment I have with my children. They only grow up once and I don’t want to miss any of their milestones. They need me as much as I need them. Our heart beat as one. Yeah!

And so, he grew and now he’s ONE.

Happy birthday, my gem!

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:: I spent a lot of time making these pop-up cakes but the colours didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. Nevertheless, they are edible. Gee… ::

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:: My mum and Angie (my baby brother’s girlfriend) made these octopus balloons. They weren’t easy to make. Thanks heaps! We appreciate them, a lot! ::

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:: Some birthday favours for the kids ::

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:: Yes! I designed that ‘Captain Arnold’ board. Nice? And my mum and Angie did the balloon arch thingy! Feeling blissed. ::

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:: Arnold looked as if he was appreciating some kind of classical music ::

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:: Here’s one of my favourite pictures. Messily CUTE! ::

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:: Arnold giving grandpa a hi^5 ::

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:: This is also one of my favourite photo ::

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To all of you who joined us in celebrating Captain Arnold’s first birthday, thank you. We had fun and hope you had fun too!

Hugz!

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Today the kids are going to frost CUPCAKES!

This is Sonia’s favourite activity!!!

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We had BLUE, GREEN, PURPLE and PINK buttercream and GREEN seemed to be the most popular colour.

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I prepared some twenty-four cupcakes, coloured buttercream and some decorative ‘toppings’. The kids love them!

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I told Sonia to NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING until Elliot, Katelyn and Elijah come and I was not surprise that she didn’t listen to my instructions. Kids will always be kids. Curious. Impatient.

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Anyway, as soon as Debbie brought her kids over, they went to wash their hands and started frosting cupcakes, No time wasted, Lol… And very soon, Sonia started eating them (mainly the buttercream). Not a good idea to let your kids take too much sugary food in the day coz my Sonia was so ‘HIGH’, she couldn’t sleep at night. I had a hard time coaxing her to sleep… -_-

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Elliot at work,

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Elliot’s work.

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Katelyn’s work.

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又偷吃了!

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Katelyn has a gift for frosting cupcakes.

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While the older kids worked on their cupcakes, the two little ones could only watch.

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The three kids made some twenty cupcakes (two of which were eaten by Sonia and I, opss).

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And this is my favourite!

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Elliot enjoying his cupcake.

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After the whole cupcake frosting session, they snacked a little before heading upstairs to play with TOYS!

It was an awesome playdate. Thanks for coming! And we hope to see you all soon!!!

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Christmas is coming! And yes, it’s one of my favourite festive of the year! It’s when sooooooooo many people take the time to come together to give, to love, and to share. It’s magical!

This year, I’ve decided to bake some cupcakes for the people I love. Most of you who followed my blog would have known that I had picked up this new baking hobby some three to four months ago, and I’m still loving it!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy new Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes before frosting. The chocolate taste is so rich and heavenly. Sooooooooo chocolaty, I like! ONLY CHOCOLATE LOVERS need eat.

Untitled-1Drum roll… “My kids-friendly Santa Cupcakes!” Aren’t they pretty?!?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd a Pandan cake for my Uncle Three 🙂 Sorry, I was overconfident and removed the cake too quickly from the pan (thus that hole in the cake, opss).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally, I made some Pandan Kaya. I’m not sure how much you guys will like it but my hubby loves it!

If I had more time, I would have baked a rainbow cake too! Maybe the next time…

Cheers!

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Sonia’s school will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow and I’ve decided to make something fun for the kids!

Please let me introduce the Christmas POP & PUSH cakes! They are very pretty, fun to eat and mess-free. What’s there not to love about POP & PUSH Cakes?!?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst I had to bake a few classic vanilla cakes. This is time consuming because my oven can only fit one 9-inch cake at any one time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere comes my favourite part – design the sticker! Sonia said she wanted a picture of a Snowman.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd there must be red and green in it too because they are Christmas colours. Ta~da~

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe loves the POP & PUSH Cakes and so does her friends. She’s happy and that makes me happy too! I will do anything just to see her smile.

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It was only a few weeks ago that we celebrated my brother’s 21st birthday and now it’s his girlfriend’s 21st birthday. There are so many happy events going on! Love it!

I made some Oreo cupcakes and PUSH N POP Cakes for the birthday girl! Her birthday theme is black & white, so are her cupcakes –

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had cotton soft and fluffy vanilla push up cakes topped with white buttercream and a dash of Oreo crumbs! Yummy! I LIKE! Perfect for a BLACK & WHITE birthday themed party!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Happy birthday, Angie. I wish you had a blast! ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Angie and her family ::

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Daddy, Mummy, Angie and Kenneth ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: The Chewies and Angie ::

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Lovely black and white birthday party!

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It was by chance that hubby met Ken and Lish at the mall while I was running/crawling up and down slides and tunnels with Sonia at some indoor playground. Boy, we haven’t met since uni days (that was some four years ago?!?)! And so, we decided to meet up for lunch. I chose to dine at “EAT PLAY LOVE” because it’s kids-friendly 🙂 Sonia love the kids craft corner sooooooooo much!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Arnold couldn’t decide what to order ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: He flipped and flipped through the pages… ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: He soon realised that nothing on the menu is baby-friendly and finally decided to stick to his baby biscuit. ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Jie Jie was having some of those baby biscuits too ::

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: While the kids munch on their biscuit, our helper, Aunty Jo, enjoyed her bolognese spaghetti ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: She finished every strand of spaghetti. It must have tasted really good! ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Sonia enjoyed crafting. In fact, she could sit there pasting paper for a good thirty-minute while we had our lunch. Awesome! ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Sonia is learning to use the scissor. Though she’s still not very good with cutting, she keeps trying. ::

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: They have this crafting station where you can buy craft items for your kids. ::

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA:: Congratulations Ken and Lish on your engagement. We wish you all the best and look forward to your BIG day! ::

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally, a group photo before we headed home so the kids can take their nap.

Cheers!

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Soooooooooooo chocolaty, I like!

Chocolate ganache isn’t difficult to make. All you need are semisweet chocolate, heavy whipping cream, and unsalted butter.


INGREDIENTS

  • 227 g semi sweet chocolate (cut into small pieces)
  • 180 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 28g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cognac (optional)

METHOD

  1. Chop chocolate into small pieces and place them in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boil.
  3. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow it to stand, without stirring, for a few minutes.
  4. Stir it gently (as you do not want to incorporate air into the ganache) with a spoon or whisk until smooth. If desired, add cognac.

*This is enough to cover a 9-inch (23 cm) cake.


 

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It taste sooooooooo good! But I need to improve on my hand pipe writing. Writing with a pen and a pipping bag isn’t the same.

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This week, the girls decorated cupcakes!

Lately I’ve been making HEAPS of cupcakes. So much so, I’ve lost count on how many I’ve made since I started (coz I haven’t stopped). I love the taste of my chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and my new found buttercream recipe! Boy, I can’t stop baking!

To ask the girls bake cupcakes may be a little too challenging but decorating them is a piece of cake, easy peasy!

Here we go…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst, I baked some cupcakes and then whipped up some buttercream. I mixed them with different colour gel and placed them in some pipping bags. I also had some colourful toppings and biscuits for them to play with. This is gonna be FUN!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Sonia came home from school, she saw what I had prepared and got all excited. That face, that expression, that dance, was priceless. She couldn’t wait to start decorating the cupcakes (for some reasons, she calls them buttercake, haha)!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeidi enjoyed decorating her cupcakes too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s her first piece of ‘art’.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeidi’s rainbow cupcake!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASonia’s creation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd when they ran out of cupcakes, they used Marie biscuits.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeidi’s new creation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASonia 偷吃!

I’m glad the girls had fun decorating the cupcakes! I had fun baking too!

And before I end my post, a picture of Arnold carrying Heidi’s birthday goodie bag!

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There were lotsa fun things in the goodie bag! Sonia’s favourite is the marshmallow Olaf! Thanks Aunty Deborah 🙂

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