Saturday, 22 August 2009

Going Peanuts

Peanut Butter was on sale I couldn't help myself to get my hands on a couple jars of those super crunchy legum pastes so that I could make some things out of them. However so, I kind of regreted it the moment I bought them as I was so busy packed with my design work, hence I resorted to make the simplest thing out of the peanut butter, and nothing beats throwing together a quick muffin!

The process is quick and easy, almost hassle free, which is good for time-less people like me, the outcome was great too!

2 cups Self-raising flour
1/2 cup Castor Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter
2 Eggs
1 cup Buttermilk
2 tbsp Butter

Topping - Chocolate Icing (optional)
100g Butter
2 cups Icing sugar
3 tbsp Cocoa powder
4 tbsp Milk

I couldn't help myself to whip up a quick frosting to compliment the pungent peanut-buttery taste of the muffins once they came out of the oven. The first thing that came to mind was a rich and creamy chocolate frosting, imagine the taste of both rich chocolate and peanut butter mingling and oozing inside your mouth! >.<

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175-190 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 12 - 1/2 cup muffin pan or line with paper muffin liners.

2. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, cut in peanut butter and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add beaten eggs and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add buttermilk a little at a time, stiring after each addition.

3. Pour peanut butter mixture over dry ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened.

4.Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn onto a wire rack to cool.

5. To make icing place butter in large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until creamy, sift over the combined icing sugar and cocoa powder, and beat until well combined. Add the milk and beat until fluffy.

yield - 15 muffins

However, to my dismay, I could not find my piping bag in the 13th hour, hence I had to use a loose plastic bag (clean one definitely) to spread the frosting, the effect was not really that appealing as the plastic bag was not tight enough, thus the frosting ended up looking like sagged cream, wish it was firm and nice as other peoples' cupcakes! Anyhow, the taste was really superb, the peanut butter and the chocolate, simply delicious!

Yum Yum!

Monday, 27 April 2009

A Snack for a Celebration

Its been ages since I last posted a new dish, thanks to my beloved architecture course, I did however manage to squeeze some time out of my busy schedule to make a little snack for Yee Herng in celebrating her birthday. Partly as I was still under my vegan curfew, I opted to make something vegetarian, not totally vegan, but suitable for those who only choose not to take meat.

1 dozen eggs
3 pc khaffir lime leafs (finely chopped)
10g black woody fungus (rinsed and finely chopped)
10g roasted peanuts (coarsely crushed or chopped)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt, sugar and pepper to taste
4 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp hot paprika/ chili powder
pinch of lemon grass
lime juice (to add body)

1. Boil the eggs in hot water for about 5-8 minutes or until they are thoroughly cooked. Leave to cool and peel off egg shells.
2.While waiting for the eggs to cook, heat oil in a small pot or pan, saute the woody fungus, add salt and sugar to brown. Remove from heat.
3. Halve the de-shelled eggs, remove the yolks and place in the woody fungus pot earlier, mash the yolks, add salt and pepper to taste, followed by lime juice, khaffir lime leafs and roasted peanut at the end. Mash and mix everything well.
4. Shape the mixture into a small-ball-size and fit back into the cooked egg whites, like they've never been touched.
5. To make the sauce, roast the curry powder, turmeric powder, hot paprika powder and lemon grass in a dry sauce pan, add oil to the mixture, saute for 2 minutes, add extra lime juice to give dilute everything and add body. Done, spoon over the stuffed-eggs.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Cathy wrote me and idiom with my Chinese name!


A forest shines to a bright shine at the daybreak.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Neo Mango Sticky Rice Pudding

This was something I made just a day before I left Sydney in showing my gratitude to all those who have made me snacks and biscuits towards the end of my stay at Sydney. Ever since, I have just turned extremely lazy and hence the extremely late post of this attempt. Anyway, this time I attempted to give a new definition to the renown Thai Mango Sticky Rice dessert (also known in Thai as Khao Niaow Ma Muang). The new ideas I injected into my attempt includes making the traditionally glutinous rice base into cute little rice balls, some home-made crushed peanut paste as the filling, and topped with a couple pieces of mango, courtesy of Connie and Cathy as a token for helping them carry their tables some time earlier, luckily the mangoes remained as nice, in fact I think sitting a couple of weeks in the fridge actually made them really ripe and tastier than they were before.

As for the recipe, the fundamental ingredients are basically similar to any mango sticky rice pudding recipes that you will find on the Internet, it is really much more about repacking it with some inserts of new elements. The recipe is foolproof and hence I don't see why anyone won't like this dessert, its easy to make and tastes really good!


250 gms Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
2 Mangoes (Skinned and cut into about 2cm cubes, chilled)
100 ml Water
1000 ml Coconut Milk
150 gms packed Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
Zest of 1 Lime
Crushed Peanut Paste (Self made)


1. Soak the glutinous rice in some water overnight. This will make the sticky rice easier to cook.
2. Cook the rice with a rice cooker (as you would cook any rice), shift cooked glutinous rice into a big pot, pour in 500ml of coconut milk, mix well and cover with lid and leave to rest for 30 minutes or more.

3. Mould the cooked glutinous rice into 5cm diameter rice balls with your hands.

4. Poke a hole into the rice balls and fill up with crushed peanut paste.

5. Into a sauce-pan, put the water, sugar , bring to the boil. The sugar and salt should dissolve completely. Add in the coconut milk and salt, bring to almost boil, turn to low heat and cook it for another 5 minutes or until the the coconut milk starts to thicken up (Add rice flour or corn starch water for an even thicker consistency). Allow to cool before use.

6. Top the glutinous rice balls with a couple of mango cubes.

7. Drizzle the cooked sweet coconut milk mixture generously on the glutinous rice balls, add some lime zest for garnishing and a bit of 'tangy' punch. Done!

I personally liked the addition of the crushed peanut paste as it added another layer of taste to the dessert, it might not be everyone's cup of tea though, hope you like it anyway! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Banana n Mango Muffin

This recipe marks the last baking for the first wave of my muffin mania series. As much as I enjoyed baking the muffins, I also enjoyed eating them and sharing with friends, in addition to the fun learning process of the this first wave. I am quite sure that I am going to go for a few more waves on muffins before I really call it a quit, there is simply too many things I can do with muffins, and I have not even started with chocolate muffins at all, so stay tuned!

For this last round of baking, I thought it would be a good idea to finish up what ever ingredients I had left, with the over-riped banana left the most, and a mango that I bought a couple of days back sitting around with no specific purpose yet. Hence, I decided to throw this two fruits together for this recipe...

Getting on with the recipe, the fundamentals of muffin are pretty much the same:

2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups of packed brown sugar
3 bananas (mashed)
3 cups of self-raising flour
60ml of melted butter
1 tsp of salt
1/2 a large mango (mashed)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking powder

Topping (optional)
lots of golden syrup
1/2 a large mango (sliced)
1 banana (thinly sliced)

yields - 18

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175-190 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 12 - 1/2 cup muffin pan or line with paper muffin liners.

2. Combine the mashed banana and buttermilk in a small bowl. Stir in the melted butter and cinnamon powder, set aside for 10 minutes.

3. In another bowl, combine mashed mango, baking powder and lightly beaten eggs, set aside.

4. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a metal spoon until just combined (do not over mix).

5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn onto a wire rack.

6. To dress up the muffins, simply squeeze some golden syrup on the top of the muffins and top with a slice of mango and banana each. Place the muffins in fridge for a while to allow golden syrup to slightly thicken (frozen) up.

7. Serve immediately or when desired.

To get a variation of banana and mango tastes over the muffin, try adding the banana mix first, mix once, and then add the mango mix and mix again. This would make different parts (lumps) of the muffin have different mixture of ingredients and the two strong mango and banana tastes would not be overly mixed up.

As usual, I like to finish up with close up shots of the muffins to show the texture of the muffins, and allow you to imagine how would it taste like in your own mouth, is your saliva dripping already? =p

Till next time, enjoy!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Orange and Poppy Seed Muffin

Speaking of muffins, one almost immediately relates to orange and poppy seed muffin, if not blueberry muffin, hence I thought it would be good to include one of the 'hot picks' in my culinary journal, hence this post. As for the blueberry, it would have to wait until the next round of muffin-baking frenzy *laughs*

With this time's baking, I went frenzy with the icing and decorating, and really enjoyed the entire process, if architecture was as simple as this, life would be a lot easier and happier! The sense of achievement that architects always propagate is simply a lot easier to achieve with culinary arts!

I will not try to shy away from saying that this post is more about dumping nice pictures to readers than to push for the recipe, but indeed, the recipe itself was really nice, the texture and was spongy enough, and it was not too sweet, with the icing acting more of the overall sweetener rather than the sweetness coming from the muffin itself.

Now that I mentioned how good is the recipe, it seems somewhat wrong not to include it, so here it is:

1 cup of buttermilk
2 1/2 cup of self-raising flour

1 cup of caster sugar

120ml butter (melted)

2 eggs
2 tsp finely shreded orange rind

100ml fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seed
2 oranges

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 egg's white
1 tbsp orange juice

yields - 12

Another closeup, is your saliva dripping already? =)

Another closeup, I reckoned that the icing might not last long, hence I made the icing to be meringue, baked it for a while and it turned out quite well as well. This way, it could also last longer, a good thing as we were not in a hurry to finish all of them immeditely.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175-190 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 12 - 1/2 cup muffin pan or line with paper muffin liners.

2. Combine the poppy seeds and buttermilk in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add the poppy-seed mixture along with butter, egg, orange rind and juice, and stir with a metal spoon until just combined (do not overmix). If you have extra oranges, throw in large chunks of orange cutlets or pieces, that would give the muffins another dimension.

4. Spoon the batter among prepared muffin pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn onto a wire rack.

5. For the icing, beat the combined egg white and orange juice until fluffy, add the sifted icing sugard bit by big while beating constantly, use an electric mixer if necessary. Beat to form a firm and smooth, white foam which does not fall apart when bowl is turned.

6. Top muffins with meringue, add some finely sliced orange rind, done, serve as required. It is fine if you do not want to bake the meringue, otherwise just pop it in the oven at 200 degrees C for 5 minutes, or until the meringue turns lightly brown. Remember not to overbake as the texture of the muffine will be affected as well.

Closeup, notice the lightly browned meringue.

The moment of truth, eating time!

Yum yum... the eating continues...

one left... and...

Another big bite! Ok, that's it, there is no point showing you an empty plate right? Enjoy!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Cooky Quotes

"Moms are the best cooks in the world!"
Archicook - ChenSen Au
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