Sunday, 28 June 2015

Neopolitan Mochi Cake

My daughter loves eating Japanese mochi balls. There's just something about this gooey, soft and chewy dessert that is such a pleasure to eat. Today instead of making them into small balls, I have decided to make a baked version. Though still chewy like mochi, this cake has a slightly more dense texture. 

The neopolitan colours give it an attractive outlook and with three flavours (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) in a slice, it's certainly a delightful dessert indeed.

Neopolitan Mochi Cake
(makes one 6" cake)
recipe adapted from Thirsty For Tea

225g glutinous rice flour
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 Tbsp strawberry syrup/powder


1) Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 6" round pan.

2) Using a hand whisk, mix together glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, water, sugar, vanilla and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix until well combined and batter is smooth.

3) Using a weighing scale, weigh and divide the mixed batter evenly into 3 portions and place them in 3 separate small bowls.

4) Add sifted cocoa powder into one of the bowls and blend well. Pour this cocoa batter into the greased pan and gently shake to even out. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 10 mins until lightly set. To test this, you should be able to touch the center without any batter sticking onto your finger. The edges of the cake will also have slightly pull away from the pan.


5) Pour the plain vanilla portion on top of the set cocoa layer and lightly shake to even out. Again cover loosely with foil and bake for another 20 mins until lightly set.

6) When the vanilla layer has set (use finger touch test), make the strawberry batter. Add 1 Tbsp of strawberry syrup (I use Nesquik strawberry flavour powder) to the last portion of batter and mix well. 

7) Pour over the vanilla layer and gently shake to even out. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 35-40 mins until fully set. The cake will appear slightly puffed up and pulled away from the sides of the pan.

8) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, loosen the cake by sliding a plastic knife along the sides of the pan. Tilt the pan over and gently ease the cake out onto a plate. Use a plastic knife to cut the cake into smaller slices.

9) This mochi cake is best eaten fresh but will keep for a couple of days wrapped in cling wrap. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Paris Brest with Coffee Cream

When I first saw this French pastry dessert in a pastry cookbook I bought, I knew straightaway that I wanted to try my hand at making it. The picture in the book looked so tempting and inviting, I wanted to taste it right away.

This delicious pastry was created by a French pastry chef to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race and it was made in the shape of a ring to represent a wheel.

The key to making this choux pastry is to get the right consistency of the mixture. The original recipe actually called for a praline flavoured cream but being a coffee lover, I decided to make coffee cream icing instead to go in it. It gives a beautiful aroma and flavour to the pastry and matches perfectly with the crisp almond flakes.

Paris Brest


Choux Pastry
1/2 tsp salt
1  1/2 tsp castor sugar
125g plain flour, sifted
150ml water
60g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
3 large eggs, lightly whisked

25g almond flakes

Coffee Cream
300ml heavy cream or thickened cream
4-5 Tbsp icing sugar (or adjust according to your sweetness preference) 
1 Tbsp coffee powder
1 tsp boiling water

extra icing sugar for dusting


1) Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper, draw 8.5cm diameter circles (leaving 3.5cm space apart each circles)  and then turn the paper upside down. 

2) Combine the salt, sugar and flour in a bowl and set aside.

3) Put the water and butter in a medium saucepan and bring slowly to the boil (the butter should melt before it comes to the boil).

4) Working quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat, add the flour mixture all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to combine.

5) Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring vigorously, for about 1 min or until the mixture forms a smooth, thick mass that comes away from the side of the pan. (Do not overbeat the mixture or the pastry will not rise properly). Set the mixture aside for 5 mins or until cooled slightly.

Stir vigorously until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan

6) Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or you can beat by hand with a wooden spoon). Gradually add in the beaten egg as you beat the mixture constantly, ensuring it's mixed in well before adding more.

7) Continue beating in the egg until the mixture is glossy and falls heavily from the beaters. The mixture should fold in on itself when cut through with a spatula. You may not need to add in all of the egg once you have the right consistency (you don't want your mixture to be too watery).

This is the consistency to achieve

8) Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle. Pipe the dough onto the baking paper, following the circle. Pipe another circle of dough around the inside, leaving a tiny gap to allow spreading. Pipe a third circle over the gap between the 2 rings, then use your fingers (moisten with a bit of water) to very lightly smooth the surface slightly.


9) Scatter the almond flakes over the pastry, then bake for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden and puffed., Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

10) To make coffee cream, dilute coffee powder with the boiling water. Beat the heavy cream and icing sugar until thick. Add in the diluted coffee and continue to beat till stiffTake care not to overbeat.

11) Use a sharp serrated knife to slice the Paris Brest in half horizontally. Spoon the coffee cream in a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe the filling onto the base. Top with the pastry ring. Repeat with the rest of the pastries and dust icing sugar over them.

12) Serve and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Fruity Print Cakes

These lovely cakes are just too pretty to eat, don't you agree? Looks like petite sandwiches too. They make a nice treat for a teatime with some special guests. 


Fruity Print Cakes 
(makes 12)


Swiss roll sponge
5 egg yolks (medium)
50g corn oil
50g milk
20g caster sugar
85g cake flour

5 egg white (medium)
1/4 tsp lemon juice, optional
50g caster sugar

red, green and black food colouring

Whipped Cream Filling
120g dairy whipping cream/thickened cream
20g icing sugar
(Whip cream until thick.  Add in sugar and whisk until stiff. Do not overbeat. Chill before used)

To prepare pattern on parchment paper

1) Line a rectangle swiss roll pan with parchment paper.

2) Remove the parchment paper and turn it around so that the bottom is facing upwards.

3) Using a pencil, draw a vertical line across the centre of the paper. On one side of the division, divide the area into twelve squares or rectangles by drawing lines. In each of the squares or rectangles, draw an outline of a fruit.

4) Now return the paper back to the pan with the pencil drawing facing the pan. You should still be able to see the outline of your drawing.

To prepare the batter

1) Lightly whisk egg yolk with sugar.

2) Add in corn oil and stir to combine. 
Add in milk and combine well.

3) Fold in the cake flour and mix well. Set aside.

4) Add lemon juice (if using) into egg white and beat till foamy. 
Gradually add in sugar and beat till stiff peaks.

5) Take 1/3 portion of egg white mixture and use hand whisk to mix with egg yolk mixture till

6) Fold the balance of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture and combine well.

7) Scoop 2 tablespoon of the batter into a small bowl and add 1-2 drops of red food colouring. Blend to make a pinkish red mixture. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a small round nozzle tip. Pipe on to the baking paper according to the drawing outline. You can use a toothpick or small pointy spoon to push the mixture along the outline.

8) With a tablespoon of batter, do the same as above to mix in 1 drop of green colouring and pipe out the outline of the fruit leaves.

9) Bake in preheated oven at 160C for 1 minute.

10) Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the rest of the batter to cover the fruity parts and carefully level the surface.

11) Continue to bake for another 25 minutes.

To assemble cake

1) Once out of the oven, carefully turn the baked sponge cake onto a piece of parchment paper.

2) Slowly peel off the attached parchment paper from the cake to reveal the fruits pattern.

3) Using a toothpick, dip into black food colouring (or you can dilute some cocoa powder with a drop of hot water) and paint the stalks and dot on the strawberries to resemble the seeds. 

4) Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the cake in half across the center line. 

5) Spread an even layer of whipped cream filling on top of the cake without the prints. Lay the other printed cake over it.

6) Trim off the sides of the 2-layer cake to make it neater. Cut the cake into 12 slices according to the fruit prints.

7) Enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Puff Pastry)

For a quick and easy afternoon tea treat, the following recipe will help you come up with something sweet and impressive in no time. No sweat!

Pain au Chocolat
(makes 12)


1 sheet of frozen ready-rolled puff pastry
1 semi-sweet chocolate bar (preferably those that comes in thin slices like
        Hershey's Special Dark), broken into 12 rectangular pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp sea salt


1) Preheat oven to 220C.

2) Line a baking tray with baking paper.

3) Lay out the puff pastry sheet on your work station.  Divide and cut the puff pastry into 12 rectangular pieces.

4) Brush the top of pastry lightly with the beaten egg. Place a piece of chocolate in the center of the each rectangular pastry strip and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the chocolate. 

5) Fold one end over the chocolate and then fold over the other end. Press the seam to seal with a fork. 

6) Place the chocolate pastry rolls seam side down on the baking tray and brush the tops and sides with beaten egg.

7) Bake for about 15 mins or until puffed and golden. Leave to cool on wire rack.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Mince Pork Curry

This is one of my favourite mom's dishes. It's a simple mince curry dish but yet so delicious. It's the kind of food that you would be happy to top over a bowl of rice and tuck into on a sofa in front of the TV. The ultimate comfort food dinner!

And I always look forward to the leftovers for next morning's breakfast to go with some bread ..... Yum!

Mince Pork Curry

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
80ml coconut milk
500g mince pork
1/2 stick carrot, chopped into small cubes
80g frozen peas
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp plain flour


1) Place the chopped carrots in a pot of water and boil them till cooked. Drain and set aside.

2) Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and fry for 2 minutes until fragrant.

3) Add in the curry powder, chilli powder and coconut milk and continue to fry for a minute.

4) Add the pork mince and fry till the meat is browned. 

5) Add in the carrot and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

6) Pour in the water and bring to the boil (you may add more water if you prefer more gravy).

7) Dilute the plain flour with 1 Tbsp of water and add to the saucepan to thicken the sauce.

8) Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add in the peas and stir through.

9) Remove from heat and serve.

Serve over a bowl of rice

Friday, 5 June 2015

Coffee Walnut Slice

Coming from a family of coffee lovers, this is definitely a teatime treat we like to enjoy together. The lovely coffee aroma of the cake is enough to lift up any day!

Coffee Walnut Slice


Cake Sponge
5 egg yolks (medium)
50g corn oil
50g milk
20g caster sugar
85g cake flour

1 Tbsp instant coffee powder
1 tsp boiling water
5 egg whites (medium)
50g caster sugar

Whipped Cream Filling
250ml dairy whipping cream/thickened cream
3-4 Tbsp icing sugar

For Decorations
8 toasted walnuts. finely chopped 
1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
25g dark chocolate, melted


1) Line a 10 x 13 inch rectangle swiss roll pan with baking paper. Preheat oven to 160C.

2) Using a handwhisk, lightly whisk the egg yolks with sugar (20g).

3) Add in corn oil and stir to combine. Add in milk and mix well together.

4) Dilute the coffee powder with a tsp of boiling water (add a bit more water if needed but not too much). Add to the cake mixture and mix well.

5) Fold in cake flour until well combine. Set aside.

6) Beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add in sugar and beat till stiff peak and glossy.

7) Take 1/3 portion of the egg white mixture and mix into the egg yolk mixture with a handwhisk till light. With a spatula, fold in the rest of the egg white mixture until completely combine.

8) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and level the top evenly with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

9) Remove cake from the oven and carefully turn over onto a wire rack.  Slowly peel off the baking paper from the cake. Carefully flip the cake back over so that the top of the cake is facing upwards. Let it cool completely.

10) Meanwhile prepare the cream icing. With an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream with icing sugar until light and creamy.

11) Once the cake has cooled, cut it in half so that you will have two smaller equal-sized rectangular cakes. 

12) Spread a layer of icing on one of the cakes and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts. Place the other cake over it.

13) Fill the rest of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe out straight lines diagonally over the top layer of the cake. Sift cocoa powder over the icing top.

14) With a sharp knife, cut the cake into small rectangle slices. Decorate each slices with chocolate flowers.

To make chocolate flowers

1) Melt the dark chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler.

2) Place the melted chocolate in a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle.

3) Pipe out flower patterns on a piece of baking paper. Place it in the fridge to harden.

4) Once harden, peel off the flowers gently from the baking paper.