Thursday, December 24, 2015

Simplest Mango Mousse (2 Ingredients only!)

This is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made, just require 2 ingredients and it taste great. Besides, the recipe is so easy that you would never forget, just 1 part whipping cream to 1.5 part of mango purée. Almost dummy-proof huh? *laugh*

Ready to make some? Here we go..

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 30-60 minutes
Serving for: 4-6 pax

• 1 cup whipping / heavy cream
• 1.5 cup mango purée
• additional mango cubes for topping

Note: I used 1 1/2 mango of the above size (as in picture), you may add 1-3 teaspoon of sugar if you like, but since the mango i got is ripe and sweet, I opted to go without extra sugar.

The Making:

1. Cut mango into small cubes, blend on high speed for about 15 seconds until it turns purée.

2. Using a mixer, whisk the whipping cream on high speed until it is stiff (no longer in liquid form, takes about 1 minute of whisking if using machine, probably a lot longer if using hand). Add in the mango purée and whisk to mix well.

3. Pour into a clear container, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

When serving, add additional mango purée and mango cubes on top the mango mousse, it's simply delicious that even my in law approved it! *wink*

Monday, November 23, 2015

Devil's Chicken Wings

During my little girl's recent birthday party, I made this roast chicken wings which was a big hit. All 24 pieces were grabbed up while the box of KFC was still more than half full. Many of the friends asked for the recipe after the party, so I thought just to make it available to all.

Be warn, you may not be able to stop eating... There's a reason why I named it the Devil's Chicken Wings. ;-)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes 
Marination Time: at least 2 hours
Roasting Time: 45 minutes
Serving: 1 dozen chicken wings

• 12 pieces chicken wings, chop half
• 2 teaspoon salt
• a dash of pepper 
• 2 tablespoon soya sauce
• 2 teaspoon brown sugar  
• 1 tablespoon Shao Xin wine
• a dash of paprika powder (optional if you prefer non spicy)
• 1 teaspoon Italian spice** 
• 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
• few drops of sesame oil

* all measurement above are in estimate (agak-agak), as I was adding them by instinct without using a measurement spoon.  
** if you do not have the Italian spices, just add mixture of basil, rosemary and oregano leaves.

The Making:
1. Wash the chicken wings and rub them all over with salt. Season the wings with all the ingredient except the dark soya sauce, sesame oil & brown sugar. Keep refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 180°c, cover the roasting tray with a piece of aluminum foil and spray / brush some cooking oil over it to avoid sticking.

3. Remove chicken wings from fridge, add the brown sugar, sesame oil and dark soya sauce, mix well.

4. Place all chicken pieces on the tray and avoid overlapping. Roast in middle tray for 30 minutes, remove from oven and turn the wings to the other side; roast for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Voila! Your mouth watering chicken wings are ready.. Just let cold and serve them right away. 

I reserved the drummets for the little ones so they can enjoy more meat instead of skin. My kiddos absolutely loved it! *smile*



A Note to Parents with Young Toddlers..
As I used more spices for this recipe, I would not recommend serving this to kids under 4yo. I tried to avoid using salt, sugar and processed food / sauces when preparing food for my kiddos when they were under 2yo.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Basil & Spinach Chicken Fettucini 罗勒鸡块菠菜意面

Bilingual | 中英对照

My organic basil is growing so well that it is turning into a small bush, so I have been using them for cooking more frequently than ever. The fresh basil leaves add a very delightful scent to the meal that is somehow lacking in the dried basil.

I have tried the 3 Cups Chicken (三杯鸡) in Taiwan, one of the spices used is the sweet basil leaves, so I decided to make a basil chicken fillet to go with the Fettucini, and they tasted so good! You really ought to give this a try if you or your little ones are pasta lovers like us. :) 

Just so you know, my little ones ate up every bits from their plates, including all the greens. 

Serving size: for 2-4 person
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

For the Chicken Fillets:
• 8-10 chicken fillet, cleaned 
• a pinch of salt
• a dash of pepper
• 1 tablespoon of honey teriyaki sauce*
• 4-5 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (I used a scissors)
• 2 clove garlic, finely chopped 
• 2 tablespoon of corn flour

* can substitute with teriyaki sauce / soy sauce and add a tablespoon of honey.

For the Pasta:
• 1/2 packet or 250gm Fettucini pasta
• 12 stalks baby spinach, washed and roughly chopped
•  2 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 carrot, cut into thin slices
• 2 shallots, chopped finely
• few drops of Worchester sauce
• 2-3 teaspoon of salt
• 2 egg, mixed
• 2 slices cheddar cheese
• few dash of mixed spices
• extra basil leaves for gardenia hung

*Optional: you can add some broccoli too. My kiddos love broccoli so I added them.

The Making:

1. Marinate the chicken fillets with ingredient A (except garlic and basil leaves), coat wih a thin layer of flour and keep refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat up 2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a pan, sauté the garlic till fragrance then pan fry the chicken fillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side until cook, add the basil leaves and stir to mix well. Once cooked, Set aside.

3. In a clean wok or deep pan, add the cooking oil and sautéed the shallots, carrots for about a minute, add salt, pepper, Worchester sauce and mixed herbs to taste.

4. Toss in the pasta. Add cold water or chicken stock into the pan (just enough to cover the pasta) then close the lid to let it simmer on medium heat for 12 minutes (or according to the recommended cooking time on the pasta packaging).

5. Add the baby spinach, eggs and cheese, stir to mix and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes to soften. Add a bit more water if the pasta is too dry now.

6. Serve your pasta right away with the chicken fillet on top. 

Another easy least yet delicious meal for the whole family... Don't forget to add some basil leaves for garnishing! *smile*

Bon appetite! 

In case you wonder, this is how the sweet basil plant looks like. Photo was taken 2 weeks ago.




•2片切 达干酪





3. 用一个锅子或深的平底锅,烧热橄榄油,加入小葱头,胡萝卜,盐,胡椒,伍斯特酱和混合香草翻炒约一分钟。




Thursday, November 12, 2015

My 1st Ever Cake Decoration Class!

Little C's 4th birthday is approaching so that means it is time for me to design a new birthday cake and dress for her again - this is a tradition I started since her first birthday and I intend to continue for as long as possible... 

Coincidently, my buddy Teng contacted me and asked if I'm interested to join the latest fondant cake decoration class that she will be hosting in her baking studio where students will be taught how to craft and decorate a bear figurine from scratch. So I thought why not give it a try, since I have never joined any cake / baking lesson despite I have been baking for like... 6 years?

So I signed up without any procrastination, and look what I've created.

A cute little pinky bear. 

Why pink? Because it's my little girl's favorite color and her favorite teddy bear is in the same shade of pink! Can't wait to show her this surprise... ❤️

I decorated my teddy on a dummy as her birthday is still a week away, so I will use this as a top layer for the real cake that I will bake later. That's why you would noticed I did not decorate the base layer like others did- will have to do that on the real cake.

Ops, where's the head?

The first time student.

With the very friendly instructor, V, who is a professional baker and cake decoration instructor specialised in fondant and gum paste. Just so you know, she conversed well in English and Mandarin.

Other students' creations. It's interesting to see others' design.  

Photo courtesy of De Little Baker

The cakes on the left and in the middle are by the instructor.

The class was really enjoyable and V was attentive to all questions asked (of which mostly came from me who had many failed trials in the past!! *blush*). 

There were only 4 students and all ingredients + equipments were provided except for the pizza cutter and modeling tools (but Teng kindly loaned me a unit). 

V explaining on different ingredients used, I have learnt something new that most online tutorials or books I've readnever taught  me. Many "now I see" moments, so I guess I shall do much better in my future cake designing.. *smile*

Teng, the amazing lady who runs this studio. The studio is brightly lighted and covered in banana yellow & white, providing a joyful & friendly ambience. 

To sum up what I've learnt in the 1-day class:
Proper technique when working with fondant
• how to properly cover the cake with buttercream & fondant and achieve smooth edges
• how to cover and decorate the cake board with ribbon
• Technique to make a bear figurine 

*noticed how I highlight the word properly? I have been making fondant cake but these are useful add-ons knowledge..

If you are interested to participate in other classes, be it baking or decorating for beginner, intermediate or advanced levels using buttercream or fondant of gum paste, or even holiday programme for your little ones, do check out De Little Baker's Facebook page and be updated on their upcoming courses!

De Little Baker Studio
No. 1-10, Jalan PJU 8/3, 
Damansara Perdana, 
47820 Petaling Jaya.

Finally, the completed birthday cake! Added pastel green leaves and more flowers, now it looks like the little bear is resting in a blossom garden...

Disclaimer: I was not paid nor given reward in any kind for writing this post, it is merely an honest sharing based on my experience as a first time baking student. Since I liked what I had experienced today I thought it's worth sharing with my friends and readers who too may share same interest. Signed up at your own risk.. *smile*


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Jade & Golden Jelly Mooncakes

It's a tradition that our family members will meet up in our hometown to celebrate Mid Autumn festival every lunar 8th month of the year. This yes is no different.

On top of the catered food, I thought of making some cooling desserts since weather has been so fuming hot. After a visit to the nearby supermarket, I've made my choice - Aloe Vera and Peach flavor mooncakes!

I especially love this flower shape mould, an old fashion Tupperware mould given by my mom in law.

Aloe Vera jelly mooncake in different shades of greens to give them the jade-like appearance.

Can you spot the “好” wording on the top? Four of these little jelly mooncakes form a “花好月圆”, which means bountiful blooms under the full moon.

The making is so easy, takes only about 20 minutes (excluding waiting time) and can be kept refrigerated for days.

What you need:
• 2 packets agar-agar powder 
• 1 liter Aloe Vera juice 
• 1 can sliced peaches + extra water to make up to 1 liter
• few drops of green food coloring 
• about 50gm sugar

The Making:

1. Add 1L aloe Vera juice / peach juice (with extra water) into a pot. Add the jelly powder and turn on the heat, continue stirring occasionally. Add the sugar now if you like it sweeter. Once the liquid starts to bubble, switch to low heat but don't forget to stir occasionally.

Note: if you use a different jelly brand, the water requirements may differ so do adjust accordingly.

2. For the Peach flower pattern, arrange the peach slices around the mould to form a ring, make 2-3 layers of ring.

3. Pour the jelly water into the mould until full. For the gradient jade green effect, I created 3 layers of greens:

1st layer: add 2-3 drops of green food coloring into the jelly liquid (I used avocado green), mix well and pour into the mould up to 1/3 full; keep in freezer for about 3 minutes till slightly hardened.

2nd & 3rd layer: using a knife, lightly poke few holes on the first layer (this will help the adjacent layers to stick together). Add another 2 drops of green (or blue) food coloring, then pour into the mould till 2/3 filled. Keep in freezer for another 3-5 minutes then repeat same step for last layer.

4. Let it cold for about 30 minutes before transferring to the fridge (not freezer). Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before consuming.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Best Homemade Waffle Combo!

Waffles seem to be the latest attraction in town, there is this Owl Cafe, Madame Waffle, Kaffeine cafe all well known for their sweet and savoury waffles. I have managed to try out 2 of these waffle shops and decided to give it a try at home. 

1 batter. 3 different flavors. 1 big breakfast. 2 superbly happy kiddos.

This is my Green Tea, Cocoa & Tuna Waffles Combo, with a drop of vanilla ice cream. 

Ahhhh.... Life is good.

Best companion: Tuna waffles with mayonnaise, Cocoa waffles with cocoa syrup, Green tea waffle with almond flakes and fruits & nuts.  

Tuna Waffles

Green Tea Waffles

Chocolate Waffle with Vanilla Ice cream

I thought I made too many waffles (total 12 pieces) but we managed to finish all! The tuna waffle is voted the best by Big Guy and my little boy. Perhaps next time I shall try some bacon bits.. :)

Just use the batter recipe I shared last year here, and mix in different bowls. 

• Green tea: mix 7gm or 2 teaspoons green tea with 6 tablespoons of batter.

• Tuna: mix 4-5 tablespoon of tuna flakes in water with 6 tablespoons of batter.

• Cocoa waffle: mix 2 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder with 6 tablespoons of batter.

I love homemade breakie as we can add any condiments as we like. Almond flakes, sunflower seeds, cocoa syrups, raisins, dried cranberries, berries, blueberry jam, apricot jam... The combination is simply endless!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do. Ciao!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Double Chocolate Cookie Balls

The kids absolutely love chocolate, and so do I. I have been buying them Chipsmore cookies occasionally but when I'm not too lazy, I will bake our favorite double chocolate cookies with reduced sugar. Today happened to be my not-so-lazy day so I started baking while listening to my all time favorite album, French Kiss. 

Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside. It's what I called Love at first bite...

Preparation: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 10-12 minutes
Serving: 14-16 pieces

Original recipe adopted and modified from Food Lovers' Cooking for Children.

• 100g unsalted butter, cut cubes
• 100g brown sugar 
• 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 170g all purpose flour, sifted
• 2 palmful / half cup of dark chocolate chips (add more if you wish)
• 1 teaspoon icing sugar (for sprinkle)

The Making:

1. Preheat oven to 180°c, lay a piece of baking sheet over the tray.

2. In a dry mixer bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy, then gradually add in the egg, vanilla extract, the sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.

3. Mix with a spatula until well mixed, then add the chocolate chips.

4. Using your palms, shape one large scope of dough into a round ball and place the cookie dough onto the baking tray, with at least 2" apart from each other.

5. Bake for 10-12min in the middle compartment, the cookies will expand slightly when baking.

6. Once done, remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with some icing sugar on top and keep in an airtight container. I could never resist to eat one right away, they smell too good to resist!

Enjoy...  ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Super Easy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

This is one recipe too easy not to make, absolutely no additive and preservative! With our kind of hot climate that can melt you without the air-condition turned on, your kiddos will love you for this sweet treat.. ;)

• 4 ripe banana, cut small cubes (don't use the overriped)
• 2-3 tablespoon fresh milk
• 2-3 tablespoon chocolate chips

Makes about 8 scopes of ice creams.

The Making:
1. Freeze the banana chunks overnight or at least 3-4 hours.

2. Blend the frozen banana using a food processor. I used a hand blender so need to add some milk to soften it, otherwise the milk could be optional.

3. Once the banana turns to a creamy texture, add the chocolate chips and blend on high speed for a few seconds. 

4. Freeze the ice cream for at least 2 hours before eating. I added some Hershey's chocolate syrup with rice sprinkles and this really made the duo's day!

Few days later the duo asking for some sweet treat after school, since we had some leftover Choco banana ice cream, I decided to let them have Se ice cream crackers instead and they loved it!

Hope you enjoy this simple but healthilicious snack as much as we did...

Just a note: this ice cream melts kind of fast compare to the normal ice cream, so do serve one scope at a time of little one is a slow eater.. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kids Friendly Beef & Mushroom Pie

I have a sudden craving for pie, hot piping meat pie like the ones we had in London, paired with a pint of cold ale. Perhaps it's the raining weather, or just the desire to travel.

So I searched for some best pie recipes and decided to stick with Jamie Oliver's  Aussie Humble Pie, I used to watch his cooking show in late night and he's still one of my favorite hosts. 

I made some minor adjustments to the recipe to make it kids friendly -- replacing  ale with non-alcohol malt drink and added some green peas which the kids like. 

The duo absolutely love these pies, they ate 2 slices each and finished everything on the plate, including mushrooms which they usually picked and chucked aside. So I must say this recipe is a keeper!

Hot Beef & Mushroom pie....

The thick gravy is just oh-so-nice!

Ready to bake (before applying egg wash..)

Ta-da.... The pies are served.

I made 2 medium size pies with this recipe, or you may use a larger pan too. It's more than sufficient for 4 persons sharing.

Preparation Time: 45min
Waiting Time: 2-3h
Cooking & Baking Time: 2h
The Ingredients:

For the filling:
• 500gm beef, cut into chunks (Jamie's recipe uses 1kg)
• approx 2 dash of ground pepper
• approx 6 dash of nutmeg powder
• 8 fresh brown mushrooms, sliced 
• 2 whole carrots, cut into small chunks
• 2 palmful of frozen green peas
• 2 clove garlic, diced 
• 2 shallots, diced
• 2 sprigs rosemary (add more dried rosemary if you wish) 
• 250ml Malta drink (replacement for pale ale)
• 1 tablespoon tomato purée 
• 1 tablespoon plain flour

For the dough:
• 600gm plain flour
• 150gm unsalted butter, cut cubes 
• 150gm shredded cheddar cheese (I reduced to 100gm)
• 1L cold water
• 1 egg yolk, beaten
• spray cooking oil / extra butter for brushing 

The Making:

Little E snapped a shot of mommy preparing the pie base.

1.  Heat up 2 table spoons of olive oil, sautée the onion, garlic, and follow by carrots. Add salt and rosemary, cook for about 10 minutes then set aside. 

2. Season the beef with salt, nutmeg powder, pepper and 2 tablespoon of olive oil, mix well. Heat up a pot and cook the beef on high heat until turns brown.

3. Pour malt (or ale if you prefer the authentic taste) into the pot, follow by flour and tomato purée. Add 1L of water and let the liquid boils. Stir occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

4. Add the sliced mushrooms, cooked vegetables and green peas. Then close the lid and let it simmers on medium heat for about 1.5 hours or until the gravy is thicken. Let the stew beef cold down completely before using (I transferred it to a pot and keep it in the fridge) 

Preparing the dough - you can make this a day earlier and store it in the freezer compartment (covered in cling film)

5. In a clean mixer bowl, add shredded cheese into the flour, follow by butter cubes. Rub to mix with your hands then gradually add in water. Continue mixing until you get a smooth dough. Cut half, half to be used for dough base and the other for the pie top. 

6. Using a rolling pin, spread out the dough on a clean surface to form a large square, then lay over the baking pan (coat with a layer of cooking oil or melted butter to avoid sticking). Cut off the excess edges (refer to picture above), then wrap the dough base with cling film and let it sits in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Wrap the excess dough in a cling film to be used for pie top later.

7. Pour the stewed beef into the hardened dough base until full. Spread out the remaining dough with a rolling pin then cover the top completely. Cut off the excess dough at the edges and press the edges with a fork to form a neat lines pattern. Cut 2 or more small holes on the center top of the dough with a knife.

8. Preheat oven to 180°c. Brush the pie top with some egg yolk and bake for 15-20 minutes until it turns golden brown. 

Your kitchen will be filled with nice aroma of the pie once you open the oven door. Let it cool down then dig in and enjoy your piping hot pie... It's really mouth watering and my duo were actually fighting for more. :)

Need More?
You may want to hop over to Jamie's food tube and check out his video guide (click here to watch). This aussie beef pie is so delicious that it's worth the time to prepare it.