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Nov
10

Homebaked Rainbow Cakes

I have long been wanting to make my own rainbow cake (minus the red layer) which I did finally! It’s such fun and joy to bake especially when it involves colours. This time, I have injected yellow, green and blue into this vanilla-flavoured butter cake below. For this 3 layered Butter Cake, the three moist layers of cake are sandwiched together and frosted with a smooth and creamy vanilla frosting and kit kat in between the layers. This is one of my favourite party cakes and I foresee myself baking this again in time to come. Ingredients for the cake 3 cups (300 grams) sifted cake flour 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder  1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/3 cups (265 grams) granulated white sugar  3 large eggs (110 grams) 1 cup (240 ml) milk (full fat or low fat) 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoons of yellow, green, blue colouring extracts each Rainbow coloured chocolate bits (for decoration purposes) White Frosting: 3 individual packets of chunky kit kat bars (170 grams), coarsely chopped 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) confectioners (icing) sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract   How to make the coloured Butter Cake:  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) three (15 x 5 cm) heart shaped cake pans. You could use round or square ones of about the same size. 2. In a bowl sift or whisk the flour with the baking powder, and salt. 3. In your bowl of the electric mixer, beat the butter under soft and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until it turns light and fluffy. Add the eggs in batches, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined. 4. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions), and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. 5. Evenly divide the batter into 3 bowls,  then add 1 teaspoon of yellow, green, blue colouring into the 3 bowls to create 3 different coloured batters. Fold in the colours to the batter with the spatula till it’s well mixed. 6. Bake for about 12-13 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it should come out clean. The cake should also spring back when pressed lightly in the center. 7. Place...
Oct
1

The Chocolate Chips Cookies Recipe

When I was craving for some chocolate chip cookies but found none in my kitchen, I decided to whip up some to share with family and friends. I feel that this recipe is very versatile as we are able to replace chocolate chips with almost every other goodies such as white chocolate chips, raisins or even healthier versions such as grains, nuts and even bananas! Chocolate Chip Cookies  (Yields 30 cookies) Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 3/4 tsp baking soda 1 tsp fine salt 12 ounce semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks 1/2 cup unsalted butter  3/4 cup packed brown sugar (You can add more if you have a sweet tooth) 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional) Total Time: 1 hr 5 min Prep: 20 min Inactive: 30 min Cook: 15 min Directions: Put the butter out in room temperature to make sure that it is soft. Evenly position 2 racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 190 degrees C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone sheets. However, if you only have 1 baking sheet, let it cool completely between batches. I didn’t use baking sheets but buttered the baking tray very slightly (make sure that you don’t over butter otherwise your cookies will turn out oily). Whisk the sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon, take care not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks and make sure that it’s evenly mixed. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared pans. Wet hands slightly and roll the dough into balls. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart on the pans. Bake, until golden, but still soft in the center, for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how chewy or crunchy you like your cookies. Transfer hot cookies with a spatula to a rack to cool and serve.   Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. I have placed my cookies in a heart shape for the fun of it 🙂 This recipe is basic and is rather easy for almost anyone including a child to successfully execute. You may use the above guidelines and adjust it over time according to your preference and let it evolve into your very own recipe. Have fun and...
Jul
28

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

This recipe is for the chocolate lovers. These chocolate crinkle cookies are rolled in confectioner’s sugar and baked until it’s chewy.  As these chocolate cookies bake, they puff up and crackle, thus they are called crinkle cookies.  My recipe used below is a little sweet, therefore if you want to want a healthier version you could use less sugar e.g. 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Makes 2 dozen! Prep time: 20 minsWait time: ~2 hrs Cook time: 15 mins Total time: ~2 hrs 35 mins Ingredients: 1 cup of All Purpose Flour 2/3 cup of Granulated Sugar (Quantity could be reduced for a less sweet version) 1/2 cup of Cocoa Powder 1/4 cup of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature 1 tsp of Baking Powder 1/4 tsp of Salt 2 Large Eggs 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract 1/2 cup of Confectioner Sugar 1/2 tsp of Instant Espresso Powder (Optional) Direction: 1) In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and instant espresso powder, set aside. 2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until creamy and smooth. 3) Add the dry ingredients (in Step 1) and mix them in long enough (~5 mins) to combine.   4) Place the dough in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or up to overnight. 5) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C, line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Note: I didn’t use parchment paper here. Parchment paper will help to reduce burnt bits on the trays and baked goods wouldn’t stick.   6) Using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, form little balls of dough and coat them in the confectioner sugar, place them a couple inches apart on your prepared baking sheets. Recommedation: It’s best to sift the Confectioner sugar so that it will be finer and smoother.   7) Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes and allow them to cool completely before serving. See that cookies crinkled?  I added more sifted Confectioner sugar here. However, you could skip this step and serve. I’m happy to have tried this recipe and well there is still room for improvement. The time that I used to bake was initially 12 mins and the cookies didn’t crinkle. However if the cookies were baked for at least 15 mins, you would see the cookies puff up. Also, the feedback was...
Jun
13

Making Lemon Ice Cubes – Time Saving Tips

I used to really love carbonated and sugary drinks, but I have now developed a liking for healthier choices i.e. Lemon with Water. I noticed that restaurants usually serve up iced water with a couple of lemon slices and sometimes with mint in a big jug. I adore the soury taste of lemon / lime etc. Recently, a friend of mine gave me the idea to make them in bulk by freezing little lemon ice cubes. I bet there are many other people doing this, but I thought it’ll be good to share. What you’ll need 1. Bag of lemons (I used 3 lemons bought from NTUC Fairprice, Singapore) 2. Juicer 3. Ice cube tray Method 1. Start by cutting the lemons into halves. 2. Squeeze them using the hand juicer. The pulps will be collected at the strainer portion of the Juicer. Squeezing the 3. Pour the lemon juice yielded of about a tablespoon’s worth in each ice cube compartment  Optional: I have added the pulps (after removing the lemon seeds) into each ice cube compartment. 5. Put the tray into the fridge and wait for it to freeze. Once the lemon ice cubes are frozen, you can pop them out. Run a little water on the bottoms to loosen the ‘cubes’ if you need to and pop them out of the tray. Store the frozen cubes in an ice cube tray/ freezer bag. That's the amount of pulps and juice you get from 3 lemons My tray of lemon juice and pulps Whenever you want a glass of water with lemon, just add 1 to 2  lemon cubes to your glass or pitcher.  As the ice melts, the lemon will flavour your water. You could try adding mint to the lemon too. Water is essential to life… so always keep hydrated. Share this goodness with your family and...
Jun
2

Flower Crabs in Hua Diao Jiu

The Flower Crabs are the main ingredients of this dish and provides the sweet tasting flavour in the soup. To add more fragrance to this dish, I used the Chinese ‘Hua Diao Jiu’ which is a wine that provides the fragrance of this dish and complements the flavour of the crabs. This is another simple yet great tasting dish which is popular with most people and I finally settled my cravings for it. Time Required to Prepare: 10 mins Time to marinate: 15 mins Time to Cook: 8 mins Ingredients: 2 flower crabs 3 tablespoons chinese cooking wine – Hua Diao Jiu ??? 1/3 cup of chicken stock or water 1 stalk garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sesame oil dash of salt Optional : A few slices of ginger for those who don’t like the fishy smell The brand of Hua Diao Jiu I use is Shao Hsing Hua Tiao Chiew which is readily available at most supermarkets. Directions: Remove the crab shells and discard crab guts. Clean them with brush carefully and rinse well. Place the chopped garlic, ginger and 3 tablespoons of Hua Diao Jiu in the insides of the crab shell and marinate it for 15 minutes. Bring a pot of water to boil, and set the plate on top of a wide-mouth wok or large skillet as the base with a metal stand to balance.  Make sure the water is about 1 inch beneath the plate. Now add the chicken stock/water, sesame oil, salt in between the crab shell and body. Cover with lid and steam over boiling water for 8 minutes.  Remove the plate from wok. You’re now ready to serve the dish!...
May
25

Herbal Black Chicken Soup

I had the cravings for Herbal Black Chicken Soup after my Gym Session (See Post on: ‘The Weekly Detoxification Sessions at Fitness First”) and headed straight for NTUC to get my ingredients. For those who have tried, I’m sure you are familiar with the taste. The soup is very fragrant, flavourful with natural sweetness in the palate. Some people add Hua Diao Jiu/Wine to enhance the taste of the soup. Basically, this soup is real healthy and has added benefits for everyone in the family. Ingredients 1 whole Silkie aka Black Chicken, with Skin, Head removed.  (SGD$5) Herbs & Spices   a) You could buy those ready-packed versions at NTUC/Cold Storage etc. (SGD$4-7) like what I usually would do… OR add the following (Typical Recipe) b) 20 grams of Ginseng  or Codonopsis Pilosulae “Dang shen” c) 15 grams of Wolfberries, about 1 tablespoon d) 10 grams of Chinese Angelicae Root “Dang gui” e) 5 grams of Rhizoma “Chuan xiong” f) 6 grams of Liquorice Root g) 10 gram of Dried Longan then add h) 6 cups of water to a large pot such that it’s 50% filled. Optional ingredient Dried Scallops for extra texture and taste.   Recommendation 1) On the above, you could choose to remove the skin of the chicken so that you’ll consume 50% less fat. 2) You may chop the chicken into quarters for easy cooking. 3) There are many different types of packeted herbs. Benefits of the herbs are usually described at the back of the packet and targeted at things like lungs, promoting longevity, coughs etc. Choose the one that suits you & your family best. 4) Time required to prepare 10 minutes. Time taken to cook the soup is about 10 minutes with high pressure cooker or 1/2 a day for slow cooker. Benefits of cooking with the slow cooker is that it will make the whole soup sweeter plus the chicken meat will be less tough. MY BLACK HERBAL CHICKEN SOUP, all ready to serve. This is probably one of the easiest, tastiest and healthiest Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) soups ever to make. And I’m always loving my black chicken soup!   What are the Benefits of Chicken? In general provides a significant amount of niacin, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.  What exactly makes black chicken so good? The answer could lie in the naturally occurring antioxidant carnosine. Carnosine is also used as a supplement to “protect against ageing and to alleviate diseases such...
May
14

Xy’s Kitchen – StrawBerry Cheesecake (No Bake)

For some reason, I was in the mood of making a strawberry cheesecake. I bought this Strawberry No-Bake Cheesecake like a couple of months back and finally took it out to make! It was my first time making a strawberry cheesecake and the instructions look rather straightforward so I decided to try it since it was still raining. I called in Laura to help since she was also waiting for the heavy downpour to stop before going for a swim. Inside the package, you’ll be able to find the Biscuit Crumbs (110g), Pudding Mix (150g), Strawberry topping (100g). According to the instructions, I needed to get 400ml of fresh milk and 90g of melted butter as it is not provided in this box. The measuring cups and flasks can be purchased at any daiso store for SGD$2 each. Step 1: Blend the biscuit crumbs with melted butter. Blend the biscuit crumb with melted butter. Ideally, we should use a 18cm to 20 cm loose-base round glass bowl as suggested. As I couldn’t find one at home, i made do with my mum’s floral metal round based tin which did the job just fine. We’ll then have to press the biscuit mix with back of the spoon to cover the base of the container. After which, place the mix into the fridge for about 15 mins.   Pressed Biscuit Crumbs with Melted Butter Step 2: Beat the pudding mix with fresh milk In the meantime while waiting for the biscuit mixture to be ready, we moved on to step 2. We hand beated the pudding mix with the milk in a mixing bowl on low-medium speed until it gets thick and creamy. Recommendation: It is important that the mixture is THICK & creamy, otherwise your cake will come out really liquid.  Laura helped with whipping up the mixture Time to put the mixture onto the biscuit crumbs  By the time we are done with the above pudding mixture, our blended mixture of biscuit crumbs and butter were ready too in the refrigerator.  We then spread the above beaten mixture of pudding and milk on top of the biscuit base and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.   Step 3: Decorate your cake with the Fruit Toppings The Good news is that the Betty Crocker’s No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Mix comes with the required fruit toppings too for you to decorate it just the way you want to. You’ll only be required to pour the fruit toppings on top and...

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