Chocolate Spongey Cake

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My friend made the spongiest cake. It was so spongey, I kept squishing it coz it was really fascinating. I’ve never met a cake so spongey! It was totally like a sponge! Ok enough with the sponge.

Anyhow, I got the recipe from her and I’m never one for following a recipe to the T. Of course I made changes. Of course, I made it chocolate.     💡Then when it was done, I thought to myself “I must ask her why hers didn’t shrink as it cooled…”. Then I remembered that I had no right to ask her anything as I had totally changed her recipe! Haha!

💡I found out later that upon taking the cake out of the oven, I need to drop the cake to prevent shrinkage. It only shrunk a very teeny tiny bit, so yah, this method works! 😃

Chocolate Spongey Cake (8″x8″)

6 egg yolks

90g oil

70g milk

25g cocoa powder

90g atta flour/ white wholemeal flour

1/2 tsp salt


6 egg whites

100g sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Mix the first 6  ingredients together until well mixed. The batter will be quite thick.

2. In another bowl, whisk the whites, sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peak.

3. Scoop a few large spoonful of the whisked whites into the chocolate batter to thin it out. Then incorporate the chocolate batter into the whisked whites with a wire whisk.

4. Pour into an 8″x8″ lined pan. Tap out the large air pockets by picking up the pan a little and dropping  it.

5. Bake in a water bath in a preheated 150c oven for about 45 min.

6. Leave to cool in the oven for about 1/2 hour, with the oven door ajar.

7. Cool before eating. Food tastes better when you have to wait. 😉

I like mine. It’s chocolate. Enough said.

 

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Pot Stickers

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My daughter told me I have to blog about this for posterity. I know she’s right when I find myself checking my blog to look for my own recipe!

Pot stickers are also known as dumplings, aka gyoza aka wo tie, aka a hundred other names I haven’t even heard of I’m sure. We can boil it, steam it, pan fry, deep fry it. But I don’t think we can bake it.  I think it would turn out too dry.

It’s easy to make because I don’t have to do the skin. That is easily available in my grocery store. So if you can get it, your job is half done already.

I mix the filling in advance and store it in the fridge. I would use it up over the next few days. Just wrap a few and cook it right before eating. In fact, I have been making it for breakfast at 5.30 am. My friends gave me the status of Super Mom. It sounds so impressive but it’s actually quick and easy.

Pot Stickers

400g minced pork

4 leaves of napa cabbage (cook and squeeze out excess water)

4 mushrooms (diced)

drizzle of sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp chopped garlic

2 tsp corn flour

pepper

Mix everything together. Wrap about 2 tsp of stuffing for each skin. There’s nothing to it. Just wrap it to the shape that you like. There’s no right or wrong.

Then pan fry them with a bit of oil for a few minutes, add about 1/4 cup water to the pan, cover the pan and let it cook for about 4-5 min.

That’s all.

You can totally do this at 5.30am.

 

 

 

Pan Fried Buns

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Lately, I’ve been watching too much Korean drama. 😬 There’s this one where a baker guy used to sell hotteok on the streets.

Hotteok? Is that like a hotdog?

Last week, I came upon it while doing grocery shopping online. I looked it up and realized it’s a pan-fried bun! That’s like my favorite food already!

I’ve never been to Korea, never had a real fresh hotteok on the streets. But from the ingredients listed and description, I can just taste it in my head.

Here’s my take on the pan-fried bread.  Don’t know if it’s authentic but it’s good. 😋

Pan-fried Bun (8 buns)

1 cup room temperature water

1.25 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1-2 tsp instant yeast

2.5 – 3 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp oil

Filling of your choice e.g. Red bean paste, Nutella, peanut butter etc

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a big bowl.

Add enough flour so that the dough is soft and a little tacky. That’s usually about a little less than 3 cups for me.

Now add in the oil and mix. Stop mixing when the dough begins to feel a little sticky again. This should take less than a minute.

Cover your bowl with a towel and leave it to rise in a warm place until double. If you use more yeast, it will take a shorter time. For me, if I were in a hurry, I would use 2 tsp yeast. It would take about 30-45 minutes. If I had a couple of hours, sometimes I would use only 1/4 tsp yeast and let it work its magic slowly.

When the dough has doubled, pat it down and divide it into 8 portions.

Oil your hands to keep from sticking.

Flatten each piece on the palm of your hand, put the filling in the middle of the dough and pinch up the edges to close. Pat to flatten.

To cook, heat up a pan with oil. Gently pan-fry each side. At some point, I  covered the pan while frying.

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Its best enjoyed while fresh but it’ll still be good the next day. I tell you, the smell of fresh pan-fried bread is really something.

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Pumpkin Buns

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I only started watching Korean drama last month.  It was more like “companionship tv-watching”.  I watch it to keep my daily guests company.

There’s this particular series where a girl works for a grouchy baker who makes wonderful pumpkin bread.  After a few episodes, I felt like I needed to get my hands on some pumpkin bread!  And you know me.  Won’t occur to me to go out and search for pumpkin bread.  Instead I searched for pumpkins!

My foray into pumpkins ended about 20 years when I broke 2 knives trying to cut open an acorn squash.  Of course those were cheap knives.  But, you know, these days the grocery stores sell them in pieces.  It’s much easier to cut them when they are already cut open.  So I just peel it and cut it into smallish cubes just so that it will steam up faster.  It’s ready when it crumbles under my potato masher.  Then add it into my bread dough.  It’s not difficult.  Don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier.  Now I’m making up for lost time.

Oh ya, this is a no-knead bread recipe.

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Before baking

 

Butter Bomb Pumpkin Buns (updated)

300g fresh pumpkin (steamed and mashed)

1 cup water

1 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

about  3.5 cups plain flour

about 3 tbsp soft butter or oil

Topping: little bits of butter and sugar

extra butter to oil your hands

In a large mixing bowl, put in water, sugar, salt, yeast, mashed pumpkin.  Using your hands, mix in enough flour to get a soft and slighty tacky dough.  Next, add in the butter/oil and mix until the dough is slighty just about to get sticky.  Stop right there.  You should have a soft, pillowy dough now.  Cover and leave it in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Divide into 15 pieces and roll into smooth balls and place on well-buttered cookie sheet.  If your dough is sticky, please don’t add more flour. Just Oil your hands with butter. 😋Using your thumb, make thumbprints on each dough.  Fill up the thumbprints with a little knob of butter and sugar.  Leave it to proof for another 15 to 30 min, depending on how warm your place is (my room temperature is about 29c).  Mine was almost ready to go when I was done filling up my thumbprints with butter and sugar.

No need to preheat the oven.  Bake at about 160c for about 20 min.

Please let it cool a bit before eating.  Although I can’t imagine why, it’s better when it’s not burning hot.

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Durian Smoothie

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Recently we happened upon a stall selling durian smoothie in Bangkok. I tell you, it’s BRILLIANT. SIMPLY BRILLIANT.

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All you need is durian (remove the seeds), plenty of ice cubes, a bit of condensed milk to sweeten it, and a little water or milk for blending.

You gotta try it.

BRILLIANT.

Browned Butter Banana Bake

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Sorry, I just had to alliterate that.  It’s actually just banana muffin. heheh.

This is the muffin which I bake for my mom almost every week.  There are variations, of course.  I always believe in variety.  Mostly I try to keep it as natural as possible.  That means no coloring, no artificial flavoring etc.  And I almost always sneak in some oats and/or flax seed meal.

It’s a quick, one pot, one whisk recipe.  Minimal washing.  Probably about 30 min from start to finish.  Great for those who need muffins in a hurry.  Like for when you have a muffin emergency.  My Coz said there’s no such thing as a muffin emergency.  Oh, my dear Coz, sometimes you just need cake.

Browned Butter Banana Bake (makes about 10 )

about 125g or 1 stick butter

less than 1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (just mash it coarsely with the whisk)

1/2 tsp instant coffee (in lieu of artifical vanilla essence)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup instant oatmeal

1/4 cup flax seed meal

less than 1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup nuts

1/2 chocolate chips

In a pot, melt the butter until slightly brown.  Take it off the heat.  Add in the bananas and mash it coarsely with a whisk.   Add in the sugar and eggs.  Mix it with the whisk.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients except chocolate chips. Make sure the batter is cool before adding choc chips.

Line muffin pan with paper cases.  It saves on washing.

Bake at 350F or about 180c for about 20 min.

 

30 min to cake.  About same time as going to the stores to get artificially-flavored cake.  I think it’s a good deal.

Carrot Cupcakes

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I like frosting more than most of my peers. But at the same time I always felt that frosting is used to cover up dry, bland cake. If a cake is good enough, it should be able to stand alone.  For example, brownies. If a brownie is dense, chewy, chocolatey, then frosting it is like *adding legs to a drawing of a snake.

What I am trying to say is that my carrot cake does not need any frosting coz it is yummy on its own.  8D

This is an easy recipe.  Except the grating of carrot part coz I hand grated them on an ancient grater.  I didn’t enjoy that part.  But the eating part, definitely!  It’s moist, tender, and not overly sweet.

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Carrot Cupcakes (makes about 15 cupcakes)

225 g melted butter or 225 ml oil

3 large eggs

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp rum essence

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2  1/4 tsp baking powder

9 oz grated carrot (about 2 medium size)

1 cup walnut bits

Mix everything together.

Heat up oven to 180c.  Bake in muffin cups for about 20 min.

 

* A Chinese story about a kid who after drawing a snake decided to add on some legs coz he didn’t know what else to draw.