Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Nope, I have never been to Japan nor Hokkaido, not yet…….but will definitely make a "Wishlist" with this destination in it ;) So, the idea of baking these "Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes" came by when I was blog hopping as usual. I think I spend most of my spare time, if not baking……..will be reading cookbooks or blog hopping. Well, that's how I got all my recipes collection piling up :PAnyway, these Hokkaido Chiffon cupcakes can be quite discouraging when you first look at it in a picture or blog…….it sinked, shrinked and has a wrinkled surface……totally the opposite of a cupcake……..I meant a cupcake that hasn't been dressed also can easily 'sapu' (sweep) this title of a perfect cupcake………LOL
You must be wondering then 'why on earth do I still take the initiative to bake it', right?? Yeap, anything that I saw looks interesting always caught my attention and these Hokkaidos' Cuppies sure did when I saw them. I was thinking why do they have such a special name……..and why do they look like that?? I googled and typed in "What is Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes?" hoping that I will be able to find out the source of these cupcakes, if they really are from Hokkaido, Japan. Guess what? "There was no such search result"……hah! So, where and why are they named Hokkaido? Not Holland? Duh!
So, I thought since I can't get the background of these cupcakes origin, then the least I can do is bake and try to see what's so special about them. And so I did……….verdict is ……it's light and fluffily soft like cotton in texture, the taste is also very light , just like a Chiffon Cake :P The egg whites is whisk to medium stiff peak, and folded in to the batter……that is why it is so light and fluffy. I would say I will make this cupcakes again, although I still doesn't understand why they want to add Hokkaido into the name……..well, simply because I prefer something light and not so heavy, and for your information, I ate 5 cuppies without realizing it….hehehe

4 egg yolks
70gm castor sugar
2gm salt ( I used a pinch of salt)
Drops vanilla essence (I use ½ tsp of vanilla essence)
80ml milk (I used Low Fat Milk)
60ml Corn Oil (I used Canola Oil)
135gm plain flour
4gm baking powder (I used ½ tsp baking powder)
6 Egg whites
50gm castor sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
  2. Arrange paper cups on baking tray.
  3. Hand whisk (A) until pale in colour. Add (B).
  4. Follow by (C). Whisk until combined.
  5. Sieve in (D). Stir until well mixed.
  6. Whisk egg whites until foamy, add sugar. Whisk until medium peak.
  7. Take 1/3 whites and fold in with yolk mixture.
  8. Follow by folding in the rest of the egg whites.
  9. Scoop batter into pre-arranged paper cups filling about ¾ full.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Happy Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes baking!

The recipe was adapted from here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Brioche II ……..In a Loaf

I think falling in love with something that you like is really a very wonderful feeling…..you just wanted to see it every now and then, and you won't get bored of it no matter how many times it appears in front of you, and you just wanted to have it 24 hours a day………..true or false? Haha……..no lah, I'm not talking about me, but to those people who are in love…….hehehe ;) Anyway, my love affection for Brioche is so much so reach the level where I just wanted to make it whenever I have the time……..and that is exactly what I did today. I have been collecting recipes of almost everything from cupcakes to cheesecakes, muffins to bread, cookies to brownies and so forth, the list is just endless. At first I have a ring file full of recipes of about 100 pages in the bookshelf……..then within a month, it increases with a 2nd ring file and a few cookbooks…………then the collection increased again……..to 4 ring files and more than 10 cookbooks………..now, it's been a year already, the collection is endless and so are the cookbooks. I sometimes even think I must have gone crazy when I actually read a cookbook like I'm reading a novel…..…..geez, I hope I have company here, LOL ^_^
Well, that's how crazy I can be at times……..so, I have a few good ole 'Brioche' recipes that I have collected while browsing the WWW. I have tried one of it before where you can find it here. This time I attempted the other recipe where I got it from the Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine – June 2010 issue. It was a Brioche made into a loaf instead of the previous one where I made them into individual buns.
I totally agree with the article commenting that Brioche would have to be one of French cuisine's greatest gift, as this bread is so rich and delicious, that it is a 'star' in its own right, and needs little in the way of embellishment (as quoted in the magazine). So true !!
Well, needless for me to introduce it further……some of my friends who saw the picture of my Brioche in Facebook, couldn't wait for me to post the recipe up, hehe……because it's just so tempting. Here it is as promise………;)

160 ml milk (I used low fat milk)
1½ tsp instant dried yeast
5 eggs yolks, at room temperature, lightly beaten
375gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
30gm castor sugar, plus extra for dusting    
A pinch of salt
150gm butter, dices and softened, plus extra for greasing
Some Egg yolk for eggwash

  1. Warm milk in a small saucepan over low heat until lukewarm. Combine yeast and ½ the milk in a bowl, stirring to dissolve. Stand in a warm place until foamy (8-10 minutes).
  2. Whisk remaining milk with egg yolks in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, until combined. (FYI, this recipe does not requires hand –kneading). Make a well in the centre, add yeast mixture and yolk mixture. Beat on medium speed until a smooth dough forms (4-5 minutes).
  4. While mixing, gradually add 1/3 of butter at a time, beat until dough is elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl (8-10 minutes).
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand until doubled in size (1½ -2 hours).
  6. Knock back dough, knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, shape dough into a loaf and place in a 11cm x 24cm loaf tin buttered and lined with baking paper. (I did not lined with baking paper, I just lightly greased the loaf tin only and it did not stick too). Cover, stand until doubled in size (30 minutes – 1 hour). Meanwhile preheat oven to 180 degree C.
  7. Brush top with eggwash, dust with sugar, bake until golden and risen (25-30 minutes).
  8. Remove from tin, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, return to oven until sides are golden (8-10 minutes), cool on a wire rack.

Happy Brioche Baking folks!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My brother’s 25th Silver Wedding Anniversary

It's the month of August…….and my brother Anthony, and his wife, Celine will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary on the 7th August. 25 years of marriage is definitely something to celebrate and also to remember especially when they have been blessed abundantly by God with 5 beautiful children and a very healthy and happy family. I am so happy and at the same time, excited for them too. My niece, Aline, their eldest daughter told me about this celebration a month ago, and a lot has been prepared and lined up for the celebration. I have arranged for my two sisters from KL to come back just in time for the celebration, while the rest of the siblings and nieces / nephews are a bit tied up with their work L But, nonetheless, they are remembered in our hearts during the celebration. I have also decided to make some cupcakes as a gift to the guest during the dinner for this occasion, and my little niece, Sheryl, who loves to bake, agreed to help me out.
So, 2 weeks before the actual date, I have already started with the gum paste flowers and decoration ideas. I haven't been playing with gum paste for quite some time since the last time was during Chinese New Year. I think it's time I catch up again on my rolling, coloring and molding of the flowers, petal by petal, the leaves and the tiny flowers. It's always fun to do all that…….the only thing would be, it's a little time consuming and a lot of patience is required J
I got all the flowers done in 4 days, and work out a mock sample for my niece to see a week before the event. All 5 of them are very happy with it and so I set the day to bake the cupcakes a day before the celebration, at my brother's house, as my little niece would like to help me out J So, it was Friday evening, I went to her house after work, we started baking 80 cupcakes at around 7pm and then started the buttercream piping, the decoration and finally, the packing ……..we finished up everything by 10pm, I would say, that was FAST!! YEAH!!
So, I headed home and was very pleased everything went well and the here are the photos of the cupcakes and some photos of the celebration too…….cheers!

                                         ........and here is one of my angel, Daniel.......:)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Another “Banana Bread”……A more richer version

Why do I say 'another Banana Bread' ? Well, if you have been following my blogs, I have made one Banana Bread in the month of May. That one was a 'not so rich' version I would termed it , as it did not ask for chopped nuts and chocolate chips to be added into it. I found this recipe from here and decided to try it out to see the difference as I have overly ripe bananas at home (as usual, my FiL gave it to me as he knows I can use it to bake because he said no one would want to eat those bananas that have gone really ripe and soft, and the skin has already turned black). Well, perfectly fine for me, in fact the softer and more ripe it is, the better especially when use it for baking. So, stop throwing out those ripe and black skin bananas at home JComing back to this Banana Bread…….what I can say is that, it taste really good, though I cut down quite a lot on the castor sugar part as I was thinking that if the banana is 'so' ripe, it will contribute some natural sweetness to the recipe and ………chocolate chips would also contribute its sweetness into the recipe too…….so…cut down and cut down from 225gm (1 cup) to 160gm only. It turned out perfect, the correct sweetness for a bread / cake and what I actually love about this Banana Bread is the crunchiness of the walnuts in every bite. The bread was really moist, unlike the previous one I made and the kids loved it. As usual, I sliced a big piece for each them to bring to school the next morning, and the rest was evenly distributed to my in-laws for breakfast the next morning …….and I get to bring to work 2 slices too. I ate it with a cup of hot Nescafe…….a bite of the Banana bread and a sip of Nescafe……..ooh, this is sooooo good….I just love to enjoy life with not only good companions….but with good yummy food too……what about you?

Here is the recipe for this 'RICH Banana Bread'(as I have called it) hehe J *Btw, I have converted the measurements from cups to grams, and also I have explain the methods using my simpler version……..hope its fine for you.

225gm castor sugar (I cut it down to 160gm only)
1 egg
113gm Unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup peeled and mashed ripe bananas
2 Tbsp milk
250gm plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
Optional :
1 cup chocolate chips (oh yes, forgot to mention, I used only ½ cup)
½ cup chopped nuts (I used toasted walnuts)

  1. Greased a 9x5x3 loaf tin with parchment paper and preheat oven to 175 degree Celsius.
  2. Cream together the butter, egg and sugar until light and fluffy, using a mixer of course!
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the milk with the mashed bananas until well mixed.
  4. Then add the banana mixture(2) to the butter mixture (1).
  5. Sift the flour and add the baking powder and bicarbonate soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in a few batch (2 or 3) until well mixed.
  6. Finally, gently stir in the optional chocolate chips and the chopped nuts if you are using.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake at preheated oven for 50-60 minutes (depending on individual oven). Test for doneness by inserting the skewer to the center, it should come out clean, if not, turn the oven temperature slightly higher and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Do cover the top of the cake with aluminium foil if you find that it is overly browned.

Happy Banana Bread baking!