Archive for January, 2011

Almond London Cookies

January 30, 2011 11 comments

I have no idea how these cookies got its name. I did a quick search on the internet but there wasn’t any readily available history on the cookies. Maybe they originated from London, but really what did it matter?

Cause they look too enticing to be passed off.

i mean who can go wrong with whole almond pieces wrapped in butter cookies and coated with chocolate?

Well, they do take a little bit of work though, they are probably the type of cookies u wanna dedicate half of your Sunday on (that’s me!).

They started out like this, naked as baby’s bottoms.

You might notice the discrepancy in my cookie shapes, some being round spheres, some being elongated ovals.

Well, as much as i aknowledge my moronic cookie shaping skill, these cookies are shaped that way  on purpose. They are shaped that way differentiate the Almond London Cookies from the Cashew London Cookies.

Yup, i used a mixture of cashews and almonds for these cookies. Just for the fun of it.

The round ones are filled with cashews of course. I realized that you can’t really shape anything crescent shaped into an oval. The ends of the cashews will poke out of the cookies, and that’s hardly aesthetic is it? lol.

My nestled cashew looks like a tooth.

Oh, u might also notice the lighter chocolate colour on these.

So besides the twist from almonds to cashews, i also went astray with the chocolate coating, and went from dark to milk.

And i must say, among the mad medley of round vs oval cookies, almonds vs cashews, milk vs dark chocolates,  London originated or not, what did it matter?

Cause they are all unanimously delicious!

Almond London Cookies

Take from Lily’s Wai Sek Hong


9 tbsp butter room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
8 ozs bleached all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt

Whole toasted almonds with skin

Dark chocolate, melted

Almond nips


Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolk and salt, cream until well combined.

Add flour and mix until a dough is formed. Rest dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Take a marble-sized dough (I used a melon scoop), flatten and wrap around the almond. Shape into an oval cookie.

Place on lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 350 f for 15 minutes.

Remove cookies to cool on cake racks.

Melt chocolate in the microwave.

Coat cookies with melted chocolate by dunking cookies in the melted chocolate and removing them with a fork and place on cake rack. Top with almond nips before the cookies set.

Place cookies on small paper cases.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , , ,

Black Beauty

January 28, 2011 8 comments

If you look really closely at the picture, you would notice that there are two layers of batters involved in making this beauty. The bottom layer is a layer of a brownie so moist and fudgy that it is almost custard like. The top is a buttercake recipe so rich and luxurious, it is more fitting to call it a brownie.

But that’s not the highlight of the buttercake. The highlight of this cake is the use of a certain flour called the black glutinous rice flour.

Black glutinous rice flour comes from black glutinous rice (doh!). Like its fair counterpart (white glutinous rice), the black glutinous rice is an especially sticky rice that is most commonly used for Asian desserts.

It’s only recently (well, maybe not that recent) that this sticky rice is made into flour. In this flour form, which is so agreeable to baking, does it start to leave its powdery imprints in the world of cakes and other bakes.

The flour is generally grey with specks of black, and it leaves a gritty texture into the resultant cake. I know you must be thinking, gritty texture ?? Eeeww!! but trust me, this one doesn’t taste anywhere like the health food we so often force fibrous wheatgerms into. This one actually tastes delicious. U just gotta trust me on this. LOL

Besides texture, the black glutinous rice flour is also very aromatic. Unlike the white glutinous rice flour which is bland, tasteless and scentless, the black glutinous rice imparts a waft of delightfully sweet smell with each bite you take. Not wanting this to run in the danger of sounding like a perfume advert, i must assure you that the smell is not at all overpowering. It’s subdued, yet full bodied at the same time and very very very delicious. I guess i can attest the many uses of the black glutinous rice in Asian desserts to attest to that!

Black Beauty*

For the Brownie Batter

125 gr Dark Chocolate

62.5 gr Butter

75 gr egg

100 gr caster sugar

65 gr AP

12.5 gr milk powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1. In a heatproof bowl, put together chocolate and butter. Set bowl over simmering water till the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool.

2. In another bowl, beat the egg and caster sugar at high speed till it is thick and pale yellow. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl and whisk to combine.

3. In yet another bowl, sift together the flour, milk powder and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour into a 8×8 inch pre-lined and greased pan.

For the cake batter

150 gr butter

125 gr icing sugar

25 gr condensed milk

150 gr eggs

113 gr black glutinous rice flour

13 gr cocoa powder

1. Beat the butter, icing sugar and condensed milk till light and fluffy.

2. Gradually add the eggs in.

3. In another bowl, sift the black glutinous rice flour and cocoa powder together and add it into the butter mixture.

4. Pour the mixture into the 8×8 inch pan and gently spread it across the above brownie batter.

5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or till cooked.

*Note: Recipe adapted from an Indonesian cookbook, please pardon the poor translation. LOL

Marble Cake

January 26, 2011 13 comments

I cant tell you enough how many times i have been disappointed attempting to make the perfect butter cakes. Even recipes with promising titles such as  “the perfect butter cake” or “the best pound cake”, somehow, nothing met up with my expectations.

Most of them usually err to the dry side, and i find myself reaching for that dollop of whipped cream or even jam to be served alongside the cake.

Of course, there are recipes that call for milk, juices, or even water to moisten things up, but usually, the batter gets heavy, and needless to say, so will the eventual cake.

I guess my journey to find that perfect butter cake came to an end with this recipe. This recipe yields a good, soft, moist cake with very tight crumbs.

Without any liquid in the cake batter to counter the dryness so common in most butter cakes, this cake relies on only the butter for that moistness. From here, u can pretty much guess how wonderfully rich and lustrously buttery this cake would be.

The butter in the recipe is beaten and aerated, producing a cake that rose and was very light, but yet, this cake was still dense enough to carry all that buttery aroma in its fullest glory.

Although i am very much loving the marbled swirls in this cake, i must say that i am not really liking the chocolate batter as much as i do the plain one. The chocolate batter which had cocoa powder in it was naturally more bitter compared to the plain one. Also, the cocoa powder really took away all that wonderful buttery taste that i very much adore.

Kek Marble Susu (Milk Marble Cake)
(adapted from Ovenhaven)

250g butter
230g castor sugar
2 tsp ovalette
4 eggs
60g condensed milk
270g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp chocolate emulco

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and ovalette until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the condensed milk, and mix well.
  5. Sift the flour together with the baking powder, and add slowly to the mixture, until it is well incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter into two, leaving one plain, and adding the chocolate emulco, cocoa powder and milk to the other.
  7. Drop alternate spoonfuls of the two batters into a 9-inch square pan, lined with baking paper. Bake at 170°C for 30-35mins.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

January 25, 2011 13 comments

These cookies are wickedd! They are such a tease to the palate, being sweet and salty at the same time. While i am very much in love with the cookies with the slight peanut butter taste and packed with oats, i am absolutely swooning over the filling.

I think this filling is a genius. Like all american buttercream, this filling is mainly butter (or peanut butter in this case) and icing sugar. However,  it has an additional quick  pour of heavy cream which really kicked it up a notch. The heavy cream really increased air binding ability in the buttercream, making it most ethereal and silky smooth.

While assembling these cookies, all i wanted to do was just dip my cookie into the cream, and pop into into my mouth. It took me LOTS of willpower to stop at what i was doing and actually made actual sandwich cookies out of these. Also, the thing with sandwich cookies is that u think u have lots of cookies going on for you, but really, after pairing them with their partners, you are left with only half of what you think you have.

After all that cookie dipping while assembling, i was left with scarcely less than a dozen cookies. That’s hardly enough to go around at my workplace. I packed each one of them while fending every evil temptation to have yet another cookie.

So while i was pretty upset at having so little cookies to show for, at least i was glad of a very delicious breakfast.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Taken from Buns in My Oven

yield about 16 sandwiches

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats

For the filling:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by creaming the butter and sugars for the cookies. Beat in the egg and vanilla. In a small bowl mix together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the creamed butter and sugars. Mix in the oats and stir until combined. Drop teaspoonfuls (or use a small cookie scoop) of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Make a criss cross with a fork to flatten the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.

To make the filling, beat all ingredients together until well mixed and smooth. Spread the filling on the bottom of one cookie and top with another to form a sandwich. Repeat with all the cookies.

Categories: Cookies Tags: , , ,

Chocolate Orange Cake

January 24, 2011 23 comments

There were two bars of chocolate sitting in my fridge one day. One just a bar of chocolate in its dark glory, and the other, a bar of dark chocolate with orange peel and cashew nuts in it.

I grabbed the second one, because, believe it or not, i have never really tasted chocolates with fruits in it (aside from the usual raisin studded chocolate bars).  I was prepped for disappointments as i thought of myself to be a chocolate purist, that chocolate should preferably be eaten on its own, without any interference from the various fruits and nuts so common in the world of chocolates.

I took a bite, and my firm stance on un-tampered, pure chocolate was heavily shaken. I liked what i ate and developed a new-found love for orange scented chocolates.

Needless to say, i began scouring the net for orange scented chocolate everything. Many were recipes for orange chocolate cake, and my decision rested on this particular recipe which called for a whole seville orange to be boiled and blitzed before it was added to the cake.

Yup, what better way to infuse that citrusy scent than to dump a whole orange, peel and all into the cake?

Like the chocolate, the shadows of doubt that came with that whole boiling and blitzing orange was dark yet alluring, but i decided it was worth the risk and decided to take a dive.

The resultant cake was fudgy, dense and moist, and the orange flavour was discernible. It is a pretty good cake, but i guess dense cakes are just not my thing, i would rather go all the way and make dense fudgy brownies instead. A dense cake is just halfway there and it doesnt quite cut it for me. I find myself scrapping and eating the ganache more than the cake.

And i think i just myself a pretty good chocolate ganache recipe. I upped the chocolate slightly from the recipe as the comments in the recipe indicated that it was more on the runny side. The minor adjustments i made is just perfect for my tropical, humid weather. The chocolate ganache was of the perfect consistency even after being left overnight. It is fudgy, without being too thick to be spread across the cake.

I also carelessly strewn a store bought mango peels across the cake, just for aesthetic purposes. But i do like how it tastes with the ganache. The tangy and slightly salted peel gave the ganache an extra texture and it was such a pleasant tease to the palate.

Chocolate Orange Cake

(Taken from

  • 1 Seville orange
  • a little melted butter , for greasing
  • 100g plain chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240ml sunflower oil
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • orange candied peel , to decorate

For the Chocolate Ganache *

  • 200g plain chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 225ml double cream
  1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft. Whizz the whole orange in a food processor until smooth; let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C.Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in round cake tin. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for 2 minutes on High, stirring after 1 minute. Let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Gradually beat in the puréed orange, discarding any pips, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Mix well and pour into the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle. (Check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if it is browning too much.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the chocolate ganache: put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread over the cake – up to 1½ hours.
  5. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a palette knife, swirl the ganache over the top. Decorate with strips of candied orange peel.

* For the chocolate ganache, i added equal ratio of chocolate vs cream (1 :1).

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , , ,

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

January 19, 2011 8 comments

I cant describe the wonderful crunch that comes with every bite of this toffee. You can probably hear someone biting into this 3 metres away from the site of action. it’s pleasantly brittle and it snaps with just the lightest pressure.

I am attributing this perfection to the a little device called the candy thermometer. I am sure many of you have experienced the nerve-wracking, chaotic guesswork involved in cooking sugar. I am for team thermometer and really, a candy thermometer really saves you from all these hassle and gives u the most awesome caramel for the most awesome buttercrunch toffee.

What’s of that awesome buttercrunch toffee anyways?

It’s a layer of almond, over which you pour that gorgeous, snappy caramel, and over which u sprinkle chocolate.

Did you get that?

Let me rephrase…

A layer of lightly toasted almonds are welded together with hot caramel. Chocolate chips are then strewn over the hot caramel to melt slightly before it is spread with a spatula.

Chocolate and Caramel. YUMM!

Oh, and let’s not forget that sprinkle of seasalt. Excluding the seasalt in this is like not inviting your mom to your graduation day, a situation almost tragic, at least for me anyways.

Although these cookies are hardly Chinese, and probably never a part of the usual CNY cookie platter,  I am including this in Aspiring Baker #3, My Favourite Chinese New Year Cookie hosted by Jess from J3ss Kitch3n. Just because i think these cookies are THAT good, and we’ve been taught to share good stuffs!

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

by David Lebovitz

2 cups (8 ounces, 225 g) toasted almonds or hazelnuts, chopped between ‘fine’ and ‘coarse’
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (1 stick, 115 g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
a nice, big pinch of salt
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces (140 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips

optional: Roasted cocoa nibs and fleur de sel

1. Lightly oil a baking sheet with an unflavored vegetable oil.

2. Sprinkle half the nuts into a rectangle about 8″ x 10″ (20 x 25 cm) on the baking sheet.

3. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the water, butter, salt, and both sugars. Cook, stirring as little as possible, until the thermometer reads 300 F degrees. Have the vanilla and baking soda handy.

4. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.

5. Quickly pour the mixture over the nuts on the baking sheet. Try to pour the mixture so it forms a relatively even layer. (If necessary, gently but quickly spread with a spatula, but don’t overwork it.)

If using, sprinkle with a small handful of cocoa nibs and a flurry of fleur des sel. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the chocolate and gently press them in with your hands.

Cool completely and break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container, for up to ten days.

Categories: Cookies, Dessert Tags: , , ,

German Crunch Cookies

January 18, 2011 17 comments

This cookie seems to be a hot favourite item for the upcoming Chinese New Year. I have seen many bloggers featuring this item whilst i do my routinal rounds from blogs to blogs.

I hopped into the bandwagon, made these cookies and instantly saw light. It’s no wonder at all why people are fervently making these, for it is only the most buttery, soft, and crumbly cookies i have ever made.

If you were wondering why potatoes are one of the props featured today, it’s because i used potato starch for this cookies. Of course, the potato starch are store bought for i couldn’t possibly made potato starch from these real potatoes. LOL!

Anyway, this is actually my first experience with potato starch, the texture is very much like its cousin made of corn, the corn starch. I guess this potato starch in the recipe is what made these cookies extra crumbly.

Oh, and a word of advise on the crumbly, u definitely want to make these bite sized so that u can pop the entire  cookie into your mouth. Because you will leave a trail of cookie crumbs if you tried eating these in a couple of bites, and I am guessing you don’t want to have to sweep after yourself, or to piss whoever it is who cleans up after your.

Melt-in-mouth German Cookies 德式酥饼
(Recipe taken from Small Small Baker)
Ingredients (makes 60 pieces)

125g butter
40g icing sugar, sifted
125g potato starch
80g superfine flour (I use plain flour, tried out both 50g and 80g, both good)


1. Beat butter and icing sugar till fluffy and lighter in colour.

2. Sift in potato starch and flour, mix to form a soft dough.

3. Roll into small balls (about 2cm in diameter), arrange on lined baking pan and press lightly with a fork (dip the fork in water after each press to prevent cookie dough from sticking to the fork).

4. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 15 mins, upper rack (need not bake till cookies turn brown).

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

January 17, 2011 8 comments

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

There is nothing in the name of this cookie that i didn’t like. Let’s analyse it from the back.

“Peanut Butter” – Yum,

“Double Chocolate” – Double Yum,

“Salted” – Triple Yums!!

I think my love for  salt in my bakings have been conveyed adequately in this blog. A healthy sprinkle of big, fat, granular sea salt  always brings such an added dimension to whatever sweet treats and confections concocted in my kitchen.

Of course, i guess there is no need for me to convince you on the magical peanut butter and chocolate combination. The harmony between the two elements has been tried, tested, proven and given stamps of approvals a gazillion million times over all over the world. There is no exception with these cookies of course, dark fudgy chocolate cookies with a hint of peanut butter. Yeah baby!

The only thing i am not too crazy about these cookies are the peanuts folded into the cookie dough. Don’t get me wrong, i love nuts, and my fingers subconsciously reach for that bowl of salted nuts in front of the TV, but somehow, they feel wrong in these cookies. The nuts don’t taste awful, but they just felt rather odd. But then again, maybe its just me! LOL

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe taken from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: 16 to 18 large cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 12 minutes

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup peanuts
Coarse salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and peanuts.

4. Drop by two heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a small pinch of coarse salt on top of each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the outside of the cookies are set but the middles are still a little soft. Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container.

New York Style Coffee Cake

January 15, 2011 9 comments

I never thought there will come a day where i feel uninspired to bake. But for the past week, for some reason, i have been feeling down. The thought of weighing flour, whipping eggs and creaming butter just lost its appeal to me. I laid low for quite a bit, and chose to stay cocooned under my blanket in the mornings rather than make a mad dash into my kitchen as i usually do.

I began missing the hum of my oven, and the whirr of my stand mixer. I miss the steady “snap”  my camera makes as i clicked on the shutter button, and most importantly, i had a tub of sour cream threatening to expire on me (DUH). So i sauntered over to the kitchen, and turned my oven up against my sunken mood. I had the perfect recipe in my hands, perfect because it was relatively fuss free (i wasn’t exactly in the spirit of some fancy, science-challenging baking), and also perfect cause it uses my tub of sour cream.

Fortunately, this coffee cake came together like a dream. And it tastes pretty dream like too, a soft, moist yellow cake topped with brown sugar cinnamon crumbs. I absolutely loved the crunch of the crumb against the soft cake.  It’s like having a cookie over the cake, and the brown sugar just makes it so flavourful and aromatic.

And unlike most crumbs which require you to cut your butter into the sugar and flour, this recipe calls for melted butter, another win!

But what i love most about this recipe, is the ratio of that wonderful brown sugar crumb with respect to the cake. Basically, you crumble your crumb dough over your cake batter, making sure to cover every little surface, press it down, and you will still be left with enough crumble dough to go over that entire surface for the second, or third time!

And trust me, you do want every little piece of that crumbly bits. 🙂

New York Style Coffee Cake
Recipe taken from buns in my oven who adapted from Baked Explorations

For the crumb topping:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass 9×13 pan. You can use a metal pan, but the edges may get a bit crispy.

To make the crumb topping, mix both sugars, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk until combined. Fold in the flour until it is absorbed. Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and spread this mixture out on the parchment paper to dry while you make the cake mixture.

To make the cake, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and slat together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter until it is smooth and ribbonlike  in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl before each addition, beaiting only until it is just incorporated.

To assemble the cake, pour the batter in the prepared pan.Use your hands to scoop up a handful of the topping and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off in chunks and drop them over the cake. Repeat to use all the topping. Remember, the topping layer will look very thick.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Rotate the pan two times during the baking process. Cool the entire pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

The cake will last for 3 days, tightly covered, at room temperature.

Categories: Cakes Tags: , , , ,

Cat’s Tongue Cookies

January 10, 2011 16 comments

I guess it’s quite obvious how these cookies got its name. The cat’s tongue cookies can probably trace its origins from Spain, and are identified by their signature cat’s tongue shape.

These cookies are light, buttery and crisp. There is a very satisfying crunch as i bit into one, almost like eating a potato chip.  I suspect the lightness of these cookies came from all the beaten egg whites, which is rather unusual in a cookie recipe.

Despite its Spanish origin, these cookies are very popular in Indonesia, and come Chinese New Year, you can probably lap at these cookies at every household you choose to visit.

While these cookies are usually served plain, in its buttery glory, i have added a lil tongue twister into my versions.

The dual tone Cat’s tongue cookies, easily achieved by flavouring half of the cookie batter with chocolate. I loaded up my pipping bag with both batters before squeezing the two cookie batter onto the awaiting cookie sheet.

I love the taste of these cookies, it’s part vanilla, part chocolate and all buttery. YUM!

Then i made a blueberry flavoured version of the cookies, simply just by pipping a strip of bluberry jam onto the unbaked cookie dough. The jam will dry up and turn sorta chewy and it adds a very nice blueberry flavour to the otherwise very buttery cookie. Of course i am not complaining about that very buttery cookie, i am just saying it makes quite a refreshing contrast. 🙂 In fact, if i were to make this again, i will be sure to pipe a fatter line of a jam down my cookies.

I am also entering these cookies into Aspiring Baker #3 My favourite CNY Cookie hosted by J3ss Kitch3n. Thanks to J3ss for hosting the wonderful event! I can’t wait to see what the others come out with!

Cat’s Tongue Cookies by Me!

250 gr unsalted butter

200 gr castor sugar

225 gr AP flour

150 ml (about 5) egg whites

1 TBS Vanilla extract

Some Chocolate paste

1. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

2. Add egg whites gradually and beat till it turns even more light and voluminous.

3. Add in vanilla and beat till well mixed

4. Fold in flour

5. Divide batter into half and add chocolate paste into one of that half

6. Fill your pipping bags with batter (half chocolate, half white if you are attempting the duo coloured cookies)

7. Pipe onto greased cookie sheet

8. Bake at 350 for about 18 mins or till they turn dry and crisp.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

January 7, 2011 4 comments

‘Please don’t scrape away this frosting’ i thought to myself as i spread the caramel buttercream onto each of these cupcakes. It seems almost habitual for my family members to scrape away the bad, unhealthy frosting as they eat cupcakes, layered cakes or even filled cookies. I don’t blame them, i do that myself, but i am at least diplomatic enough to leave a decent amount of frosting to know its flavour, taste and texture.

You can pretty much imagine my delight when i see a naked half eaten cupcake. Naked, becase all of its frosting had been eaten, as opposed to pushed to the side of the plate. The half bitten cupcake lay undressed, and abandoned.

This must have been some pretty good frosting for my family member (my sister actually) to change her eating habit, and sacrifice that extra calories! And that is a major breakthrough for me.I know i am probably not convincing you enough with the pictures here. The colours are a bit on the pale side, hardly caramel-like. I guess i must have been too chicken to take the sugar to a further amber brown as i was making the caramel. But trust me, even its ghastly shade, the caramel flavour was definitely present, although not as much as it should have been. Hopefully on my next attempt, i would be gutsy enough to take that heat and sugar relationship to a deeper, darker level.

So for these cupcakes, i have decided on a lil sprinking of crushed caramel candies, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Just because i am a firm believer that nothing goes better on caramel than MORE caramel. LOL.


Vanilla Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Taken from the parsley thief ( Thanks so much for sharing! )

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 large egg whites
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with paper cups.
Whisk the flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat the butter in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Add the sugar & vanilla seeds, beat until combined. Add the egg whites & then the whole eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl, as needed. Add the milk & beat to combine. Turn the mixer down to low & slowing add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the paper liners, until 1/2 full. Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine the sugar & water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil & cook, without stirring, until it turns a dark amber color, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat & slowly stir in the heavy cream & vanilla. The mixture will bubble up quite a bit, so do this slowly, stirring as you pour! Set aside until cool to the touch.
Beat the butter & salt in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Reduce the speed to low & add the powdered sugar. Beat until completely incorporated. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the bowl & pour in the caramel. Turn the mixer back on & beat until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container & chill for at least 45 minutes before using.
Note: The frosting can be made ahead of time & stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Let the frosting come to room temperature before using.

Lastly, do head over to the parsley thief for a more accurate shade of the caramel frosting and for the most pretty pictures!

Two-Tone Fudge Brownies

January 5, 2011 9 comments

Often times, i find myself staring into the candy aisles section of a supermarket, trying to decide whether i wanted a bar of dark or white chocolate. They are both wonderful of course. Dark chocolate being stronger in flavour and slightly more bitter in taste, and white chocolate, smelling like vanilla and tasting much more sweeter.

Imagine my joy when i found the recipe for this dual tone brownies. This dual tone brownie is definitely the recipe to go for when you find urself in such challenging chocolate selection affair, cause choosing your chocolate, that is not mere child’s play (not for me anyways). :p

This dual tone brownies combines both the dark and white chocolate and quite frankly, i can’t think of anything better sounding than that. It might be called a brownie, but it is part blondie too.

I love the shiny paper thin crust off a brownie even though I can’t take a decent picture of it without the light bouncing off the surface. Something about this crust just promises dense, dark, fudgy and lusciously moist brownies in the waiting.

And true to its expectations, that dense, dark, fudgy and lusciously moist brownies is what was delivered.

So let’s get a bite (or rather my second) bite of that delight!

Recipe from Brownies, Fudges and Toppings (by Periplus Mini Cookbooks Series)

Chocolate Mixture:

60 gr butter

90 gr dark chocolate, roughly chopped

125 gr caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, lightly beaten

60 gr plain flour


White Chocolate Mixture:

60 gr butter

90 gr white chocolate buttons

125 gr caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg, lightly beaten

60 g plain flour


1. Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F. Lightly brush a 8 inch square tin with melted butter or oil and line the base with baking paper, extending over the 2 sides.

2. To make chocolate mixture:

Stir the butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, over a pan of simmering water until just melted. Using a wooden spoon, beat the sugar, vanilla essence and egg in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in the chocolate mixture, add the flour, stirring until just combined. Do not overbeat.

3. To make white chocolate mixture:

Stir the butter and the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, over a pan of simmering water, until just melted. Using a wooden spoon, beat the caster sugar, vanilla essence and beaten egg in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in the white chocolate mixture. Add the sifted flour, stirring until just combined. Do not overbeat.

4. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixtures alternately and evenly, next to one another in a single layer in the tin. Gently smooth the surface without combining the mixtures. Bake for 35 minutes, or until firm. Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into small pieces.

Categories: Uncategorized

Jasmine Tea Chiffon Cake

January 4, 2011 8 comments

I was drinking a cup of jasmine tea. It was strong and wonderfully fragrant having been made from jasmine tea leaves that had been steeped for quite a while.

Habitually, i wanted to imitate that tea drinking experience into baking. Geez, it seems like i almost always want everything to be emulated into baking..

So anyways, i went online and did a search and decided to make a tea flavoured chiffon cake. Chiffon cake is generally good enough to be eaten on its own, and since i wanted to max out on the tea flavour, i didnt want interference from the frostings or buttercream party.

The recipe required me to rip a open 3 teabags and throw its contents into the batter, but i decided on using the tea leaves as i thought tea leaves are generally stronger in flavour and i heard that they are of more premium quality as compared to the ones found in teabags.

The downside to using tea leaves is the additional step of pounding them into powder form, for while i am a fan of tea leaves, i don’t think anyone would really fancy chewing those leaves along with the cake.

I pounded the leaves till they were small enough to pass through my sift. I am not sure how strong the tea flavour would be if i were just to use the contents of the teabag, so i cant gauge on how the resultant cake will score on the fragrance meter. However, pounding those tea leaves resulted in a cake that was rewardingly aromatic. It felt like i was inhaling jasmine tea cake instead of merely eating it. The texture of the cake was moist and incredibly moist, a true chiffon indeed.

I am also loving the black speckles in the cake. It just looks fancy to me, like a fashionable leopard print. 🙂

Recipe from Happy Home Baking (Thanks so much for sharing!)

Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

(makes one 18cm cake)

1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea powder (about 3 satchels)
100g cake flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
50ml vegetable oil
75ml water

3 egg whites
40g caster sugar


  1. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.
  2. Separate egg yolks/whites and bring to room temperature. (It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold.)
  3. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl, add in sugar, in 3 separate additions and with a manual whisk, whisk till the mixture becomes sticky and turn pale.
  4. Drizzle in the oil, whisking at the same time till the mixture is well combined. Repeat the same with the water. Sieve over the flour mixture and whisk until flour mixture is fully incorporated into the batter. Add in the earl grey powder and mix well.
  5. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat on high speed until just before stiff peaks form* (after note: after several attempts at baking chiffon cakes, I learned that the whites should be beaten until just before stiff peaks form).
  6. Add the beaten egg white into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  7. Pour batter into a 18cm (7 inch) tube pan (do not grease the pan). Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 45 ~ 50mins or until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Let cool completely before unmould. To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pan and the center core. Release the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan to remove the cake.
Categories: Uncategorized


January 2, 2011 10 comments

I knew about pavlova from the endless hours i spent lurking about in food blogs and baking books. The truth is, i have never seen a pav (short for pavlova, of course) with my own eyes, and needless to say, i have never tasted one.

I came across the recipe for this on a book titled Cheesecake, Pavlova and Trifle which was marked down for a Christmas sale. I grabbed the book mindlessly, almost certain that i would have a post purchase regret as a baking book that focused on so little items ( cheesecake, pavlova and trifle) would usually mean a base recipe repeated over and over again, with perhaps different toppings or different flavourings. I am sure many of you have experienced tweaking your cookies with chocolate chips, raisins or whatever you fancy with your very trusted basic cookie recipe.

This was fortunately, not the case with this book. I was browsing the book (pictures first of course) when i noticed that each of the pavlova recipe featured was different. All of them however, had the mandatory egg whites and sugar, but even so, the two ingredients were of varying ratio with respect to each other.

And being me, of course, i had to choose what in my opinion was the most controversial and possibly most challenging recipe of the lot. A pavlova recipe of egg whites and icing sugar and.. get this, boiling water.

Basically, the egg whites, icing sugar, and water were whipped together. I poured my boiling water gradually as i didnt want to scramble my egg whites, and got really worried when i got a wet batter that didn’t look like it would thicken up the way whipped egg whites do.

It took much longer,  but eventually, the egg whites did turn voluminous and glossy with stiff peaks (PHEW!).

All that apprehension were not for naught though, for this recipe yielded a crusty meringue with a marshmallow-ey centre. It was like eating on a puff of clouds, sweet,soft, chewy, yet with a crusty exterior.

My pavlova was served with a dollop of whipped cream and a generous drizzle of berry sauce and a handful of fresh berries. All i can think of was WOW! That’s indeed summer goodness in a bowl!! It was fruity, zesty and very refreshing! The sweetness from the pav was able to offset the tartness from the berries, and the dollop of whipped cream, neutral and unsweetened, was the perfect middleman to bring the two together. 🙂

While this book is a thumb up with its multiple base recipe, it didn’t explain how each of the ingredients would affect on the overall texture or taste of the pavlova. I had recipes that called for cornstarch and vinegar, and some which only required the indispensable egg whites and sugar.

Besides the varying ingredients, the baking temperature and times were also different for each of the recipes.

Again, nothing was mentioned about how that would affect the overall result. HArruumpphh.

Well, whatever the case, i guess i just had to try each of the recipes and hopefully be able to spot the differences.

Pavlova & Berries

Adapted from Cheesecake, Pavlova & Trifle*

For the pavlova:

3 egg whites

320 icing sugar

125 boiling water

1. Place your baking rack on the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 375. Line your baking sheet with parchment.

2. Beat egg whites, sugar and water till stiff peaks.

3. With a large spoon, divide your beaten egg whites into 6 and drop them onto your baking sheet.

4. Bake with the lower heat on for 25 minutes or till the surface of the meringue and dry and crusty.

For the Berry sauce:

125 ml cranberry/ raspberry juice

1 TBS lemon juice

55 g caster sugar

1 TBS cornflour

1 TBS water

500 grams fresh berries

For the Whipped Cream, i used about 300ml.

1. Mix together the juice, lemon juice, sugar in a saucepan. Heat over the stove till sugar has dissolved, but take care not to let the mixture boil.

2. Dissolve cornflour in the water, add it into the mixture. Whisk while allowing the mixture to come to a boil.

3. Add the fresh berries.

*Note: The book is in Indonesian, please bear with my poor translating skills, but if you do have any questions, i will be more than happy to clarify.

I would also suggest making this close to serving time as the cream and berries would cause the pavlova to get soggy. A tip from the book also states that a pav made in advance might shrink a bit.