Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Pumpkin Ang Ku Kuih - 金瓜红龟粿

Hello, I am back after an absence of (checks my last post) 3 years!?

So I have been baking and cooking everyday for my family, but have just been too lazy to blog. Today I would like to share my humble recipe for pumpkin ang ku kueh. It is an alternative version as compared to my other recipe here.

Ingredients for filling: (Mixed together)

100g  toasted and ground peanut (available at supermarket)
20g fine sugar
Sesame seeds to liking
3 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

For the skin dough:

120g pumpkin (without skin and discard the seed)
100 - 120g glutinous rice flour (depends on the water content of the pumpkin; add glutinous rice flour if too wet)
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
15ml or more water, depends on the wetness of the dough


1)  Cut pumpkin into pieces, steam and mash whilst hot.

2)  Combine flour and sugar with number 1 above. Knead and slowly add in water (if needed) bit by bit. Knead and add oil till form a smooth and pliable dough. If dough is too wet, add more glutinous rice flour.

3)  Scale dough into 20g pcs and roll into balls. Flatten and wrap in 13g filling. Seal and roll into balls. Use a scalpel or equivalent to "carve" out the pumpkin cheeks. Lastly, roll a small piece of pandan leaf and insert at the top as the pumpkin stem. Place on greased banana leave.

4)  Steam over medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes until cooked. Lightly brush with oil. Serve.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cotton Soft Chocolate Sponge Cake

Inspired by this recipe, I followed and made this cotton soft chocolate sponge cake today.  I topped with chocolate chips. The cake turned out nice and soft, fluffy, and taste so good too., you can see how much my ambassador enjoyed it!!! =D

2 thumbs up!

~80 g cake flour
~20 g unsweetened cocoa powder
~50 sugar
~40 g sun flower seed oil
~50 g milk
1/2  tsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt
66 g egg yolk (about 4 large eggs)

130 g egg white (about 4 large eggs)
50 g sugar
1 tsp lemon juice (I used 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar)

1) Preheat oven to 150 deg C. Line a 18 cm square x 7 cm height  baking pan with parchment paper.

2) Sift flour and cocoa powder together. Add egg yolks, sugar, oil, milk, salt and vanilla essence  into the flour and mix well till smooth with a hand whisk.

3) In a separate big mixing bowl, whisk egg white with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and sugar with an electric mixer until firm peak form (not dry).

4) Gently fold 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk batter, mix well.  Then pour mixture back into  (3) mix well with a rubber spatula.

5) Pour batter into cake pan,  Tap the pan on a surface for a few times to get rid of big bubbles. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

6) Steam bake the cake on the lower rack in a preheated oven for 65 - 75 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in cake comes out clean.

7) Tap the pan on the surface for 2 to 3 times while hot, remove cake from the pan, leave it cool on the rack completely.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hakka "Ai Cao" dumpling 客家艾草粿

If you are of Hakka descent, or one of your parents is, you may have seen this kuih before. The Chinese name for this plant is called AiCao or Aicai 艾草或艾菜). Its English name is Mugwort or Wormwood. Here I will not talk much about the benefits; you can google for more information.

Its slightly bitter in taste and has very strong herb aroma. Due to its unique taste, it is usually not very commonly accepted by people, especially the younger generation.

I hardly see people selling this kuih in the shop or market, let even the fresh aicao. Today I got the courage to make this because I wish to record this dish for my children. Come the day in the future when I am gone, if not for this blog post, nobody will remember what is "aicao ban"(艾草粄).

Note: 'ban' (粄) means kuih (dumpling) in Hakka.


Filling Ingredients:

500 g turnip 
5 g black fungus (soaked, cut into trips)
15 g dried shrimps (soaked, drained and diced)
1 shallot (chopped)
1 pip garlic (chopped)
80 g minced pork
1 pc  Chinese leek (washed and cut into 1/2 cm length)

(B) Seasoning:
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sugar

1)Skin off turnip, cut into thin strips or shredded
2)  Heat 2 tablespoon of oil  in a wok, saute dried shrimps for few minutes, then add shallots, garlic stir fry  till fragrant.  Add in  minced pork,  cook till the meat is cooked. Then add turnip, fungus and seasoning cook for a while. Add in seasoning (adapt and adjust to your taste bud) and leek, fry well. Dish up and leave to cool for later use.

Skin dough: (yields 20 pcs of dough 25 g each)
50 g fresh ai cao (mugwort) 
50 g rice flour
200 g glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp fine sugar

1) Pick only the young mugwort leaves , discard the old leaves and stems to get 50 g。Wash.

2) Bring to boil with  water just enough to cover. Boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. Use a food processor to blend, drained and get the residue. Do not throw away the water. 

3) Combine glutinous rice flour, rice flour, sugar and the mugwort residue and water to mix well till a pliable dough is formed. I forgot to weigh the water but do not worry. Gradually add water while you are mixing the dough till you get a pliable dough (not too wet).

4) Weigh the dough and take 10 % of the dough.  Take the 10%  small dough divide into 2 or 3 portions.Roll round and flatten, boil the dough in the water (boiled mugwort water from step 2), till it floats on the surface - this is your cooked dough.  Take out and tear into  pieces, add into the dough and knead till a smooth dough. Do not forget to add oil now and knead further for few minutes till you get a smooth and pliable dough. Cover and rest for 10 minutes.

(Adding in the cooked dough helps in your handling during wrapping of the dumpling. )

5) Scale dough into 25 g each. Roll into balls and use your palm or a rolling pin to flatten the dough like a round disc. Put a tablespoon of filling at the center, close the opening and seal properly. You may make into a dumpling shape (饺子jiaozi).

6) Place them on a greased tray (if you do not have banana leaf), steam over high heat for 15 minutes.

Note: If the dough is too wet add more flour. 


Ingredients for the filling, minced meat is not shown in the picture. Bean curd is optional.
Boil mugwort for 10 to 15 minutes. Blend and strain to get the residue
cooked dough
Add cooked dough in the uncooked dough. Knead the dough  till smooth and pliable
Wrap up with filling, ready to steam
Before (background) and after steaming (foreground)
If you prefer, or you have leftover fillings, you can also make plain skin hakka dumplings without the aicao.  :)

Made plain skin Hakka dumpling with the balance filling.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Luo Han Guo dessert -罗汉果糖水

Dear readers, I have been very busy taking care of my grand-daughter, so please pardon my lack of updates! But thank you for coming back to check on me. I am very fine. In fact, during this period, I have been cooking daily and experimenting with new dishes.

Today I finally found the time and mood to take photos of what I prepared. This is Luo Han Guo with Winter Melon sweet soup. Luo Han Guo, otherwise known as  Momordica Grosvenon Fruit, can be found at most Chinese traditional medicine shop / supermarkets. Its benefits include relieving cough and reducing phlegm by moistening the lungs.



600 g winter melon (discard seeds, peel skin, shredded)
1 luo han gou (wash and cut into half or crack it)
80 g dried longans
5 pieces of Chinese slab brown sugar or 350 g rock sugar
3000 ml water
3 pcs pandan leaves (optional)


1) Put all the ingredients, except sugar, in a big pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn to low heat, cover, continue to cook for 40 minutes or so.

2) Add in sugar and continue to cook for further 20 minutes.

3) Serve hot or cold.

Slab brown sugar

Do note that if you follow the recipe as above, the dessert will turn out sweet. Feel free to add or reduce ingredients / water to suit your liking.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Purple sweet potato ondeh-ondeh

This is a really long overdue post. I was just too busy to upload this post.. Today I finally forced myself to have it done before the end of 2016. Thanks to the school holidays, my daughter helped to take videos of some of the preparation process.


250 g purple sweet potato, without skin (steamed and mashed)
150 g glutinous rice flour

1/2 white grated coconut (I bought S$1 from market and is more than enough for this recipe).
A pinch of salt

3/4 bowl about 250 g of chopped pure gula melaka or palm sugar 


1) Steam the white grated coconut with salt for 5 - 7 minutes (toss before you steam). I find that by steaming it together with pandan leaves, the coconut comes out more fragrant.

2) In a large mixing bowl, place glutinous rice flour and purple sweet potato. Knead well till it forms smooth pliable dough. (If the dough is too dry, add a little water; or if it is too wet, add a little flour).

3) Pinch a small amount of dough (about the size of a calamansi lime) and roll it in your palm to form a smooth ball.  Make a small well in the centre of the dough and fill it with chopped palm sugar. Pinch dough to seal, roll into ball again. I strongly suggest to make only 5 or 6 balls at a time and boil them (refer to step 4) as soon as possible because if  you leave the balls stand too long, the dough will crack and the gula melaka will start to leak.

4) In a pot of boiling water, drop the balls in and and when the balls float, remove them with a slotted spoon and allow the excess water to drip off.

5) Drop the balls onto the grated coconut and gently coat them evenly, then transfer to a plate . Serve along with a cup of hot tea or coffee. Enjoy.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mexican Coffee Buns (Roti Boy/ Paparoti Bun)

The buns from Roti boy or Paparoti used to be my favourite. Does anyone remember when the chains in Singapore closed? Are there any outlets remaining? I do know that they are still available in Johore Bahru and other states in Malaysia.

I went to search for similar recipes on Google. I finally selected a recipe from Bake Cook and Create. I like that the bread texture is soft and fluffy and the topping is fragrant. However, I made very minor changes from the original recipe. My family gave the buns thumbs up.

makes 9 buns

Ingredients for the dough:
190 g bread flour
45 g fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 g instant dry yeast
12 g milk powder
1/2 teaspoon  bread improver (I did not use)
165 ml warm water ( do not pour all the water at a time it has to depend on the size of the egg)
35 g softened butter (room temperature)
1 small egg- lightly beaten

Ingredients for the topping:
100 g softened butter
90 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence ( i did not use)
2 small eggs
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (I used Nescafe Gold Blend)
2 tablespoon warm water
100 g cake flour (I used plain flour)- sifted
(A little milk to adjust consistency if required)

Ingredients for the filling:
100 g good quality salted butter cut into 9 cube pieces
After cutting freeze the cubes


Dough making:
1) Place all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. With the dough hook attachment, whisk slowly to mix the ingredients together, add in egg and water (remember to reserve 30 ml), continue to mix and beat all the ingredients  to form a rough ball (at this stage if the dough is dry, add water to beat). Then add in softened butter, continue to beat dough till smooth and elastic. Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place at a warm place and let it rest till it doubles in size (about 50-60 minutes).

2)  When the dough has doubled in size, punch down dough to release gas. Divide dough into 10 equal portions. Roll them into balls, Take one of the dough divide into 9 even small balls. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 5 - 10 minutes.

3) Lightly flatten the small ball of dough and wrap the frozen cubed butter. Then flatten the big dough.  Place the wrapped butter on the main dough. Pleat and seal the edges and roll into balls. Cover  with plastic wrap and to rest in a warm place to proof to about 1,1/2 times in size (about 50-60 minutes.

4) Pipe topping on buns in spiral motion. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 15 minutes or till golden brown.

Method for the topping:
1) Dissolve instant coffee powder with 2 tbsp warm water.
2) Beat butter for a minute or so, add in sugar continue to beat till pale and creamy, then add in egg  one at a time. Pour in the coffee mixture, beat for a while.  Then add in the flour in 2 batches. Beat the mixture till smooth and lumps free.
3) Fill piping bag with topping and set in the fridge for later use.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Nonya Style Steamed Fish

This recipe has been with me since 2001. Only till today I have the chance to cook it. Quite similar in taste to Thai steamed fish in that it is spicy and sour, however the colours vary. The primary flavour of this dish comes from the distinctive fragrance of  wild ginger bud . Plus tangy lime juice and finely chopped chilli - soon you will find you'll need another bowl of rice.

Side tip - finding it tedious to finely chop chilli, garlic or ginger? Recently I found an excellent lifesaver. I bought this mini cutter for just $5.90 at Isetan. When I usually needed 5 mins or so to chop up all the ingredients with a knife, the mini cutter does the same job in 15 seconds. It's really useful and easy to take apart and wash under running water!

Recipe: adapted from "Home Dining " June  2001 with minor changes

1 fish about 600 g or a fish head

Spring onions and coriander leaves for garnishing.

 Chopped finely
~ 1 stalk wild ginger bud (bunga kantan)
~ 2 stalks lemon grass
~ 10 chilli padi
~ 4 red chlli
~ 50 g ginger
~ 3 pips garlic

(C): Sauce:
~ 1 teaspoon salt
~  2 tablespoon fine sugar
~ 5 tablespoon fresh lime juice
~ 1 tablespoon ikan bilis powder
~  3 tablespoon assam juice  (about  1/2 tablespoon assam paste add water)
~ 2 tablespoon cooking oil
~ 1 teaspoon sesame oil
~ 2 tablespoon corn flour

1)  Combine ingredients (B) and (C) mix well. Place fish on a steaming plate, pour the mixture on top.
2)  Steam over high heat for about 15 minutes and till done. Sprinkle spring onions and coriander leaves on top. Serve.

This sauce is very versatile. It can be used to cook any other seafood or meat dishes.