Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chocolate Babka

First time hearing this name when I got this monthly bake along with friends from IG baking group called homemadelovers. This was my second bake together with them

Babka, a traditional Eastern European yeasted sweet bread with chocolate, nuts and cinnamon filling, usually twisted to shape and sprinkled with streusel
Never tried this bread before, but knowing the description, I have no doubt that my family and I will love it

So, here is my version. I omitted the nuts as my kids do not really fancy eating nuts

Recipe is from King Arthur Flour
What you need:
(half recipe below)
Bread dough:
114 to 142g lukewarm water
1 large egg
375g bread flour (original recipe used all purpose flour)
16g full fat milk powder
1 tbsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
50g sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt (or 1 tsp if using salted butter)
71g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
Filling: (I made full recipe)
100g sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
28g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
57g melted butter
170g mini chocolate chips
113g toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped (I skipped)
Glaze: 1 egg with a pinch of salt, lightly beaten
Topping: (full recipe)
57g melted butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
74g icing sugar
57g all purpose flour
  1. I used bread machine to do kneading and first proofing, it's about 30mins. Pour wet ingredients first, followed by dry ingredients. Mix with spatula until just combined and let it rest for 20mins. After that start the kneading process. After 5mins of kneading, add in butter
  2. After first proofing done, deflate and take the dough out of the pan. Place on a lightly floured table, cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for awhile
  3. To make the filling, combine sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. The mixture will be a little grainy
  4. Flatten the dough with rolling pin to a rectangle shape of about 18" x 9" with about 1/4" thickness (if dough still 'fights back' please let it rest for another 10mins or so to relax the gluten)
  5. Smear with filling, come to about an inch of the edges. Scatter chocolate chips and nuts (if using) over
  6. Starting from the short end, roll it gently to form a log, sealing the ends. Cut the log into half lengthwise to make 2 pieces of dough of 10" length. Cut carefully to avoid the filling from spilling out too much
  7. With the exposed filling side up, twist the 2 pieces into a braid, tuck the ends underneath
  8. Place braided log into a 9" x 5" loaf pan
  9. Brush the top with glaze. Mix the ingredients for topping and sprinkle over the dough
  10. Cover loosely with cling wrap and let it rise for another 1hour or until it's very puffy and crowned a good inch over the rim of the pan
  11. Preheat oven to 150degC and bake the bread for about 35mins. Tent lightly with foil and bake for additional of 15 to 25mins until the loaf is golden brown
  12. Remove from oven and let it cool in the pan for 10mins. Transfer on the cooling rack to cool completely
  13. Slice the keep babka at room temperature wrapped or in the airtight container

Very delicious, sweet, chocolaty and soft bread. It turned a little hard the next day but with a slight warming up in the microwave it turned out back to perfection. Definitely bread I will bake again :)


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Quick Bread

When you cannot decide whether to have chocolate or banana or peanut butter, have them all in one cake! Quick bread, in this case :)

Recipe is from IG @neuroticmommy
What you need:
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cooking oil (I used rice bran)
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 bananas, sliced for topping
a mixture of sugar and brown sugar to caramelize the bananas for topping
Option for topping: drizzle of melted warm peanut butter, and melted dark chocolate
  • Preheat oven to 175degC. Grease and line loaf pan (20x10cm)
  • Mix in peanut butter, banana, vanilla, oil, eggs. In another bowl, mix in sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour
  • Pour in wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined
  • Bake for about an hour until the skewer test comes out clean
  • For the banana topping: In a small glass pot, combine sugar mixture and sliced bananas and cook over low heat til sugar melted and slightly caramelized
  • Just before serving, scoop the topping over the slice and serve. Best to serve warm

Banana bread-gasm LOL

This post is for LBT (Let's get Baking Together), a baking group which I joined years back, and when I searched for my last participation it was May 2014! Gosh! Hope I don't miss much :)
This month's theme is banana cake. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Moist Vanilla Sponge Cake

People loves sponge cakes. Who doesn't?
Well, I found some who don't. They said sponge cakes tend to be at the drier side, some are chewy and making them choked when swallowing LOL
I know that feeling. I experienced that before whenever buying from outside cakeries
Even some sponge cakes I baked before give me a kind of the same feeling
Behold, here I present you one of the best - if not the best - sponge cake I have ever eaten

It's so pillowy soft, fluffy and most importantly, moist and free from additives like sponge gel
Bye bye dry and chewy sponge cake
From now on, this is gonna be my to go recipe for sponge cake, until perhaps, I can find a better one, which I doubt so haha..

Look at the texture *love*

Recipe is from IG @chenniezhang

What you need:

8 egg yolks
4 egg whites
100g caster sugar
75g plain flour
12g corn flour
115g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 180degC. Grease and line 24cm square pan (4cm height)
  2. Using electric mixer over highest speed, beat eggs and sugar until the thickness reaches ribbon stage (about 10 to 15mins depending on the mixer)
  3. Reduce the speed to the lowest and add in vanilla extract, followed by sifted plain and corn flour. Mix until just incorporated
  4. Off the mixer. Scoop about 1/4 of the batter into the melted butter and mix well until really combined. Pour the butter mixture into the remaining batter and fold in gently
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20-30mins depending on the oven
  6. Check with skewer for doneness. Remove from oven, and transfer the cake to cooling rack
  7. Sprinkle / spread topping of your preference when it's completely cooled

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fancy Lapis Roll

Shoo shoo away laziness. Now it's time to blog again! Two full months of hiatus! In fact, a little more than that LOL

Okay, let me start with the biggest challenge of the year, making this lapis roll
I did lapis roll before, twice. You may view HERE and HERE
This time is completely different. It's the time for lapis roll with a twist
It's my first challenge from a baking group in IG I recently joined, homemadelovers

For this challenge, recipe was provided and many tutorial pictures generously shared by other members. I must thank them cos it's a really great help to visualize easier
So many pretty pictures of fanciful lapis rolls shared too as inspiration, some I can't even figure out how it can be done haha..
Baking is science. But for this particular bake, it's not only science but also math. Need to do some calculation to get it right!

For first timer like me, it's better to choose the simplest design. After reading many advice and tips from other members, looking at the tutorial pictures, reading the recipe carefully, I was ready to take up the challenge. And here it is


Not so perfect yet, but being first timer, I am pretty pleased. I in fact, cannot believe I managed to complete this task LOL

As for the taste, this cannot go wrong. Just look at the amount of butter and egg yolks used!
It's so moist, rich, soft and delicious. Super yummy!
This cake is better to consume the next day and not to be consumed cold. Room temperature or warm is the best!

Source: IG @deasylo
(makes 2 rolls)

What you need:

350g butter (I used Golden Churn)
125g icing sugar

25 egg yolks
125g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

70g plain flour
50g milk powder
1 tsp all spice powder (I added)

For filling: strawberry jam OR sweet condensed milk (I used jam)


Grease 3 baking pans (2pcs of 22cm square pans and 1pc of 20cm square pan) with butter, line with baking paper and sprinkle flour over it

Making the batter:
In a bowl, beat A until white and fluffy
In a separate bowl, beat B until fluffy and stiff
Add in sifted C to mixture B, add in A too and fold in gently until well mixed

Baking the cake:
Scoop out some batter (16 tbsp) -> this is reserved for the 2pcs of the 22cm baking pans to make the outer skin, set aside

Making the inside lapis:
  • Preheat the oven together to 180degC with the 20cm square pan in it for about 15mins
  • Add 4tbsp of the batter to the pan and bake with top and bottom heat til brown (rotate if needed)
  • Take out the pan and gently press the cake with presser
  • Repeat that but using top heat only this time, until the batter finished (oven temp 180 to 200degC)
  • After that, final bake only using bottom heat for 7 to 10mins
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. After cooled, cut into 12 equal long parts
Making the skin:
  • Heat the 2 pans using top and bottom heat for 15mins and start baking using top and bottom heat with temp of 180degC by adding 4tbsp of the batter reserved for the skin to each pan, bake til brown
  • Take out the pan and press gently
  • Continue with another 4tbsp of batter using only top heat til brown (each pan will have 2 layers). Try not to bake too long as it will be too dry to roll (can crack)
  • Remove from oven, transfer to cooling rack and let cool
How to assembly:
  • Thinly spread jam over the skin layer. Take cut layer cake (6pcs) and arrange in opposite direction
  • Grease the top and sides of the arranged cut layer cake with jam, also in between stacks
  • Slowly wrap it up as how you do with rolled cake
  • Wrap with clingwrap, gently press all sides and keep for a few hours before cutting into slices

This is not only nice looking lapis (I can boast a little right? haha), but very delicious too :)

Pretty? :)
This looks complicated cake, but it's seriously not that bad. Of course practice makes perfect, and another fact about lapis that you cannot deny, it's time consuming, I spent about 3hours to complete. It needs more patience and you must have a kind of heatproof body as you will need to stay in front of the oven most of the baking time :)
Other than that, when following the instruction closely, everybody can do it, nothing is impossible :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Steamed Prawns In Egg Whites

A simple dish to prepare, yummy and you can enjoy the freshness of the prawns to the max
Great recipe for the coming Chinese New Year :)

Recipe is from GoodyFoodies

What you need:

Large tiger prawns (I used 8), trimmed, head and tail intact, shell on
1 inch old ginger, julienned
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1/2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp cooking oil
spring onion to garnish (optional, I didn't use)

  1. Wash prawns, pat dry. Score the back of the prawns to expose the flesh
  2. Pour egg whites on the heatproof steaming dish. Arrange prawns over it. Scatter julienned ginger and salt on top. Pour over Shaoxing wine and sesame oil and let marinate for 15mins
  3. Sautee garlic and shallot over high heat til fragrant and pour over the prawns (excluding the oil)
  4. Steam the prawns over high heat for 5 mins or until cooked. Do not overcook the prawns, the texture will be hard and rubbery. Serve immediately

Yummy crunchy prawns. I like!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Easy Chicken Pie

Happy New Year, everybody
Looking back, 2016 was at my laziest year of blogging with much lesser posts compared with the previous years. Just hope I can improve this year, hehe..

This is my first bake of the year, on New Year's day, when I was craving for something savory
Came across this bake and couldn't resist to give it a try, especially knowing I had frozen puff pastry lying in my freezer

Yummy chicken pie, served with mixed green salad and cherry tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Recipe is from Diana of Domestic Goddess Wannabe

What you need:

2 chicken breasts (I used leftover roasted chicken meat from my Xmas feast - shredded)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic (I used 1 tbsp)
200g frozen vegetables (I used only carrot - diced)
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp plain flour
1.5 cup chicken stock
2 cups water
2 bay leaves (I used dried)
1 tsp dried rosemary (I used dried parsley)
1 tsp dried thyme (I skipped)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 packet frozen puff pastry, thawed, rolled and shaped according to the shape of baking dish used
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
6 hard boiled, quartered

  1. Sautee onion for a few mins, add garlic and continue sautéing for another 30secs
  2. Add in chicken and stir til cooked,  push all ingredients aside and add in flour, stir till well incorporated
  3. Add vegetables, chicken stock and potatoes, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Add water, make sure all barely covered in water
  4. Simmer uncovered for about 20mins or until potatoes have softened and liquid has evaporated slightly
  5. Scoop using ladle onto serving dishes. Top with eggs and puff pastry. Crimp the pastry. Egg wash and poke 2-3 holes with knife
  6. bake at 200deg for 12mins or until the pastry is golden brown (mine took 45mins as I used larger size of baking dishes)

This can be frozen for about 3months in an airtight container

Nom nom nom...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Old Skool Vanilla Cake

This recipe has been going viral in Instagram with many Indonesian home bakers. They call it 'Bolu Jadul' (old skool cake)
All gave good reviews, so I had to give it a try too. And it's true that this recipe yields a nice and soft cake which also loved by my family
The texture is something like in between of sponge and butter cake. Yummy! :)

The recipe below...
What you need:
4 eggs (room temperature)
120g sugar
100g plain flour
20g milk powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g butter (melted)
some buttercream, chocolate spread, chocolate rice and grated cheese for topping
(I sprinkled 2/3 of the cake with chocolate rice and the remaining with cheese)
  1. Lightly grease 20cm square baking pan. Preheat oven to 150degC
  2. Sift together plain flour, milk powder and baking powder
  3. In another bowl, mix melted butter with vanilla extract
  4. Beat eggs and sugar til light and fluffy (ribbon stage - about 10mins on highest speed)
  5. Fold in flour mixture gently
  6. Scoop 1/4 of the batter and add into the butter mixture, stir til combined
  7. Pour back into the remaining batter and fold in gently
  8. Pour batter into the baking pan and bake for 30mins until skewer test comes out clean
  9. Remove from oven and transfer onto a cooling rack
  10. When cooled completely, add in topping by spreading buttercream and sprinkle with grated cheese, and spreading chocolate spread and sprinkle with chocolate rice
In this recipe, I used vanilla extract from Bake The Natural Way
They're kind enough to send me a set of their vanilla products for me to try out
The vanilla extract is quite subtle and nice, with some sweetness in it. For those prefer stronger vanilla flavor, some adjustment to the quantity is required
I had previously used it for making vanilla ice cream and I like it too :)
A set of Madagascan vanilla extract, vanilla powder and vanilla pods

My kids' choice

My choice

Nice cake with relatively easy preparation. A keeper :)



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