180g sugar (I used 130g)
Orange zest from one orange (I used lemon zest)
4 medium eggs
50g orange juice (I used store bought)
35g custard powder
250g plain flour (sifted)
1½ tsp baking powder (sifted)
200g dried cranberries (I used 150g)
50g orange juice (I used store bought)
30g bread flour
*Pre-soaked dried cranberries in orange juice for 30 mins then add in bread flour.
1) Beat (A) till light and fluffy.
2) Add (B), one at a time, beat well before each addition.
3) Add (C), mix well.
4) Fold in (D) in 2 – 3 additions and mix till just incorporated.
5) Fold in (E), mix well with a spatula.
6) Scoop batter into paper cups or pour into a greased and lined 8” round tin.
7) Bake in preheated oven at 180C for about 25 mins for cupcake or 50-60 mins for whole cake until a skewer inserted and comes out clean.
Custard powder can be replaced by cornflour and ½ to 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
(Recipe adapted from Alex Goh’s Fabulous Cake Business, Cranberry Cake, I omitted the icing and glaze)
This cupcake is extremely easy to make as all-in method is used, i.e you only need to prepare the ingredients and whisk them together well, just need to follow the beating time strictly. Result may vary due to under or over beating. In case you think that the cake will be hard as there is no prior creaming of butter, this cake is actually soft and fluffy (of course the softness here is based on pound cake standard).
You do not need more than 10 minutes to prepare this cake but you need patience to let it slowly mature over the next 24 hours (at least). However, if you decide to taste it immediately (like what I did) the cake still tastes good though it may be a bit crumbly (the cake will become moister after the fat in butter releases over time).
If you are not lemon lover you may find the lemon in the cake overwhelming like what my parents thought. They loved this Lemon Yogurt Butter Cake which was made in the same manner but they did not like this lemon cupcake. On another note, you can always make it less “lemonty” by reducing the lemon zest and lemon juice used in the recipe.
Lemon Butter Cupcake with Lemon Glaze
Ingredients: (yields 12 medium cupcakes)
150g salted butter, diced (see note 1)
105g fine/caster sugar (see note 2)
150g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
150g eggs (about 3 medium eggs)
½ tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
Lemon zest from one lemon
Lemon glaze: Juice from one lemon + 50g sugar (to taste)
*Cook over low heat till sugar dissolved.
1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tray or line with paper liners/muffin cups.
2) Add all ingredients (sift in self-raising flour together with baking powder) into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, scrape down the bowl in between (start from low speed to blend in the flour first so that the flour won’t fly around then change to medium speed).
3) Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups equally (I used an ice-cream scoop) and bake at middle rack for about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted and comes out clean.
4) Once done, prick the cake top with a skewer or toothpick. Pour over lemon glaze to hot cake (see note 3), cool on wire rack. Cake is best served on second or third day. Cake can be kept in airtight container in room temperature for up to 4 days.
1) Soften or not to soften beforehand? The butter I used softened quite fast in room temperature so I just took it out at the beginning of preparation, cut into small cubes when it was cold, left it in the mixing bowl while I prepared for other ingredients. By the time I started the mixer the butter was already softened slightly (it’s okay to use slightly hard butter in our weather). If the butter you use is very hard then you may want to take it out about 30 mins earlier to let it soften in room temperature. In our warm and humid weather I think I would rather use cooler/harder butter than using butter that is too soft because if the butter is too soft at the beating stage it will yield a very oily cake.
2) This is a pound cake recipe so the sugar amount is suppose to be 150g (same weight as butter, egg and flour) but I have cut down to 105g. You may use up to 150g if you have sweet tooth but I will not recommend using less than 105g.
3) The lemon glaze is enough for two rounds of pouring, use only half of it as you wish.
Imagawayaki (今川焼き), is Japanese pancake made of batter in a special pan and filled with sweet azuki bean paste, although it is becoming increasingly popular to use a wider variety of fillings such as custard, cheese and even savoury flavour such as tuna. It is often made into round shape and the pancake texture is similar to our Mee Jian Kueh.
You do not need any special pan or equipment to make this at home. What you need is some small metal moulds or cake ring (I use a muffin tray) and a flat-bottom pan with lid (I use Happycall pan).
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ cup (180ml) pandan juice (see note 1)
1 cup (130g) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cooking oil
Fillings: red bean paste (or other fillings of your choice)
1) Whisk (A) until sugar is dissolved.
2) Add (B), mix well.
3) Sift in (C) in in 2 or 3 additions, mix well. Add (D), mix till just combined.
4) Grease muffin tin/small metal moulds/small cake rings with little butter/oil and place them in HCP, pour the batter to fill 60% of the moulds, close HCP lid with magnet. Cook over low heat for about 1 min till you see some bubbles on top.
5) Add fillings and fill the moulds with batter till 90% full, cover HCP lid with magnet, Cook over low heat, flip the pan or flip individual moulds once the top is set. Cook for a while till a crust is form on top and no longer wobbly.
6) Remove pancake from moulds and pan fry in HCP (push the pancakes at the side of HCP to cook the side) for a while till top and bottom become golden brown.
1) I use the diluted part (top) of my home-made pandan essence and 2 tsp of pandan essence (bottom).
2) To make original flavour just replace pandan juice with milk or water.
3) If you do not have Happycall pan, this can also be done in a normal flat-bottom pan with a lid but the cooking time may be slightly longer.
Taiyaki (たい焼き , literally "baked sea bream") is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans.
The batter of Taiyaki is actually the same as pancake/waffle batter. You can use your usual pancake recipe to make Taiyaki. It is very easy and fast to prepare the batter from scratch so if you are get used to pancake premix you may want to try making from scratch. It is definitely cheaper and healthier (as premix is always consist of emulsifier and may be preservative) this way.
If you do not own a Taiyaki pan you can just make it into regular pancake using a non-stick pan (do not need to grease the pan).
1 cup (125g) plain flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cup (240ml) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp melted butter or vegetable oil
½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Fillings: red bean paste (or other fillings of your choice)
1) Combine (A) in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Combine (B) in a jug, mix well.
2) Pour in (B) into (A). Use a hand whisk to stir till just incorporated (should take less than 30 seconds, do not over mix). Transfer the batter to a jug for easy pouring.
3) Preheat Taiyaki pan over medium low heat for about 30 seconds, brush both side of the pan with little butter (just need to grease once). Add batter till about 80% full, add 1 spoon of fillings at the centre then cover the red bean paste with little batter and fill up the “tail”.
4) Cover the pan and flip the pan immediately. Cook over medium low heat for about 3 mins, flip and cook for another 2-3 mins till both sides become golden brown. You may open the pan in between to check the colour but not the first 2 mins (adjust the cooking time according to the size of Taiyaki and your own stove).
The texture of this bread is soft and fluffy, I am sure I will adapt this recipe again and again for other experiments, it is definitely a keeper to me.
Nourishing Si Shen Wholemeal Bread (by Bread Machine)
320g bread flour
40g wholemeal flour
30g plain flour
10g Si Shen Powder (四神粉)(see note 1)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 medium egg, cold
220ml water + milk, cold (I used 50%/50%)
2 tsp instant yeast
30g butter (soften at room temp) (see note 2)
1) Combine (A) and mix well. Add all ingredients in sequence according to your bread machine manual (except butter). Select "Dough" program. Let it knead for about 5 mins until dough is formed, add butter gradually and continue to knead for another 5 mins (total kneading time: 10 mins), stop the program.
2) Select "Basic” program, “Light” colour, “900g” and start the program.
3) Check the bread 20-25 mins before the ending time. Stop the program and remove bread from bread machine once you see the crust is nicely brown to prevent over baking.
1) Si Shen powder consists of Qian Shi, Huai Shan, Lian Zhi and Fu Ling, is a TMC formula that is believed to increase our body immune system and many other benefits. It can be replaced by plain flour or wholemeal flour in this recipe.
2) If you are going to eat with sweet jam you may use salted butter, else use unsalted butter. Alternatively you can use salted butter but cut down the salt to ¾ tsp.
3) You may adjust the ratio of water and milk according to your own preference.
4) When adding the salt and sugar into the loaf pan, they should be placed separately at different corner, never mix them together.
5) When using machine for kneading I like to use cold liquid (and even flour) because this helps to prevent the bread dough to become too warm which is not good for the fermentation.
1L store bought sweetened soya milk, room temperature (eg. Vitasoy, Yeo’s, Drinho)
½ tsp + 1/3 tsp agar-agar powder (I used Pearl Mermaid brand but I am sure other brands work as well)
1) Dissolve agar-agar powder in one cup of soya milk. Pour remaining soya in a saucepan and heat up over low heat.
2) When the soya milk becomes slightly hot, add the soya milk/agar-agar powder mixture, cook over low heat, stir from time to time till very gentle boil (only see bubbles at the edge of saucepan) and continue to simmer over low heat for about 1 min. Remove from heat.
3) Pour the soya milk into containers gently over the back of a tablespoon to avoid air bubbles. Scoop away bubbles on top (if any). Cool down to room temperature and refrigerate till set (about 3- 4 hours). Best chill overnight. Serve immediately after taking out from fridge.
This cake is very famous among Chinese bloggers, the word “seckill” in the urban dictionary means the item is very popular, each transaction is made in seconds. I tried to translate the recipe to English so that readers who can't read Chinese will also be able to make this moist and airy cake as well. This is definitely another keeper for chocolate chiffon cake after my favourite recipe from Okashi.
Seckill Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:(make 2 round 6-inch cakes)
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
50g vegetable oil
15g cocoa powder
100g bittersweet chocolate
90g egg yolk
180g egg white
120g castor sugar (I used 110g)(see note)
75g low protein flour (sifted)
150g dairy whipping cream/ heavy cream
120g bittersweet chocolate (I used dark couverture chocolate)
1) Cook oil and milk till gentle boil, remove from heat and add in cocoa powder. Mix well. Add chocolate and mix till chocolate melted.
2) Add egg yolks, one at a time, mix till well blended.
3) With an electric mixer, beat egg white till foamy, add sugar in 3 additions, and beat till soft peak (70-80%) (7-8分发) (When lifted, the tip of the meringue has soft and small bend).
4) Take 1/3 of the meringue to mix with the chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula till 80% incorporated (need not mix till fully incorporated). Fold in 1/3 of flour gently, mix till just incorporated. Fold in remaining meringue and flour alternatively to form even chocolate batter.
5) Divide batter into 2 loose-bottom round 6-inch pans. Bake in preheated oven at 170C(upper heat)/ 150C(lower heat) for 30-35 mins (I baked at 150C for 20 mins and 175C for the last 10-15 mins).
6) Bang the cake on tabletop once it is out from the oven and invert to cool the cake. Loosen the side with a small knife and unmould after the cake has cool down completely.
7) To prepare chocolate ganache, combine dairy cream and chocolate and cook over double boiler, stir constantly till chocolate melted then add butter and mix well. My method is to heat up the cream till gentle boil then pour into chocolate, stir till chocolate is melted and add in butter.
8) Place cool cake on wire rack with a tray/bowl underneath and pour chocolate ganache on the centre of the cake, use both hands to hold the wire rack and swirl to let the ganache cover the whole cake. Chill for at least 30 mins or until the ganache is set before serving.
1) Adjust the sugar amount according to the type of chocolate used. If you are using normal cooking chocolate you may have to reduce the sugar further.
2) I didn’t follow exactly the ratio of the chocolate ganache, I used slightly more chocolate and I added 1 tbsp of rum in half portion of the ganache for one 6” round cake.
3) Trim the top of cake to become flat if necessary and place upside down when adding the ganache so that you will have a perfect flat top.