Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Butter Cake 牛油蛋糕

Butter cake recipe # One

For many baking rookies, this seem to be one of the basic cakes to try out with right? I was one of them. However, I soon found out that this cake was not as easy as it may have seemed to be rated by most of the recipes.

When baking butter cake, I bet many of you might experience one or both of the following problems, which to me was really demotivating.

1st – Why my butter cake taste dry?
So far, I had attempted 3 times, with 3 different types of butter and experienced 3 different consistency of moistness.  Apparently, to yield a moist buttery butter cake, the key is very much depending on the type of butter and liquid used in the recipe.

2nd – Why my butter cake crack in the middle? So far, out of the 3 trials, only the recent birthday cake that l made for my son turned out with perfect flat and smooth surface. In my previous two attempts, the cakes cracked miserably in the middle like an earthquake. So, what did I do in my recent trial that made a difference from the previous ones? For this trial, even though I did use a different recipe but I believed the key change was more of using a round cake pan rather than a loaf pan, which I happened to use for my previous 2 butter cakes.

Thanks to Joy of Baking that helped to solve my mystery. In her blog, she pointed out most cakes baked in loaf, bar or ring pans crack slightly due to the confined space. Hence, if smaller cake pan is used, it is much easier for the cake to rise and crack in the center. In addition, oven temperature also plays an important factor - too hot an oven temperature causes the cake to peak faster in the middle and erupt, resulting in cracks.

To avoid too hot an oven, it is best to bake with lower temperature in the beginning ( around 160/170 degree Celsius) and adjust placement of the cake to bottom rack of oven instead of the middle rack to make the top brown slower than the sides.

The following were the loaf butter cakes I made comparing to the one bought in a store. Both had the same crack effect in the center. I baked these 3 loaf of butter cakes in April during Qīngmíng festival (清明節) prayer to pay honour to my late mother and parents-in-law.


Initially, it was disappointing seeing the cracked cakes came out from the oven. However, when my family members especially my father who tasted the cake and praised highly its moistness and buttery taste with positive comments that the cake was tastier than those from the store, I felt so much relieved!clip_image001[4]

This butter cake recipe is adapted from Agnes Chang's Baking Made Easy, (蓝赛珍,轻轻松松学烘焙) but I added more milk in the recipe to give it more moisture. For this recipe, I used Buttercup brand butter which was not really butter but margarine. I was surprised that the cake turned out to be as moist and buttery as a branded butter.

Last month 14th of July, in celebrating my son’s 10th birthday, I did another attempt by using an expensive branded butter, SCS butter. This time I opted for a different recipe, adapted from Christine’s Recipes Butter Pound Cake. Click the link to access this recipe directly from her famous food blog.


I was pleased to see a crack free round butter cake. clip_image001[6]However, my family felt that the taste of this cake was drier and not as moist as my previous butter cake. I was not sure whether it was due to the change of recipe or the butter that I used. 

Thanks to hubby’s great calligraphy writing skill that transformed this plain looking butter cake into a nice looking birthday cake. clip_image001[7]


Shared below is the butter cake recipe adapted from Agnes Chang’s Baking Make Easy.



Source: Agnes Chang’s Baking Make Easy

250g butter, at room temperature
250g self rising flour
200 -250g castor sugar ( I reduced to 180g)
4 eggs
4 tbsp. fresh milk ( I added 6tbsp.)
1 tsp. vanilla essence

  • Preheat oven to 180°C for 15 minutes. ( I reduce to 175)
  • Lightly grease a 22cm round baking tin or line it with grease-proof paper.
  • Sieve self rising flour and set aside.
  • Mix butter and sugar using low speed until well combined.
  • Change to medium speed and beat until light and pale in yellow.
  • (Note: Sugar has not dissolved yet).
  • Add in the first egg, beat well after each addition of egg until creamy.
  • Scrape down the sides for even mixing.
  • Add in vanilla essence and mix well.
  • Divide flour into three portions, use lowest speed to mix in flour.
  • Scrape down sides for even mixing.
  • Finally, add milk .
  • Pour the mixture into the greased baking tin.
  • Shake and tap on table  lightly to distribute cake mixture evenly and to get the air out.
  • Place the cake at the lower rack in the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.
  • If a toothpick/skewer comes out clean, it is done.
  • Remove it from the oven and leave the cake in the tray to cool on the rack for 5 minutes before removing from tray.

  • Notes:

  • If the cake turns brown too quickly, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil towards the last 15 minutes.
  • 牛油蛋糕



    白砂糖 - 180-200g
    全蛋 4个
    发粉 1茶匙 (过筛)
    鲜奶 4汤匙


    1.     烤箱预热至180。最好先预热15分钟

    2.     将烤箱预热至18015分钟, 可减少至175 烤盘抹油或置油纸。自发面粉过筛。

    3.     使用低速 将牛油+细砂糖一起混合搅拌,换到中速打至松发变白。

    4.     在糖还没有完全溶解,倒入第一个鸡蛋液后继续搅拌,每次加蛋奶油完全吸收蛋液后,再加入蛋液搅拌至蛋液搅拌完毕。再加入香草精拌匀。

    5.     面粉划分为三分次拌入,鸡蛋奶油里最低速度搅拌混合 最后,加入牛奶拌匀。

    6.     把混合物倒入抹油的烤盘。在桌子上轻轻地震动和敲击烤盘使蛋糕混合物均匀分布​​,并让空气排出。

    7.     将烤盘放进烘箱中的下架。烤45分钟或至金黄色。 用牙签/串以测试,串出来干净,它已熟。

    8.     从烘箱中取出,让烤盘冷却5分钟后才除去烤盘倒出蛋糕。


    Friday, August 8, 2014

    Pumpkin Loaf (Tangzhong) 南瓜汤种面包

    Healthy Golden Vegetable bread

    Pumpkin is one of our family favourite vegetables, if you search thru my blog you will find quite a number of recipes using pumpkin with various cooking methods from baking, stir fry to porridge making. 

    Last week, pumpkin was on offer in the local market and we have bought one at a good price. With only 4 of us in a family, I used to buy a cut portion of a pumpkin. This time with a whole pumpkin,  Since, I decided to use some for bread making. 

    Those who follow my blog will know that I love making Tangzhong bread. While google through the net, I came across one of my favourite food blogger Christine’s Recipes Tangzhong Pumpkin loaf, which was exactly the right bread recipe that I was looking for.

    Thanks to Christine, her recipe never fails me. I have another great soft fluffy loaf that I hope can last for 2 days of breakfast meals for my family !
    Photo Editor pumpkinbreadcut
    Following are the main ingredients to make this pumpkin bread. For the full recipe, check out Christine’s blog.

    Main Ingredients:
    • 120g Tangzhong (please refer to this to make Tangzhong)
    • 100 g pumpkin puree
    • 50 g whisked egg
    • 110 ml milk
    • 40 g honey
    • 12 g milk power
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 350 gm bread flour
    • 2 tsp. instant dried yeast
    • 25 gm butter, melted

    After kneading use windowpane test to test dough elasticity before placing it back into the greased bowl to start the proofing process.

    Once the second proofing is finished, brush whisked egg on surface then placed the dough into oven to bake with 180C degree for 30 minutes.

    pumpkinbread_proofing_collage eggwashpumpkin_collage
    Leave it on rack to cool for 5 minutes before demould. Brush some melted butter on the loaf and cover with tea towel for 10 minutes. Once cooled completely, slice the bread and it’s time to enjoy the healthy vegetable golden bread!


    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Sesame Kaya Buns 芝麻咖椰面包

    To my Muslim readers and friends, I would like to wish you

    Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri !

    During this Raya ( Muslim new year, Eid al-Fitr (Aidilfitri) ) break, my dad and brother's family came from Penang to KL for a short visit. To welcome them, I made these Kaya buns for their breakfast .Smile 

    I have introduced these buns before in my old posts but with butter crumb topping and now I gave it a new twist, by sprinkling some sesame seeds on top to make into Sesame Kaya buns.
    I made some kaya ( egg coconut jam) a few days ago, now it was just the right fillings for these buns. To learn how to make homemade Kaya, just click the link to my old posts.

    So glad to see the buns came out so feathery fluffy and soft !
    Hey! Where is the missing bun?                                      Here you are!
    A – Sweet Bun dough
    600g bread flour or high protein flour
    2 tsp. instant yeast
    100g castor sugar
    1 tsp. salt
    3 tbsp. milk powder
    1 small egg
    325ml milk /water
    50g soften butter
    Some white sesame seeds
    Melted butter for glazing
    Kaya ( Coconut Egg )jam
    1. Mix all ingredients (A) knead till it can be stretched into thin sheet.
    2. Add in the butter and knead until the butter combines with the dough and continue until it becomes smooth.
    3. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap to prove till double in bulk.
    4. kayabunsrise_collage
    5. When dough double in size, to test the readiness of the dough - press dough with finger, if the impression stays and the dough does not spring back it is ready.
    6. Punch down and knead again till smooth. Rest for 15 minutes.
    7. Divide the dough into 60g each portion, flatten the dough and wrap up 1 tbsp. kaya filling and make into the form of balls.
    8. kayabunskaya_collage
    9. Arrange in a greased square/round baking tray covered with greased cling wrap and let it double in bulk for the second time.
    10. When the dough rises the second time, spray a little water and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
    11. kayabunsesami_collage
    12. Bake at 200 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or till golden brown.
    13. Remove and take out from the baking tray.
    14. Brush melted butter on baked buns.
    300ml 奶/水
    软化牛油, 上光
    将所有材料面粉,酵母,糖和盐放入碗中搅拌均匀, 慢慢地倒入水。使用慢速度,拌打面团,直到面团形成可以拉得很薄又不会裂与有弹性, 直到面团光滑, 加入牛油揉至均匀。
    把面团分成60克份,包入咖椰酱馅料后做成小圆球排放在抹油过的圆/四方烤盘用抹油过的保鲜膜覆盖让它再发第二次面至双倍大。当面团发好, 用少量的水喷在发好的面团,撒上酥白芝麻.使用200摄氏烘约15-20分钟至金黄色后取出脱模后用少许软化牛油上光。

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Kimchi Yaki Udon 韩国泡菜炒乌冬面


    Another 10 minutes Korean  lunch meal



    This is another easy and quick meal that I used to rush back from office during lunch time to prepare for myself. Trust me, within 10 minutes, you’ll get to enjoy this delicious fusion of Korean & Japanese Kimchi Yaki Udon a.k.a Kimchi fried Udon noodles.


    This recipe uses similar ingredients to the previous Kimchi Noodle soup.  However the ingredients are not cooked in soup base but instead stir-fried. You can use other types of noodles as you like such as egg noodles.

    Again you can add a variety of flavor to it by adding slices of meat such as pork, chicken or turn it into seafood flavor by adding prawns and squid or whatever ingredients available from your fridge.

    I am very pleased to know that  a few of my FB friends have successfully tried out the simplified Kimchi recipe that I introduced. In fact, they localize the recipe by using chili paste made from local dried chili instead of the Korean Chili powder.  I am glad to learnt that their version of Kimchi is not only hot in taste but also hot in demand! Smile


    Kimchi Fried Udon







    1 pack of udon ( you can opt for other noodles)

    3-4 pcs of fish balls/meat balls/fish cake

    1 egg

    3 to 4 tablespoon of well-fermented Kimchi with Kimchi brine



    1 tablespoon oyster soy sauce (to your taste)
    1 tsp. soy sauce (to your taste)

    1/2 teaspoon sugar (to your taste to reduce Kimchi sourness)

    1 tsp.of Korean chili paste ( for those who like extra heat)


    For garnishing:
    1 tablespoon of Gim ( Korean seasoned roasted dried seaweeds)


    1 tablespoon of spring onions


    1. In a small pot bring a pot of water to boil and add in Udon and add in side ingredients cook for 2 minutes, drained and set aside.

    2. Heat up a pan with 2 tbsp. of oil.

    3. Add in Kimchi. cooked Udon and fish balls stir fry a while before adding an egg and seasoning and continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes until well mixed.

    4. Dish up and garnish with spring onions/dried seaweeds before serve.








    1汤匙蚝油, 你的口味






    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Egg and Cheese Breakfast Wrap 鸡蛋奶酪玉米饼


    Let’s wrap to start a day!


    Those days, I started running with the intention to lose weight and keep fit. I began running and panting heavily from a short few km fun run to longer and longer run gradually. Now, after a decade of practice, I am now challenging myself with full marathon running distance.

    Previously, when I ran with the weight loss objective, I was on low carb diet (by cutting down rice intake). Last year, when I underwent my first marathon training regime, I kept the low carb diet and didn’t really pay much attention to nutrition/diet plan before or after every long run training/race.

    However, I did follow the common “carbo loading” rule to load up food with high carbohydrates such as pasta and rice a few days before each long distance race. But I wasn’t aware of the importance of topping up protein after each race!

    My wrong perception of protein = fat misled me to not eat too much after a run. Little did I know the power of protein in helping to rebuild muscles, repair damaged tissue and stimulate the development of new tissues.

    During my last marathon, I experienced tendon pull at the very last 6km distance from finishing line. Due to my ignorance, I did not bother to reload the right nutritious diet to replenish the required protein element post race. I ended up having a very slow recovery from my maiden marathon race.

    Running gets you in good shape, but what you do before and after you run enables you to keep running- Jason Fitzgerald

    Learning it the hard way, I am now more aware of the importance of consuming the right diet to recharge our body after an endurance sport. Other than carbs, it is very crucial to also consume the right amount of protein rich foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, white meats and eggs. It is advisable to fuel up within the first 30 minutes to 2 hours after any endurance activity, especially for extended long runs of over one hour, which can make a very big difference to our performance.

    I used to run in the morning without breakfast. After gaining the right post workout diet knowledge, what follows is my recent favourite high protein breakfast 

    Egg and Cheddar Cheese Tortilla Wrap  Smile 


    Tortilla Wraps, also regarded as Mexican flat breads are extremely easy, fast to fix, delicious and versatile. It can be served hot or cold. I prefer to pan toast the tortilla to brown it 1-2 minutes to get the crispy effect.

    With simply a few minutes over stove top and by adding an egg and cheese, a flat plain bread is transformed into delicious protein rich breakfast! The cheddar cheese helps to hold the scramble eggs together.

    Recently, this simple protein rich breakfast has become my regular Sunday morning breakfast after my routine LSD (long slow distance) training. I am glad to see my 2 guys like this breakfast,  adding to the variety of their main breakfast menu of oatmeal. My boy Ray likes this wrap as it’s similar to one of his favorite local Indian bread “Roti Canai”  Smile

    Of course, there is no limit to the variations. You can modify it by adding any ingredients such as extra chopped herbs or fruit to your liking to this basic recipe. One of the ideal fruits to match to this recipe is chopped cherry tomatoes and bananas. If you prefer a heavier portion, top it with bacon slices or chopped ham of your choice.

    Added slices of banana for extra carbo Smile


    Time to take a bite!


    My reward after a long run this morning! Yum!

    Egg and Cheese Breakfast Wrap




    1 pcs Tortilla wraps ( any flavor)

    1 pc of cheddar cheese – tear into strips

    Optional : Chopped cherry tomatoes, banana ( slices) , chopped herbs to your liking


    Scrambled egg

    1 egg

    1-2 tbsp. milk

    Pinch of salt

    1 tbsp. Olive oil





    1.    Beat the egg in a small bowl, add in 1-2 tbsp. of milk to have soft curbs scramble egg texture.

    2.    Heat up a pan with 1 tbsp. of Olive oil, pour in egg mixture reduce heat add in pinch of salt and when the egg start to set use a spatula gently stir and turn the egg until form a slight firm curbs dish out and set aside. Don’t stir fry too long else the egg might be too dry.

    3.    Place a piece of tortilla on the pan to brown, place the shredded cheese on top and add in the scramble egg and optional chopped fruit or herbs to garnish

    4.    Fold into half and dish up to serve.







    3. 成份:

    4.  1个玉米饼包裹(任何口味)

    5.  1奶酪 - 撕成条状

    6.  可选:切碎的西红柿,切片香蕉,切碎的蔬菜(根据自己的喜好)


    8. 炒鸡蛋

    9.  鸡蛋1





    1.  在一个小碗里打入1粒鸡蛋,加入1-2汤匙牛奶炒鸡蛋有松软的质感

    2.      烧热平底锅用1汤匙橄榄油,油热倒入蛋液,盐少许,先不要炒动鸡蛋。要待蛋液靠锅底处开始变固态,才可开始搅动。轻轻搅拌,然后时间不要太长,炒的太老没有松软的质感盛起待用

    3.  在平底锅放一块玉米饼烤热并加乳酪丝于上面,加入了炒鸡蛋和可选切碎的水果或配菜。

    4.    折一半,盛起食用。



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