Monday, May 22, 2006


500g assorted mushrooms – oyster, Portobello, shiitake, button
1 packet/200g cherry tomatoes
25g parmesan shavings (just buy a small chunk of parmesan)
500g rocket (it’s a kind of veg)


1 chicken
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
fresh herbs – basil, parsely, marjoram


500g Prawns
1 Packet of Linguine
chilli, garlic, olive oil, basil, pesto (I have)


750g whipped cream (I think they come in 250g packs, so buy 3)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

back from hiatus

i haven't been here for awhile. for a few months in fact. well, now that my brother has procured for himself a 6.0 megapixel sony cybershot camera i feel more motivated to actually post here because the photos look a whole lot better. so for today, i leave you with

Banana Cupcake With Cream Cheese Icing

my mom and i are trying to start up a little cupcake biznesssss and i experimented a little today. i think it might actually look better with banana slices, the heart
sprinkles are a little too busy. we did a little valentines day stint (unfortunately i have no photos of those, but we had 8 orders, to say the least) and people wanted more so it's time to come up with new designs and flavours. this recipe is a combination of two and unfortunately i cannot post it here, because, well, this is biznesss we're talking about. i'll be back soon, i hope.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Malteser Birthday Cake for Celene

I made this cake in August, but have been too held up by exams to post. So here I am.

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe. The icing was a bit funny though, it was more like treacle the way I did it - I used a food processor just as she advised. When I tried this recipe again, the icing turned out like it should (buttercream) and I didn't use a food processor this time. I think it would be fine to use a food processor, I haven't much experience with them and so that might explain the treacle effect. It still tasted good though, for all the malt-lovers out there.

Also, when making the horlicks mixture, make sure it's completely dissolved and even so that there won't be lumps in the batter - I didn't do that the first time round and learnt to when I tried the recipe again.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Chocolate Pavlova

I had an enormous craving to bake this week, and so decided to make a pavlova. I've always wanted to try making one of those even though I've never been big on the whole meringue thing - the melt-in-your-mouth texture just fascinates me. Personally, I like my food more solid, but I never bake with the purpose of satisfying my taste buds anyway. I bake simply to fulfil my craving to bake and then I just give all the stuff away [I never really eat what I bake].

Okay, enough with all the rambling. I used Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova recipe, except I didn't have raspberries and Singapore doesn't bring in nice raspberries anyway, so I used almond flakes instead.

Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova (with alterations for my own convenience)

For Pavlova:

300g Castor Sugar
6 Egg Whites
2 TBSP Cocoa Powder
600g Best Dark Chocolate finely chopped

For Topping (obviously changed):
As Many Almond Flakes as You Like
Grated Best Dark Chocolate
600g Pure Cream [whipped]

Preheat oven to 180C
I use VALRHONA chocolate. It can be bought from Sun Lik - S$23.50 for 1kg. It's the best dark chocolate you can find - but it really depends on what you like. I'm a dark chocolate person, and if you're not, you're better off substituting it with more cocoa powder. So, simply chop it up - and as you can see I've not done a good job of it, but what do you know, I ended up with a nice piece of 600g [the original recipe calls for 500g] so I used it.

On to the Pavlova. Basically this works like a meringue, beat the egg whites till it becomes all fluffy and nice. And then add the sugar and beat some more until it becomes shiny and stiff.

Then, add the finely chopped chocolate and cocoa powder to it. I admit I got a little perfectionist about chopping up the chocolate, and frankly it doesn't have to be so powdery because people have teeth.

So I added that lot in, and I got a nice chocolatey colour. I just love how meringues look. Imagine, just from egg whites we get wonderful cloud-like things.

After it's all nice and mixed up, you just pour it onto the baking sheet into a circular shape. It should be all gloppy and creamy, like giant pancake batter.

Shove it into the oven and immediately turn down the temp from 180C to 150C. This does something to it, I think - makes it crispy on the outside while making sure the inside stays gooey and marshmellow-like. Leave it to bake for 1hr-1hr 15 mins. Mine was done within an hour. And then you'll get this poufy cracked thing which will flatten upon cooling.

When completely cooled, whip the cream and spread it on top of the pavlova. Then sprinkle the almond flakes over it and finally, if you like, grate the dark chocolate on top of it. Voila! It's done. Looks like a giant chocolate pizza. Funny. I cut a slice for my brother just to see how the inside looked before serving it to the churchies - it's all nice and sticky chewy chocolate texture inside with a light meringue crust. In my opinion, the photos really don't do it justice and I think I really do need to upgrade my camera from a 2meg to at least a 4meg, no?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

just for the heck of it, decided to post a picture of one of my favourite comfort foods i don't get often anymore. SCGS MEEPOK. meepok, gan de, bu yao la jiao, jia rou. with that blob of wonderful chili the uncle made personally. i have to go back some time.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Gothic Muffins

I actually created these for my school drama society since drama tends to have a preoccupation with the colour black. It turns out that the icing leaves a bluish-black stain on teeth and lips and tongue [temporarily, not to worry!] because I added in quite a lot of food colouring. Only after I got a few comments about them being 'gothic muffins' did I realize this would be a good treat for halloween [which is coming up in about three months time!]. Kids enjoy this - watching their mouths turn black - whether parents will is a totally different matter.

The muffins are my very own recipe, based on rough experimentation one night - and i hit it right it seems, after testing it out on classmates at school. The icing, however, is Nigella Lawson's Buttercream Icing and the recipe can be found in How To Be A Domestic Goddess.


23/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup Hershey's Cocoa powder [you can vary the amount]
2 cups Hershey's chocolate chips [again, you can vary it to your preferrence]

Simply whisk the flour, sugars, baking powder and soda, salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, blend all the wet ingredients till they've incorporated well. Then, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Bit by bit, folding it in gently. You can use the electric beater but I prefer to do it by hand because overbeating the muffins can make them 'tough'. Add the chocolate chips, all the while folding in the dry ingredients. Once it's well combined, it should look like this.

The actual colour is a much darker and richer chocolate but my camera was malfunctioning that night and that's why it looks orangey. Anyway, the more cocoa powder you add, the darker it gets.

Scoop the batter into 12-cup muffin tins, each cup lined with a cupcake holder [in my case, mine were black]. Don't worry if the batter is extremely gloopy - the runnier it is, the less tough it will be. Which is a good thing. It's up to you how much you want to scoop, because these muffins rise up a lot it's up to you how big you like them. I like them huge, but seeing as I had to add icing, I was less generous. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 180C

Then I made the icing with nigella's recipe. It's very simple, and if you're not particular about how your icing is going to taste, you can probably just experiment on your own - icing sugar is a must of course. personally I've never cared much for icing. I don't like my food all prettied up and far too sweet. The food colouring i used was COAL BLACK colouring. It wasn't completely black and that's why I just kept adding more and more. Be wary though, these things contain lots of food additives and if you're giving these away make sure that person doesn't have food allergies - but the whole drama society survived so my guess is that it's quite safe.

WARNING! it's an awfully messy business working with black food dye and i was left with black nails and fingertips for a week.

Okay, back to the muffins. So after they were baked, this was how they were. I then had to get down to the tedious and messy task of icing them. I intended to pipe words at first, but it was troublesome so I decided to just cover the lot. It's much easier to ice flat-topped cupcakes but I have a personal weakness for muffins and that's why I chose to do this with muffins. Particularly good muffin recipes can be found from Mrs. Fields cookbooks.

This recipe makes about 18, but then again it all depends on how you size your muffins, and you can always play around with the ratio of the measurements. So there you have it, Gothic Muffins.

girl's night in

on the last day of our commontest2, two of my girlfriends and i decided to cook ourselves a dinner using nigella lawson and jamie oliver recipes. bea did the molten babycakes by nigella lawson and i did the meatballs by jamie oliver.


first, the dubious task of thawing the meat - it was kept in the freezer for about a week so beat chopped it up into hunks to speed up the thawing process. this is organic minced beef, but any other kind of minced meat would be fine depending on your preferrence.

finally when it was thawed, i put it into a big bowl to work with and season. unfortunately didn't take photos of the seasoning but i had to add bread crumbs, rosemary, basil - plenty of herbs. check out jamie olivers The Naked Chef cookbook for more details. i know these pictures look just gruesome. partly because my photography skills aren't that great and also, it's hard to make raw food look appetizing with a 2.0 meg can leave this to sit in the fridge for a few hours or you can work with it straight.

i let it sit so i could make the tomato sauce. i used jamie's recipe and it's pretty simple but there's chockloads of garlic in it - perhaps a little too much for me. i used ready canned tomatoes but if you're extra diligent you could squash your own.

okay here's the fun part. making the meatballs! if you like them perfectly round, keep your hands wet as you roll. if you don't mind them being a little bumpy [like me] then just work with what you have.

then fry them in a pan of olive oil [as much or little as you like] and quickly transfer them to your casserole dish. you don't want them to be cooked all the way through because you're baking them again after. you just want a nice brown. i admit mine are slightly overcooked.

pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and sprinkle grated parmesan cheese among the meatballs. finally, put large slabs of mozarella on top and basil. the fresh leaves are best but i had to make do with the dried kind. you should be able to get these at any supermarket. all ready to bake!

i baked it for about 20 minutes at 180C - i think. when it's done, poke around a bit to check if the meatballs are cooked. it gives you an excuse to eat it first. SO, this is how it turned out. we ate it with some boiled packet pasta upon bea's adamant requests and i also bought two long baguettes to make meatball sandwiches with. and i suppose if you're like my brothers and can't live without your rice, you can have it with rice.


i actually tried this recipe out three years back and failed because i left the cakes in the oven for too long but bea did it this time and it turned out just perfectly. the recipe is taken from How To Be a Domestic Goddess.

bea used my rubber heartshaped moulds so the cakes could be squeezed out quickly. i can't tell you much about the process because we were working simultaneously [she did the batter while i cooked, and we baked it after we had the meatballs] but this is how the batter was

and this is how it was after it was baked for less than 10 minutes and served up with ben and jerry's vanilla ice cream.


mel's makan sutra.

after staring longingly at countless foodblogs, i've decided to start my own. i'll have to learn how to spruce it up, being a rather tech dummy and all, but i think for now this will do. as i'm having exams soon for a good three months to come, i won't have much time to maintain it. but once december rolls around, be sure that this place will be hopping mad!