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Monday 30 September 2013

Pandan Layer Cake

I have made this Pandan Layer Cake few times already and even posted twice in my blog here. 

I made this cake the other day for my dear friend Crystal as I have promise her to bake some cakes for her.  I have asked her what cake she would like, and she just gave me the answer, any cakes I made, she sure like.

I thought of giving this Pandan Layer Cake a miss to post this again in my blog, but Little Thumbs Up September month event is Pandan which is hosted by Joceline of Butter, Flour & Me, so I just made my submission to participate the event.

Pandan Layer Cake
Adapted from Agnes Chang - I Can Bake cookbook with slight changes

Ingredients for the cake:
250 gm. Optima flour or sponge cake mix flour
4 eggs
3 Tbsp. Pandan juice
a little green pandan paste or green colouring  (I omit this)
3 Tbsp. Thick coconut milk (I omit this and replace with water)
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornoil

Ingredients for Pandan Kaya:
600 ml. Coconut milk

400ml pandan juice
9 Tbsp. Hoen kwee flour / green pea flour
1 Tbsp. Instant Jelly Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
140gm sugar
a little green colouring  (I omit this)
a little pandan paste  (I omit this)
50 gm. Dessicated coconut for covering cake

Method for the Sponge Cake:
1.  Beat sponge mix flour and eggs till light.
2.  Add pandan juice and continue to beat till fluffy.  Add in green colouring if necessary.
     Mix in water (or coconut milk) and corn oil till well combined.
3.  Pour into a lined and greased 9” round baking tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170C
     for about 35-40 minutes, till cooked.
4.  Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool.  Slice cake horizontally into 2 or 3 

Method for the Pandan Kaya:
1.  Put all the ingredients into a pot and mix well.
2.  Using medium heat, stir with wooden spatula and cook till mixture has slightly
      thickened.  Remove.
3.  Keep mixture hot by putting the pot in a pan of hot water to prevent it from setting
      too quickly.  (I didn't do this way but I quickly divided the kaya into 2 equal
      portions and quickly assembly the cake).

To Assemble : 
Place a 9” cake ring on a cake board, put 1 slice of cake into the cake ring, making sure there is space all around for the pandan kaya.

Put one portion of the kaya to cover the cake and sides.  Repeat the same way till the last layer is covered with pandan kaya. 

Leave aside to cool and set before chilling in the fridge for at least 4 hours, best over-night before removing the cake ring.

Next day, decorate the sides and top of the cake with dessicated coconuts before serving.

Once the mixture thickened, off the heat.  Assemble the cake in reverse technique.   And lastly, decorate the cake with dessicated coconuts to your liking.....

The sponge cake can be divided into3 layers but I still prefer to just have 2 layers so the pandan kaya can be equally about the same  height of the sponge cakes.  I have tried in 3 layers, but the pandan kaya after spreading seem to be thinner.

The first time I baked this Pandan Layer Cake was in 3 layers (view here).

I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up September - Pandan hosted by Joceline @ Butter, Flour & Me, organized by Zoe@ Bake For Happy Kids and Mui Mui @ My Little Favourites DIY.

Friday 27 September 2013

Light and Creamy Japanese Cheesecake

I have been craving for cheesecake for weeks;  trying to look for which cheesecake shall I bake and finally when I bookmark one, off I go to supermarket to look for sour cream ~ going in an out to almost 3 to 4 supermarkets in town, I can't believe it myself that there is no sour cream on their shelves!!  And I have the shelf out the idea to bake a cheesecake till now.

I chosen Fern's recipe of this light and creamy cheesecake.  I know I will never be able to bake as beautiful as hers even though I keep my fingers crossed while keeping a close watch as the cake risen.  Well, as the clock ticking minute by minute, I can see that the side of the cake is slowly cracking away and my heart felt the disappointment already. 

I did tent the top with foil but still can't help much to prevent the crack.  

Light and Creamy Cheesecake
Recipe fully adapted from To Food With Love

3/4 cup (about 100g) finely crushed Digestive biscuits (or other sweet biscuits)
3 tbsp (50g) butter, melted

250g (8oz) Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbsp fresh milk
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8 inch) non-stick springform cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Prepare another pan (either roasting tin/cake tin etc is fine) with some boiling water (about 1 inch deep) which you will need to put in the oven later together with the cake. This provides moisture in the oven when the cake is baking and help prevent cracks from forming on top of the cake.

In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the crust with a spoon until evenly combined. Press the mixture firmly into the base of the prepared cake tin.

Using an electric mixer, beat cheese with milk on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, yolks and vanilla extract until well combined. Beat in the cornflour.

In another bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks, and then add the remaining 3 tbsp sugar. Continue to whisk until they just reach stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture above until well combined.

Pour into the cake tin over the crust. Place the pan of boiling water (step 1 above) in the lowest rack of the oven. Place the cake on the middle rack, and bake for 50 minutes or until lightly golden brown. The top of the cake will still have a slight wobble when you move the tin. Turn off the oven. Let the cake sit in the oven for 1 hour with the oven door closed. After that, you can leave the door ajar with a one-inch gap and let the cake cool for another 2-3 hours. You can leave the door closed too if you want (it will just take longer to cool!). While the cake is cooling, the top of the cake may start to come down slowly. That's fine. The top of the cake will be flat and level, and shouldn't collapse if you let it slowly cool down in the oven.

While the cake is cooling, the sides will start to shrink and come off the side of the cake tin. At this point, you can remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp knife around the edge of the tin. Quickly put the cake back in the oven and close the oven door (or leave it 1 inch ajar).

Once the cake has completely cooled (if it's just a little warm, it's okay too), remove from the oven and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Remove the cheesecake from the pan. Cut into slices with a hot sharp knife. Dust with icing sugar and serve with strawberries and cream if desired.

Fern..... "the cheesecake gods" didn't come to visit me while I was baking this cheesecake but nevertheless, this cheesecake taste absolutely so delicious!  

It doesn't matter it was not perfectly baked, I love it.

Usually I like to have my cheesecake with some strawberry sauce to go with it.... taste so yummy and I already had two big slice to stop my craving for weeks now.  

And...and....I'm going to be called Fat Mel soon...... lol  :-)

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Red Bean Glutinous Rice Cake (豆沙烧餅) & Steamed Buns with Red Bean Paste (豆沙包)

With the left over of red bean paste from making the mooncakes, I have made this Red Bean Glutinous Rice Cake and Steamed Buns for the past few days for morning breakfast! 

Red Bean Glutinous Rice Cake (豆沙烧餅)

Red Bean Glutinous Rice Cakes

170g glutinous rice flour
50g caster sugar
80g water
60g coconut milk
150g red bean paste
2 tsp vegetable oil

Pour glutinous rice flour into a big bowl.

Bring caster sugar, water, coconut milk and vegetable oil to a boil in a small saucepan.  Pour hot liquid into the glutinous rice flour.  Use silicone spatula to swiftly mix well to form smooth dough that does not stick to hands.  Let cool and divide into small portions.

Wrap red bean paste with dough.  Roll into round balls.  Flatten dough balls.

Heat a little oil in non stick pan.  Pan fry glutinous rice cakes over low heat until both sides turn golden brown and fragrant and have rise a little.

Next.....Steamed Buns with Red Bean Paste (豆沙包)

Steamed Buns with Red Bean Paste
Recipe source :  Happy Home Baking
(makes 12)

300g Hong Kong pau flour
3g baking powder
3g instant yeast
30g caster sugar
160ml water
15g vegetable oil

240g red bean paste

Sieve Hong Kong pau flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add yeast, caster sugar and mix well. 

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add in water and mix to form a dough. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it becomes smooth (about 5 mins). Knead in the vegetable oil and continue to knead for another 10-15 mins or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  Take a piece of dough  (about the size of a table tennis ball) and stretch it, you should be able to stretch it  to a fairly thin membrane without tearing off easily, if not continue to knead for another 5 to 10mins.

Roll dough into a smooth round, place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it proof for about 1 hr or until it doubles in bulk.

Punch down the dough and give a few light kneading to release the trapped air bubbles. 
Divide the dough into 12 portions (about 40g each). Roll each portion into a smooth round.

Flatten each dough into a small disc with your palm or a small rolling pin, make the edges thinner and the centre portion thicker. Wrap each dough with 20g of red bean paste. Pinch and seal the seams. Place dough seam side down on a square piece of parchment paper. Cover loosely with cling wrap and leave buns to proof for 20-25 mins.

Place buns in a steamer and space them apart so that they do not touch one another. Steam at medium to high heat for 12mins (make sure the water is already boiling before steaming). When ready, remove the lid carefully to prevent water from dripping over the buns. Remove immediately and serve warm. Keep any leftovers in fridge (covered with cling wrap or store in airtight containers) and re-steam till hot before serving.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Piggy Mooncakes is my turn to make Piggy Mooncakes this time.  Well, I am sure you have come across many bloggers have made this Piggy Mooncakes, right?  They are so cute and adorable and it is suitable to give this to children.

My piggies were not in good shape as I fold and shape, my hands got all sticky; and losing my patience in shaping it at the end.  So trying to finish this up in a haste as I am late in cooking my dinner......duh!

This Piggy Mooncakes was first introduced to all us and should give full credit and thanks to Ann of Anncoo Journal when she posted her Piggy Mooncakes back in 2011.  

And lately, Jessie of CookingMoments made it, and many thanks to Sonia of NasiLemakLover of her tutorial pictures on how to make this piggy mooncakes.

Piggy Mooncakes
(Original Recipe from: Ann@AnncooJournal)
Makes 5 

Dough Ingredients:
150g Plain Flour
90g Golden Syrup
3g Alkaline Water
38g Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil 

5 x 60g Red Bean Paste, store bought – Roll into balls 

Other Items Requirement :
1 x Round 1/4tsp
1 Skewer
1 Toothpick
A Small Plastic Sheet
10 Black Beans, rinsed & pat dry

Egg Wash:
1 Egg Yolk + 2 tbsp Water

Mix all, then, pass through a fine strainer 


Please click here or  here for more detailed to view on how to make this piggy mooncakes.

To bake, place the piggy mooncakes on a lined baking tray. Bake in the 160C preheated oven(at lower middle level) for 8 minutes.

Remove & let to cool down for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 150C.

After the break, continue to bake for 5 minutes. Remove again to cool down for 8-10 minutes.

Brush with egg wash & bake for 3 minutes. Remove immediately.
Cool down completely before storing in an air-tight container. Wait for at least 24 hours before consume to allow the mooncakes to become “soft.” They look better after 24 hours.

* Every oven will react differently. I notice that my mooncakes are best baked for not more than 3 minutes after brushing with eggwash or the “skin” will become uneven colour. 

After brushing the egg wash, I overbaked it and resulted some uneven skin colour and one piggy with cracked skin... but after cooling down, the cracked skin formed back.

Too cute to slaughter.......... 

Two more days we will be celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, and here I wish all of you 
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

Thursday 12 September 2013

Traditional Mooncakes

I am sure you have noticed the past few weeks or days many food bloggers have been marathon baking mooncakes as our mid Autumn Festival falls on 19th September this year.

I have never bake traditional mooncakes before nor have I made the snow skin types too.  I am not a fan of mooncakes as they are usually very sweet if buy from the shops.  So I seldom buy it unless someone gave this for me.  I can't remember when was the last time I had mooncakes.  Well, seeing so many bloggers made so beautiful mooncakes on the blog it has inspired and motivated me to do so this year.

I have been going through from one blog to another and another, reading the steps again and again trying to make this mooncakesUntil I really can't decide which one to follow.....and still so indecisive so I used Jessie of CookingMoments  on her Taro Mooncakes recipe as well as using Anncoo Journal recipe on her Traditional Mooncake as reference.

Recipe reference source from Jessie-CookingMomentsAnncoo Journal
(made 10pcs)
(Plunger mould 6cm diameter /80gm)

Skin Ingredients
200g Hong Kong Flour
130g Golden Syrup
50g Vegetable Oil
6g Alkaline Water, available in Chinese Grocery Shop

Yolk Ingredients
5 Salted Egg Yolks

Filling Ingredients
45g x 10 White Lotus paste, store-bought

Egg Wash Ingredients
1 Small Egg yolk + 1tbsp Water

Whisk until well-combined. Pass through a fine sieve, set aside.


1.  Remove salted egg yolk whites and rinse under gentle running water.  Place yolks on
     steaaming plate, add 1 tbsp cooking wine and a drop of sesame oil, mix well with
     yolks.  Steam for 5 minutes at high heat.  Leave to cool and cut to half.

2.  Weight white lotus paste to 45g and wrapped half of yolk inside.  Roll into ball again.
      Repeat the rest.

3  . To make the “skin,” mix golden syrup, oil & alkaline water with a whisk until well-
      combined.  Rest for 1 hour.

4.   Place flour in a big bowl, make a well in the center. Pour syrup mixture into the flour.
      Mix with a spatula until a soft dough is formed. Cover with cling wrap and & rest for
      40 minutes to an hour.

5.   Divide dough into 10 equal portions, roll into balls.

6.  Grab one dough, flatten into a disc, then wrap a filling inside.  Roll into a ball again.

7.  Dust mooncake mold with some flour. Pour out the excess flour.

8.  Place the dough ball in the center of the mold. Gently press from the center until the
     dough fill up the mold completely. Release the ring & unmold carefully, place the
 mooncake on a lined tray.

9.  Repeat for the rest of the ingredients.

10.  Lightly spray the mooncakes with some water and bake in a 160C-preheated oven at
       lower middle level for 10 minutes.

11. Remove to cool down for 10-15 minutes. (Important to let mooncakes to cool down) .

12. Brush egg wash on all sides of the mooncakes. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the
      egg wash are dried & the mooncakes look golden.

13. Remove to cool down on a wire rack completely. Wait for 2-3 days for the
      mooncakes to become soft again (to release oil) before consuming.

Remember to let the mooncakes to rest for 2-3 days before consuming.... this is to let the skin to turn soft.

My first attempt of baking mooncakes and much cheaper than store bought!

Monday 9 September 2013

Xi Pan 喜粄

This is my second attempt to make this "Xi Pan.  The first time my Xi Pan after steaming it is more like a kuih or you may called it plain angku kuih  Probably that time it didn't proofed well enough because of the cold weather in NZ that time.  Or probably I've been using the expired yeast...I don't know.

And now back home here, I try again.  I made a small batch instead, but I made this using the overnight sponge.

XI PAN 喜粄 
Recipe sourced from Wendy of Table for 2...or more

Ingredients for sponge dough: (A)
1 tsp. yeast
150 gm. plain flour
125 ml. water

Ingredients: (B)
150 gm. Plain flour
150 gm. glutinous rice flour
125 gm. sugar
150 gm. water
a few drops of pink colouring

Banana leaves - grease with oil (I used greased proof paper)

(1) Mix all the ingredients for sponge dough, cover and keep overnight.
(2) Mix all the ingredients (A) and (B) together into a soft dough and proof for another 4 hours.
(3) Divide soft dough into 50 gm. each (rub palm with cornoil) and place on top of a greased banana leaf. Leave to proof for another 15 mins.
(4) Steam over moderate heat for 15 mins.
(5) Remove from steamer and leave to cool. 

           I wakes up at 5am to make this........just for breakfast!  

                                   Soft and chewy in texture!