Tuesday, August 31, 2010



(Photos taken on 29th August 2010, Lucius, 6 months 4 days old)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Surprise Under Wraps ~ New Creations @ Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut introduced two new pastas on 25th August 2010, they are "Char-grilled Chicken Parcement Pasta" and "Spicy Seafood Parcement Pasta". I was lucky to have the chance to taste them just the day before the actual launch.

Parcement pasta is not something new but it is usually served in authentic Italian restaurants (which means that you got to pay more to enjoy it). It is unusual to see it in the menu of a fast-food chain. Pizza Hut makes it affordable to everyone now!

Pastas are wrapped and baked in parcement paper just before served. This allows the pastas to absorb the sauce and seal in all delightful flavours. The cooking technique, cooking in paper, is called en papillote in French or al Cartoccio in Italian.

To me the paper parcel just looks like a gift being presented on a plate. Part of the pleasure is unwrapping it.

Let me showcase my first "gift".

Did you notice the wooden clip? It is a token from Pizza Hut for customers to bring home as souvenir but to me it has got another usage. Let me show you at the end of this post.

A closer look

Unveiling the surprise....

In the limelight

Here's the Char-grilled Chicken Parcement Pasta (S$11.90).

It's steaming hot with a blend of garlic and buttery scent! Besides char-grilled chicken, other ingredients include turkey bacon, fresh button mushroom, garlic and capsicums.

Char-grilled chicken chunk.

It's very tender and juicy and the serving is very generous. I didn't count but I think probably there are five to six pieces of it.

With chili flakes. My way of eating.

I am not a cream-based person but I kind of like the sauce because unlike other cream sauce which I had before, this tasted buttery with hint of garlic but not overly creamy. What's more? The spaghetti is cooked till al dente which I think it is super difficult to achieve that. To me this is what I look up for when I order a plate of pasta.

This is the second "gift", a more exotic one this time round, Spicy Seafood Parcement Pasta (S$12.90).

Linguine in spicy tomato sauce served with mussels, squids and prawns. I must mention that the prawns are very crunchy. Wonder how the chef cooked to acheive the texture.

No, you didn't see wrongly. They are chili padi (bird's eye chili).

I was quite surprise to see chili padi in an Italian dish but was glad that the chef at Pizza Hut did that. The moment I bitted on it, with my limited vocabulary, I couldn't think of other words but "shiok" (if you ever consider this is a vocabulary).

The tongue-numbing chilli padi coupled with the tangy tomato sauce made me want to have more despite I already had the char-grilled chicken parcement pasta and some other dishes (you will see them below).

On the same day, I also tasted....

Seafood Tofu Salad (S$6.90), Pizza Hut's signature creation of mesclun salad tossed with seafood tofu chunks and succulent straw mushrooms, served with crispy noodles and Italian dressing.

I like to eat seafood tofu but I never think that it can be added into salad. I like the combo.

Another signature dish, Hut's Platter (S$12.50).

Good to share among friends. On the plate there are sweet 'n' spicy drumlets, criss cross fries, calamari rings and scallop rolls.

Chicken Riblets (S$5.80) (Note that this is not the original serving size) (Sorry for the poor picture quality, this is the best picture I had taken.)

This is highly recommended. Don't you think they look like pork ribs? You definitely won't see any pork served in Pizza Hut as it is a Halal certified restaurant. The chef used the tender chicken thigh, cut into rectangular shape to resemble ribs then fried till crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. A must-try!

Refreshing sparkle drinks (S$3.80)

(From left) Emerald Sparkle, green apple flavoured sparkling drink with apple bits. Berri Sparkle, strawberry flavoured sparkling drink with strawberry bits. Summer Sparkle, mango flavoured sparkling drink with mango bits.

Guess which one I ordered?

A meal is not complete without dessert. So here we have "A Tale of Two Temptations" (S$5.50).

Savoury-sweet brownie cheesecake paired with sinfully rich banana choco mousse cake drizzled with chocolate sauce (I can taste cinnamon in it too). Yummy! I didn't know that Pizza Hut could make such nice cakes.

(Thanks to all friendly staff from Pizza Hut for their hospitality. To be frank, I haven't stepped into Pizza Hut for quite some times (actually many years), if not of this tasting session I wouldn't know there are so many new items in its menu now besides pizzas, garlic breads and drumlets. When comes to dining place, I have another option now.)

Can you read the words "Pasta Bloggers"?

As promised, this is how I made use of the clip.

When recipe calls for leaving the oven door ajar (usually seen in cheesecake recipe), you can do this!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy 6 months Lucius! 半岁大喽!

25th Aug 2010





不只是teething toy,什么东西到他手里他都会放入嘴巴里,包括自己的脚趾头。在家他流口水流得很厉害,但是如果带他出外他就不留口水,奇怪吧!发现他的牙龈有几个白点,看来这些都是他发牙的前奏。










(这是七月底Lucius刚患上尿道炎时拍的。因为尿道炎的side effect导致胃口不好,Lucius瞬间瘦了一圈,连脸都变尖了。)

Lucius现在可以开始尝试solid food了,喂食的开始又是一个新的里程碑,各位妈咪们如有什么忠告或是建议请多多给我留言 ,先谢谢咯!

(Lucius, 6 months, 9kg, 70cm)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yum & Mixed Cereal Chiffon Cupcake 紫山药黑米仁戚风杯子蛋糕







4 egg yolk
15g sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
50g yum & mixed cereal drink

Superfine flour + 1 sachet (38g) yum & mixed cereal = 80g
¼ tsp baking power
¼ tsp salt

4 egg white
¼ tsp cream of tartar
55g sugar

1) Preheat oven to 175C, prepare paper cup.

2) In a mixing bowl, whisk yolks and sugar till pale in colour.
3) Add oil and yum & mixed cereal drink, whisk till combined.

4) Sift in flour mixture and mix till well combined.
5) In another mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar till frothy.
6) Add sugar in 2 batches and whisk till stiff peak.
7) Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture and mix till just incorporated.
8) Add the yolk mixture to the balance meringue, fold gentle till just incorporated.
9) Pour the batter into paper cup till about 75-80% full. Bake for about 20-25 mins.

10) Remove from oven and invert to cool completely on wire rack.


The cake tasted slightly sweet. I should have omitted the sugar in egg yolk as the cereal drink is sweetened.


Replace the yum & mixed cereal drink with your favourite drink.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Winner of the Little Giveaway 小送礼得奖者

Seems like I am taking a little too long time to have the result announced. Sorry for that.

All the names (I hope I didn't miss out any)

Here we go.

My little helper, baby Lucius. He looked unprepared.

This was something new to Lucius. He was doing well.

With some guides, finally we have got a name.

Congratulations to Jane Chew, you have won yourself not one but two cake stencils. :)

Please email me your mailing address. My email address can be found in my profile.

Last but not least, a big THANK YOU to all of you who had left your comments and participated in this little giveaway.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Milo Panna Cotta 美禄奶酪

My mom doesn't drink milk and she doesn't eat anything that has strong milk taste. Likewise my dad and D also don't seem to like milk. That explains why this Peach Panna Cotta was not so well received.

To cheat them into having milk and learn to appreciate this dessert, I added some Milo powder and transformed this dessert into everyone's favourite.

You can always use chocolate milk but I don't usually buy chocolate milk whereas I always have one or two packs of milk (fresh/UHT) at home mainly for baking purpose. In the other hand, Milo is a common drink and it's available in many households as compared with cocoa powder. So I decided to use Milo for this dessert.

The colour of the Milo Panna Cotta looks pale in picture because the Milo powder had sank to the bottom after a while, creating a chocolate layer at the bottom. Yummy!

2 tsp gelatin powder
3 tbsp water
2 cups (480ml) full cream milk
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Milo (use more if desired)

1) Sprinkle gelatin in water, set aside to allow the gelatin to swell for about 10 mins.
2) Combine the remaining ingredients (except Milo) in a saucepan over medium low heat, stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles appear around the edge of the pan, add Milo, stir till well mixed. Remove from heat and add the gelatin, stir until it is thoroughly incorporated.
3) Pour the milk mixture into small ramekins/cups, leave to cool at room temperature and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Replace milk with chocalate milk and omit Milo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coffee Raisin Loaf 咖啡葡萄干面包

This is a loaf made by bread machine.

The liquid to flour ratio in the original recipe is very high, higher than any bread recipe that I have ever tried. I was a bit skeptical but I still followed the recipe. When it was time to add the raisins, the mixture still looked like wet batter, normally by that time soft dough should be formed.

I was hesitating if I should add more flour..... I didn't want to waste one cup of rum-soaked raisins just in case the bread didn't turn out well. At the end I followed my instinct (aka "act smart" 假厉害) to add more flour. I didn't measure, just added bit by bit until I saw dough was formed, probably about 6 - 7 tbsp. Besides that I also omitted most of the spices used, as I didn't have them at home.

The dough rose beautifully in the bread machine during proofing, it almost touched the cover. I was very excited to see that. However, it was a short-lived glory, it sank half way during baking and became almost like a square loaf. :( Nonetheless, I still managed to cut into 10 decent slices, that is at least a consolation to me.

I only tasted the bread on the next day. Texture wise, it's slightly to the dense side (due to the excess flour added?), not cottony soft but not hard either. Taste wise it's good (can't go wrong with coffee and rum-soaked raisins) though the coffee taste was not as prominent as I expected (even though I used illy espresso coffee!).

I think I should not add the additional flour. I am quite sure the bread will turn out much softer with lesser flour. I should trust the authors because all the recipes were tested and tasted numerous times as what written in the book. Stupid me.

Anyway, my family still finished the whole one day time. :)

Ingredients: (make 1kg loaf)
1-1/3 cups (325ml) freshly brewed coffee (room temperature)
1¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2¾ cups bread flour (I added more than required)
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice (I omitted)
¼ tsp ground cloves (I omitted)
1½ tsp instant yeast
1 cup raisins (I pre-soaked in rum)

By Bread Machine
1) Measure all ingredients except raisins into baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Insert pan into the oven chamber.
2) Select "Sweet Cycle".
3) Add raisins at the "add ingredients" signal.
4) Remove and cool on wire rack once done.

Brew extra-strong coffee and make sure to let it cool to room temperature before using it; hot liquid will kill the yeast. What I did was make the coffee with 1 cup of hot water then added 1/3 cup of cold water to make it into room temperature. This way I do not need to wait too long for the coffee to cool down.

Substitute an equal amount of ground ginger for the allspice.

(Recipe reference: 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt)

Monday, August 16, 2010

[Soft & Moist] Joanie's Banana Bread 琼妮老太太的香蕉蛋糕



网络上对这蛋糕的评语极佳,这蛋糕并没有让我失望。蛋糕极其松软湿润,还有非常香浓的香蕉味(选用马来西亚香蕉,Del Monte不是我的那杯茶)。这食谱值得收藏,我一定会再做。



Sharing my adapted recipe from here.

½ cup (115g) butter (soften at room temperature)
1 cup sugar (depends on sweetness of the bananas used)(I cut down to 120g and used partial brown sugar)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1¼ cup mashed bananas (I used about 8 small bananas)
½ cup sour cream or yogurt (one small tub of yogurt is just nice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour }
½ cup whoemeal flour } total I used 200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch of salt (optional, not in original recipe)
1 cup nuts (any nut of your choice, chopped and pre-toasted)(I omitted this and sprinkled some almond flakes on top instead)

1) Line and grease a 9"x5" loaf pan. Combine (D) and mix well. Preheat oven to 175C.
2) Beat (A) till fluffy. Add (B) bit by bit. Mix well before each addition.
3) Add (C), mix well. Sift in (D) in a few sessions, beat at low speed till just incorporated.
4) Fold in (E) with a spatula. Bake for 50 - 60 mins till cooked (a skewer inserted and comes out clean). Leave in pan for a few mins, unmould and cool on wire rack.

1) Use very ripe bananas for a more yummy cake.
2) Total amount of mashed bananas and sour cream/yogurt equal to 1-3/4 cups, can use more bananas and less sour cream/yogurt or vice versa.
3) I will try to use 2 small loaf pans or a bigger pan next time to cut down the baking time (can enjoy the cake earlier and also to save electricity cost).
4) I ran out of cinnamon powder so I only added whatever leftover, probably less than ½ tsp only, so the cinnamon taste is not prominent.

I end this post with a snap shot of Lucius taken last night. Happy baking!

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