Thursday, December 30, 2010

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)


I didn’t know that you could make bread with Tapioca flour until I read the post by Little Teochew about the very delectable  Brazilian Bread early last month. I earmarked it but I totally forgotten about this recipe (blame it on my kids public exams). However, this morning while I was blog surfing, I saw this easy recipe on Rasa Malaysia. The pictures of this bread is so pretty that I told myself I have to bake them today.



 Ran to my kitchen and found a packet of Tapioca flour in the Pantry. So… with all the ingredients in hand, I whipped up this little cutie in less than 30minutes. This is such an easy and fast bread to make. Just dump everything into the blender/food processor. No kneading, no proving required!!!!!

As I do not have a mini muffin tin, I used a regular size muffin tin. It would definitely have a cuter and more petite look with those mini muffin tins. Nonetheless, the taste is not compromised by the size. The heavenly aroma of the cheese permeates the entire house once the oven door is opened. 


Instead of cooking the whole batch, I kept half in the fridge for this weekend. (The batter can be stored in the fridge for up to a week). 

One thing I must say is that this is not your regular light and fluffy bread. The texture is chewy (like mochi).

Brazilian Cheese Bread (close up)

Perfect to be consumed while it is still warm. So puffy & yummy!!!


Wanna try???

Brazilian Cheese Bread(PÃO De Queijo)

(from Simply Recipes)

Ingredients :
- 1 egg (at room temperature)
- 1/3 cup olive oil* (I used canola oil)
- 2/3 cup milk
- Scant 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated cheese of your choice ( I used a combination of grated mozzarella and parmesan)
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)

Method :

  • 1 Preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Grease a mini-muffin tin.
  • Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well. At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.
  • Eat while warm or save to reheat later.

The batter is enough for 16 mini muffin sized cheese breads.
* Note: For me, half the batter yield 6 as I used a regular size muffin tin.

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Butter Cookies


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


Christmas is never complete without cookies.

I baked some Butter Cookies for my brother-in-law’s Annual Christmas Eve Carol.

A good butter cookie is always well received especially one that is just the right combination of crispness, tenderness and a good buttery flavor.


I love baking butter cookies as it is simple yet the minute the oven is opened, the aroma of freshly baked butter cookies is just divine. I found this wonderful recipe of the makes the best butter cookies ever.

Xmas Butter Cookies 1

Pam Anderson’s  (a food writer and author of several cookbooks ) all purpose butter cookies are simple, delicious and very versatile. The dough is very easy to make. I like the method of slice-and-bake cookies as I can decorate with sprinkles or nuts. The dough can be prepared a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Xmas Butter Cookies 2

Since it is Christmas, I have made the Christmasy by rolling the dough with red and green coloured sugar.

Xmas Butter Cookies 3

For those who are looking for a great butter cookies recipe, do give this a try;

Xmas Butter Cookies 4

All Purpose Butter Cookies (by Pam Anderson)

Ingredients :
1 cup butter, room temperature ( I used 225gm)
1 cup sugar ( I used 150gm as I perfer them to be less sweet)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour (I used 350gm )
chopped nuts, coconut, sprinkles or sugar, for decorating


  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in egg, egg yolk, vanilla and salt and mix well.
  • Gradually, with the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour until a smooth dough comes together.
  • Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a log roughly 2-inches across.
  • Wrap in wax paper or parchment paper and freeze for about 2 hours, or until firm.
  • Dough can also be stored for several days in the fridge (several weeks in the freezer, well-wrapped).

Preheat oven to 375F. (190C)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the logs of chilled dough and cut each in half. Dough may need to soften for a few minutes. Roll each smaller log in finely chopped nuts, coconut, sprinkles or coarse sugar. Cut logs into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer cookie rounds to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies just begin to brown around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chocolate Chunk Cookies


My daughter’s speech & drama class will be having a party tomorrow. It’s a potluck and everyone is to bring something. Since I will be busy tomorrow, ferrying my 2nd son for this exams, I reckon I would not have much time to prepare something elaborate for her.

It strike me that its about time to get my daughter involved in the culinary skills. When she was younger, she used to  watch me do my baking. However, as time goes by, she prefers to spent her time in front of the computer.

To revive her interest in baking, I got her to bake some cookies for her class tomorrow. Of course, this is done under the watchful eyes of her mother……

Despite her lack of confidence (especially in breaking an egg), she did well.



The Chocolate chuck Cookies turned out well.

We (or rather she) made a total of 52 cookies. Since they are for kids, I suggested having them in bite size and lined on small cupcake liners.

Chuncky choc cookie on plate 

These are like chocolate chip cookies. Only difference is, we cut chocolate into chunks instead of using chocolate chips.

The cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy inside…..yummmm!!!!!

Chuncky choc cookie with cuppa

Simple yet heavenly. Perfect recipe for beginners….


Chuncky choc cookies with jasmine

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients :

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch (also known as cornflour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
200g bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks


Method :

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius.
  • Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
  • Mix the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Stir in chocolate chunks.
  • Drop cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet (or like us,, onto paper cupcake liners.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

*What makes the cookies chewy is the cornstarch.

If you prefer the crispy, omit the cornstarch and replace the baking soda with baking powder.

How time flies………..


For those residing in Malaysia and Singapore, it is the year end school holidays now. Many would have packed their bags and headed off for a family vacation.

For me… we will probably have to forget about year end family vacation as our 1st and 2nd offsprings will be sitting for examination in the coming weeks. Our 2nd boy will be sitting for a major public examination (SPM or GCE O-Level equivalent) commencing tomorrow. Whereas our eldest son will be having his 1st semester exam (1st year pursuing a degree in Finance & Accounting) from next week. They will both complete their respective examinations by December 9th. Thereafter each and everyone of them have their individual plans to chill out. This includes our little girl who will be off to camp in mid December. Sigh…. looks like there won’t be time for us to slot in a family vacation before the end of 2010.

Realised that as the children grow up, it becomes more and more difficult to plan a family vacation. Wish I could turn back the clock….when they were much younger, we could just pack our bags and head off to a family vacation without having to consider their schedule.

Anyway.. it is stressful time in our household now and I wish both my boys the very best in their forthcoming exam.!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Violets are Blue


Those who knows me would probably know that I love flowers in the shades of blue. I had one time kept one portion of my my garden specifically for blue flowers. I have always wanted to have blue water lilies and also hydrangeas in shades of blue.

For some unexplainable reasons I can’t seem that have my blue water lilies to bloom (despite having nurtured them for over a year). As for my hydrangeas… it is another disappointment!!! Over more that 5 years since I brought them home, they have yet to flower ;(.

Nonetheless, I had a very pleasant surprise last week. On my birthday, I noticed a dark shade of purple peeking out of a water lily bud from my little lily “pond” right next to the entrance of my home. Couple of hours later, this is what greeted me…………….

Violet water lily

It’s not exactly the deep blue water lily that I have wanted….but .. this is close enough. What more… I had almost gave up hope on it…my very own violet water lily!!!


Nature’s birthday gift to this homemaker cum gardener ;)

Violet water lily 2  

Since the arrival of the first bloom, we have seen another 2 blooms. There are still more to come and each and everyone of them will be greeted by a smile (just like when the first one came along),

Next…awaiting hydrangeas

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Vanilla Extract

What do you get if you “marry”
             This                  with              This ???
Vanilla Vodka         OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
         Vodka                                       Vanilla Beans

Well you will get this luxurious bottle of vanilla extract!!!!!
Being one who bakes regularly, vanilla extract is a must have. It’s not easy to find a good quality vanilla extract. Moreover, quality ones are usually rather pricey.
To save cost, I googled on how to make this “must have” and found that the process is very simple. All I need is alcohol and some good quality vanilla beans. I have a bunch of vanilla beans given to me by my sister-in-law from her trip to Bali. Have been treasuring them and saving each pod in the sugar canister to favour the sugar.
I wanted to used vodka for this project and had requested DH to get me a bottle of Vodka (so that I could make vanilla extract) on his way back from his business trip sometime back. He came back with a bottle of vanilla favoured Vodka!!
Anyway,… with a glass bottle I added some vanilla beans (after scraping of the beans for cake making) and filled it with the vanilla vodka. (the normal proportion is 3 beans to a cup of vodka).Tighten the cap of the bottle and left it in a cool and dark area. The vanilla pods immersed in the vanilla vodka will released its aroma into the vodka. When the colour of the vodka turn amber, it would be ready for use. This will normally take about 3 months to be done. However, mine turned dark amber within a month!!! Lucky me ;)
The  minute you unscrew the cap, the whole room will be filled with the heavenly aroma of the vanilla extract. This bottle will last me quite a while. The longer I keep it, the richer the aroma would be!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bacon Cheese Rolls


I made these a while ago. Took the photos but totally forgot to blog about it as I have been busy with my daily commitment.

The pictures did not do justice to the actual buns/rolls. (pardon my poor photography skills). However, the buns are so delectable and the aroma is just irresistible. Bun is light and soft and this is one of our favourite savoury bun.

Bacon Cheese Rolls 6

The bread dough used is my “fail proofed”  Hokkaido Milk Bread dough.

To assemble this “baby”, roll the dough into a rectangular sheet of 1 cm thick.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sprinkle bits of smoked bacon and your favourite types of shredded cheese on top. I used mozzarella and cheddar.

Roll it up like a swiss roll. and cut into 4cms sections and place each one into an aluminium mini pie or cupcake mould.


Proof for about 45mins or till they double in size.

Bacon Cheese Rolls 3 Bacon Cheese Rolls 4  

They looked like cupcakes/muffins. Sprinkle more shredded cheese on top.

Baked at 180C for about 12mins

Bacon Cheese Rolls 5


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recharged, re-energised and relax


golden palm tree resort

No…this is not Dubai!

It’s the Golden Palm Tree Resort in Sepang, Malaysia.

My family and I spent a relaxing weekend there recently. After a very hectic week, a weekend getaway like this is really god sent. We have a week’s accommodation at this 5 star resort. However, due to the school and work, we could only spend the weekend there :(

We arrived on Friday night (around 10pm). It was just a 1 1/2 hour drive from home to this resort. However, along the way, we pit stopped for a scrumptious seafood dinner (thus rendering a near 3 hours journey)

The staff at the resort were extremely friendly and accommodating. Despite not being able to locate our reservation, they upgraded us to a larger villa.

ivory villa

This is the Villa that we spent our weekend, It’s the Ivory Palm Villa which can accommodate up to six persons.



The view inside the villa. Notice the huge king size bed in the master bedroom. The master bedroom opens out to the balcony overlooking the Straits of Malacca.



The second bedroom comes with twin beds with fresh crisp linen that makes you want to dive in and snuggle underneath those sheets. This is the room that my kids chilled out and they even spend time studying in there!!!



The hall/ living room comes equipped with a plasma TV and internet connectivity.




   The dresser is fixed with his and her  wash basin. Love those fresh and clean towels.

   There is even a sunken bath tub in the master bathroom!!!






Love these framed pictures.

The atmosphere around this resort is calming and relaxing. The staff were well trained and very friendly. We spent most of our time just lazing around and soaking up all the calming vibes and de-stressing. We did not venture to the beach front as there were lots of jelly fishes around. To stay fit, DH & I spent some time in the gym (quite well equipped) while my girl swam in the swimming pool.

Food was plentiful, with buffet spreads for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Being small eaters, we did not patronise all of them.

 PA230366PA230367  PA230370

   We opted for steamboat at their beach restaurant for dinner on Saturday night. We had Tomyam & herbal steamboat!. See how my eldest & youngest enjoying their meal. We also had some chicken satay to complete the meal.




Desserts during Lunch on Sunday.

Overall, we enjoyed the stay at Golden Palm Tree Resorts, Sepang. The resort is relatively self contained and is perfect for honeymooners and those who are looking forward to a quiet and relaxing vacation. The landscape is beautiful and serene. It’s a pity I did not take more pictures of this place. We left on Sunday evening as we need to get back to urban life with schools and work on Monday.


Came home de stressed and ready for the challenges of the week ahead. :D

Friday, October 15, 2010

Moist Chocolate Bundt Cake


It was my significant other half’s birthday a couple of days ago. Since DH does not fancy birthday parties, the occasion was just a very private family affair.

I had planned to made him his favourite “Steamed Yam Cake”. Stayed up late on the eve and steamed a tray of the Yam Cake. However, it was a disaster! I must have miscalculated the amount of water to be added and the cake was a tad too hard. Poor DH… despite that he still down a substantial amount of it for breakfast.

Feeling bad, I decided to bake him a cake instead. No fancy cake (with lots of icing) as he prefers it plain. Chocolate cake is my family’s favourite so it would be a good choice.


Instead of the normal Steamed Chocolate Cake, I have opted for a baked Chocolate cake using  sour cream. Simple yet delicious. It is such a jiffy to make. Light and moist…


Moist chocoalte bundt cake  …

Moist Chocolate Bundt Cake


2 cups cake flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
340g  unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (you may add up to 2 1/2 cup sugar – I like mine to be less sweet)
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan. Dust with flour.
  2. Sift the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until very creamy, (about 2 minutes).
  4. Gradually beat in the sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is well-blended and light, (about 4 minutes).
  5. At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Combine the vanilla extract and the sour cream. in a small bowl.
  7. At the low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in 2 additions and mixing just until blended.
  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  9. Bake the cake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool completely.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Orange Cranberry Chiffon Cake


Since I mastered the skill of baking a Chiffon Cake without any leavening or stabilizing agent (like sodium bicarbonate or cream of tartar), I would bake at least 1 chiffon cake a week. It is so simple, fast and most importantly, I know I have not added any chemicals into the food that will be consumed by my family.

Chiffon cake is light and is just great for snacking and also breakfast. I like to make them plain without frosting as we do not fancy food laden with heaps of sugar. So with no butter and reduced sugar, this type of chiffon cake is just what the family likes.

If you have been reading my blog, you would have noticed that I have made quite a variety of chiffon cake with the same recipe. Recently, I made one using fresh orange juice and dried cranberries. The aroma of the orange permeating from the oven while the cake was baking was just heavenly. Another keeper!!



For those who would like to give it a try, here is the recipe.


Orange Cranberry Chiffon Cake 


Ingredients :

  1. 4 nos. egg yolk (size : grade A)
  2. 40ml corn oil
  3. 100gm superfine flour
  4. a handful of dried cranberries
  5. 1 tsp orange zest
  6. 70ml freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 orange)
  7. 5 nos egg white (size : grade A)
  8. 45gm sugar (add more if you prefer or if the orange is sour)

Method :

  1. Preheat oven at 170 C.
  2. Combine egg yolks, oil, flour and orange juice and orange zest. Set aside..
  3. In another bowl or mixer, whisk egg whites till frothy.
  4. Gradually add in sugar. and lemon juice. Continue whisking till stiff peak is formed.
  5. Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk batter with a whisk.
  6. Gently fold in another 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk batter.
  7. Fold in the remaining egg whites and the dried cranberries into the egg yolk batter. Do not over mix it as it will deflate the air bubbles..
  8. Pour batter into a chiffon cake tin and bang the tin a couple of times to release the trapped bubbles.
  9. Bake in the oven at 170C for 30- 35 mins or till cooked.
  10. Remove cake from oven and invert it immediately to cool for at least 30 mins before slicing.

Orange Cranberry Chiffon cake - tinOrange Cranberry Chiffon cake - in oven