Chocolate Chip Cup Cake

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Wow! What an amazing alliterated title! haha

This is an easy I-gotta-eat-cake-now recipe.  No need to take out your electric beater.  Just one pot, one hand whisk and a plastic scraper to scrap off every last bit of batter.

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Chocolate Chip Cup Cake (makes 8 )

185 g or about 1.5 stick butter (unsalted)

150 g sugar

3 eggs

175 g plain flour

3 Tbsp flax seed meal (optional)

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Melt butter in a medium or large pot.  Leave till cool. Add in everything except chocolate chips and mix with a hand whisk till combined. Fold in chocolate chips.  Leave for about up to 30 min for the flour to absorb the liquid before baking.

Bake in a lined muffin pan, in a preheated oven of about 180c. Bake between 20-25 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

It’s buttery, moist, not too sweet.

 

 

 

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Kueh Kueh

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We love a certain nonya kueh known to us as Rainbow Kueh or 9-layer kueh or steamed kueh lapis.  Top layer is always a bright red, bottom layer is always white and in between we have beautiful rainbow colors. It is patiently steamed layer by layer until there are 9 layers.  To enjoy it, we peel off layer by layer and savor it one layer at a time.

We love it coz it’s chewy, sticky, sweet, coconuty (not unlike mochi in texture).  However, it’s usually full of artificial coloring.  Every layer is a different color.  We have to limit *sob our intake coz DD has eczema and we suspect artificial coloring and preservatives to be one of the main culprits.

OR! I could make it myself, leaving out all the bad but pretty coloring.  And put in some flax seed meal to boost up the nutritive value.    The result is not pretty.  But never mind the lack of rainbow colors, as long as it tastes good coz  we can always close our eyes when we eat! lol. Anyhow, DD gave it 2 thumbs up.  “It’s soooo yummmmy!” Her words, not mine. 8D

 

No-Coloring  9-Layer Kueh with Flax Seed Meal

180 g tapioca starch

20 g rice flour

1/4 cup flax seed meal

400 ml coconut milk

160 ml water

1/4 tsp salt

200 g sugar

pandan leaves

Boil pandan leaves with water for a few minutes, then discard leaves.  Stir in sugar, coconut milk, and the rest of the ingredients.

Grease an 8″square pan with coconut oil.  Prepare the steamer.  Heat up the pan in the steamer.  When steamer is ready, stir batter, spoon in about 100 ml of batter and steam 5 min.  Spoon in another 100 ml of batter on top of the 1st layer and steam another 5 min.   Remember to stir batter each time before using. Repeat this till all batter is used up. Steam 10 min for the last layer.  Remove from steamer and leave to cool.

There is a trick to removing it from the pan.  Use a piece of cling wrap and place it on top of the kueh.  Flip the pan upside down.  Now you are holding the kueh in your hand. Gently pry the kueh away from the sides of the pan.  The whole thing should come off easily and plop onto your hand. Viola!

Now, about slicing it.  It’s a sticky situation (pun intended, heheh).  There’s also a trick to slicing.  Using a large knife, position and press it down.  No sawing motions, please.  Just press down and it’s done.  If you don’t want to end up with a sticky knife, you may even put a piece of cling wrap on top and press your knife down.  It won’t cut through the cling wrap but will cut through your kueh. Viola again!

Remember to peel off each and every layer and savor it layer by layer.

Store leftovers in the fridge.  It’ll still be soft the next day.

 

White Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

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It’s been so hot these days.  Thus we have started to step up on our juice, popsicle and ice cream intake.  Heheh.

This is what I made recently.  It’s easy and fast.  Ice cream tastes really smooth and creamy with bits of yummy white chocolate surprises inside.  It’s a bit sweet but the tartness of the raspberries help to balance things out. Delicioso!

White Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream (no churn)

1 litre dairy cream

1 can condensed milk

1/2 jar raspberry jam

chopped white chocolate

frozen raspeberries

To make sure that the cream is very cold, place in the fridge for about an hour or two but not more than that.  Chill everything, including condensed milk, jam and chocolate.  Chill the whisk and bowl if you can.

Whisk cream for about 5 min.  Then add in the condensed milk and continue whisking until cream is fluffy.  Pour into a freezer container and stir in the jam, white chocolate and frozen raspberries.

Freeze until firm.

 

 

 

Steamed Coconut Muffins – vegan

 

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I like simple cakes.  Satisfaction level from eating simple cakes (cakes made by one bowl, one spoon method) for me is about 80%.  Satisfaction level from eating elaborate cakes (involves electric mixer) is about 90-100%.  Given that the difference is quite little, all things considered, I think I’d prefer to choose to make simple cakes. Ha ha.

Steaming cake is another way of “baking” for those who do not own an oven.  Think of it this way: instead of using dry heat, you’d be using moist heat.

One doesn’t need a special electric steamer to steam food.  You just need a big pot.  Fill it to about an inch or two of water.  Put in a steamer stand or if you don’t have one, make do with a bowl and then a plate on top of the bowl.  That’ll work too. Steamed food is healthier too as baking is one of the cooking method suspected to cause cancer.

This steamed coconut muffin is local fare.  We call it huat (read as ‘what’) kueh.  It’s basically a steamed muffin with a characteristic split at the top. There are various varieties and this is just a rich coconut version I came up with over the years.

Steamed Coconut Muffin (makes about 4-5 muffins)

40-80g sugar

130 g self-raising flour

130 ml coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp pandan essence/vanilla/coffee

A few drops of coloring

Mix everything together until well blended.  Then scoop batter into muffin cases.  Fill it up almost to the brim.  Then steam in rapidly boiling water for about 10 min.

It’s a really simple steamed muffin, easily put together with minimal fuss.  If you are craving for cake pronto, this is the one for you.   One bowl, one spoon and ready in about 15 min from start to finish.  Satisfaction level, 80%.

 

 

 

Sponge Cake In A Jar

I had better write this down before I forget.  This is the BEST sponge cake I have ever made.

The basic recipe for sponge cake is this: For every egg, it’s 25 g sugar and 25 g flour.  So if you have 4 eggs, that would be 100 g sugar, 100 g flour.  Raising agent is optional as an insurance.  So are other add-ons like fat, flavoring etc.  Then I found out that just by adding in a bit of condensed milk can make a whole lot of difference!

I had wanted to make jar cakes and I had finally accumulated enough little jars.  But I was half-hearted.  You know…  I really can’t eat any more junk food if I wanted to fit into The Dress for my cousin’s wedding… But I had already made  Chocolate Ice Cream  and technically, was half way there.  So dragging the recipe out from memory, I whisked 4 eggs with 100g sugar in my Kenwood Chef until fluffy. The KC does a really fantastic job of whisking air into eggs.   As an afterthought, I decided to scrap off the last bit of condensed milk leftover from making ice cream.  It amounted to about 1 Tbsp. Whisked that in. Then I folded in 100g of plain flour and drizzled in about 2 tbsp of oil (I didn’t even measure that). I baked it in a muffin pan and it turned out to be the BEST sponge cake I had ever had!  It was ultra soft, moist and oh so good!  All thanks to the addition of condensed milk.

 

Basic Sponge Cake (12-14 muffins)

4 eggs (room temp is better)

100 g sugar

about 1 Tbsp condensed milk

100 g plain flour

about 2 Tbsp vege oil/melted butter

Whisk eggs in sugar until fluffy.  Then whisk in condensed milk for a min.  Fold in flour and oil.  Spoon into muffin cups and bake for about 20 min at about 180c.

This is what I did to the sponge cake after baking and cooling.

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I halved it and put 1/2 into the bottom of a jar.
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Then I put in a dollop of whipped chocolate cream.
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Another layer of cake and cream until you run out of space.
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Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to meld.

It’s basically a simplified trifle.  It’s great coz it’s pre-portioned and easy to serve.  It can be kept in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for longer.  If you run out of jars, an alternative is to use a cup.

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If you don’t have cream, I think yogurt and fruits would be a good alternative too.  I’m going to try that next. 8D

Light Chocolate Cheesecake

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There is this one Light Cheddar Cheesecake on the internet which uses sliced processed sandwich cheese.  It’s a very light, spongy cheesecake.  No strong cheese flavor, rather mild, in fact. It’s not very sweet either. Like a chiffon cake but more moist. And you will feel like you can eat the whole cake in one sitting. 😁

The recipe on the internet is regular cheese flavor. So (of course) I need to chocolatify it.  I chocolatify whatever and whenever I can.  One can never get too much chocolate.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before somewhere before.

Light Chocolate Cheesecake (8″ square)

6 slices processed cheese (or 125 g Kraft boxed cheddar cheese, grated)

100 ml milk

100 g unsalted butter

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 tsp instant coffee powder

6 egg yolks

100 g cake flour (or 80 g plain flour + 20 g corn flour)

6 egg whites

150 g sugar

Prepare an 8″square pan by lining it. Preheat oven to 150c.

Put the milk, butter and cheese in a medium pot and heat gently until everything is melted.  Then add in the cocoa powder and instant coffee.  Let it cool down first before adding in the egg yolks and flour. Mix till well combined.

In a really clean, oil-free bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.  Then add in the sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.  Usually I flip the bowl upside down to test.  The egg whites should stay put in the bowl.

Scoop out about 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it.  Then pour the chocolate batter into the whites and mix well using a whisk.

Pour out into an 8″ square pan.  Give the pan a few taps to get rid of big bubbles if you are concerned about holes in your cake (like mine).

Bake, bain marie style,  in a preheated oven of about 150c for 50 min.

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It will puff up like a pillow but when cooled, will deflate and give you a nice flat surface for frosting. *You must be wondering about the curtain clips. Haha.  It’s my Ikea stainless steel curtain clips.  I find that it is great for keeping the paper in place.

I didn’t frost it this time round but here’s a quick and easy way to make the frosting.

Frosting

100 g couverture chocolate

100 g cream/coconut cream

Heat up the cream.  When hot, add in the chocolate and stir until melted.  Cool it a little and then just spread on the cake.

This cake may be enjoyed warm or cooled. It doesn’t need to be chilled before you can dig in. I think that’s wonderful.

 

Banana Brownie

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Here we go again. Chocolate again. You must be wondering…just how many versions of chocolate cake does she have?? Well…I do so like to include chocolate in my diet whenever I can and, imho,  there is no such thing as too many chocolate recipes.

I have had this recipe for years. It started off as a simple brownie recipe that is not overly sweet. Then one day, I decided to bring bananas to the party. If you have never tried bananas and chocolate, then it’s about time to try it. They make such a wonderful combination. Chocolatey… Bananaey… Chocolatey…

I was able to reduce the amount of white sugar used by 50g as the ripe bananas add to the sweetness of the brownie as well as help to keep it moist and fudgey.  I haven’t tried reducing more than 50g.  But I’m sure it’s doable.

Banana Brownie

185g unsalted butter

50g Cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

175g sugar

1.5 tsp vanilla essence

3 ripe bananas (about 175g)

2 large eggs

100g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

In a large pot, melt the butter, browning it slightly. Add the cocoa powder while the butter is still hot. Stir with a whisk to combine. Add in the rest of the ingredients according to the way it is listed, stirring with each addition. Pour out onto a lined 8″ square pan and bake at 175c for about 25 min or until the toothpick you insert in the middle comes out sort of clean.

Cool before cutting. If you can wait.

 

Healthier Muffins II

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In case nobody’s noticed yet, I love chocolate.

Oh wait, I think they noticed….Since last Christmas, I have received chocolate from 7 friends. I told my DD yesterday as we were opening up a humongous bar of Whitaker that “He who has friends will never run out of chocolate” (say it in a sagely manner).

Every few days, I would bake something for The Kids to bring to school the next day for recess.  It’s usually either bread or muffins. We are all in a chocolate mood (coz every time we open the fridge, there it is).  So I was inspired to use the Healthier Muffin recipe and tweak it into Healthier Chocolate Muffins.

It’s not difficult to tweak.  Let me first establish that I always always use cocoa powder because it’s easier to store a large amount of cocoa powder than chocolate (which needs to be refrigerated in our climate).  And you know I buy them by the kilo.  Also cocoa powder is more chocolatey than chocolate.  Just read the list of ingredients on your chocolate bar.

Whenever you use cocoa powder, do take note of 3 things. Firstly, heating up the cocoa powder gives it a more full-bodied flavor.  You can do that by adding the cocoa powder to hot melted butter.  The heat helps to ‘unlock’ the chocolate flavor and makes it more fragrant and rich.

Secondly, do bear in mind that cocoa is a bit more drying than flour.  You can replace the moisture by increasing the sugar or add a bit more liquid.

Thirdly, coffee, somehow, deepens the chocolate flavor.  I usually add in about 1/2 tsp of instant coffee.  Not enough to be able to taste the coffee or keep me awake at night but it brings a little something to the party.  If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can use decaf. Or not. It’s optional.

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Healthier Chocolate Muffins (makes 12)

1 1/2 stick butter (melted)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

rounded 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 cup milk

3 large eggs

1/4 cup white wholemeal flour

1/4 cup plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp instant coffee (optional)

2 big handfuls of chocolate chips/nuts

Melt butter in a big pot.  Let it cool slightly. Add in the ingredients according to the way it is listed, stirring with a whisk with each addition.

Scoop out onto lined muffin pan and bake at about 180c for about 18-20 min.

This recipe is not too sweet and yet rich, chocolatey and moist. No one can tell that there are flaxseed, almond, coconut flour and only 1/4 cup plain white flour in it.  It just tastes like a regular rich chocolate muffin cake. Except better.

Apple Cheesecake

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I got this idea from a cheesecake my good friend gave me. I thought the apple pie cheesecake was really nice. Only thing was that there wasn’t enough apples. I want an apple pie cheesecake that is chock full of apple pie filling. I don’t know where to get that.  So, as always, if I can’t find it, I’ll have to make it.

It’s my same basic cheesecake recipe but with an extra step. That extra step is to make apple pie filling. Which really isn’t difficult.

Apple pie filling

3 granny smith apples

4 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Skin and cube the apples. Cook them in a pot over the stove with sugar and cinnamon until the apples are tender. This won’t take long.  Do make sure to keep an eye on it and stir constantly to prevent it from sticking or burning.  Leave it aside to cool.

Biscuit base

100g biscuits of your choice (I used cheese crackers coz I have way too many of those)

1/2 stick of butter

Crush the biscuits and mix with the butter. Press crumbs onto an 8″x 8″ lined pan. Pop it into the oven to toast for about 10 min at 150c.

Cheesecake filling

500g cream cheese (room temperature)

2-3 tbsp lemon juice

4 eggs

125 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

apple pie filling

Cream the sugar with cream cheese until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, making sure batter is well mixed with each addition. This is to ensure minimal lumps. Add in lemon juice, flour and baking powder. Lastly, fold in the apple pie filling. Then pour the batter on top of the biscuit crumb.

Bake bain marie at 150c for about 30 min. Leave oven door ajar and let it cool down in the oven for a couple of hours.  Then refrigerate.

It’s best eaten cold. Not hot or warm, so let this be a real test of your patience.😁