My Half-Day Thermomix Experience

Posted: November 21, 2015 in Personal
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Before Saturday, 24th October, I have not heard of Vorwerk. Since then, Vorwerk is a name to be reckoned with. Vorwerk‘s main business is the direct distribution of various products, of which the Thermomix is one of them.

Now, what IS Thermomix?

I was curious so I said ‘yes’ to a Thermomix demo, which, on schedule, indicated 3 hours plus 100 km drive from origin to destination and back. Was it worth it? Let’s find out …

Saturday, 24th October

There were 2 places left and hubby and I filled in the gap just in time. By the way, the invitation was not circulated to any Tom, Dick or Harry. It was a special invitation for a very small and private group of audience. It was a lovely day that day, and driving 50 km was not too bad. We were told the demo would start at 13:30CET. We reached the location just in time when another couple had also just arrived. We got to know one another briefly before the kick-off of the demo by the Thermomix Advisor.

The kitchen was nicely set up with the proper utensils neatly laid out on the table. The idea was to create a comfortable ambience.


The star of the day was a little “robot” believed to be the latest re-invention of SIMPLICITY in the kitchen, the 4th generation of the Thermomix, manufactured in a Vorwerk plant in France, and headquartered in Wuppertal, Germany. Yes, it’s a very European invention.

And here, we see the evolution of the Thermomix from 1961 to-date.


And by the way, the name of this ‘robot’ is TM5, the lastest re-invention and the reason why we were present at the demo.
Honestly speaking, I was starting to get hungry as it was almost 2pm! I could hear my tummy rumbling. LOL!

Luckily, there were already foods prepared before we arrived. The TM5 Advisor made all these in her magic mixer ~ ciabatta, wholemeal bread, tuna walnut spread, candied ginger cheese spread and chia seed crackers. They were absolutely delicious!


The TM5 Advisor then prepared a 3-course meal à la minute in the world’s smallest and smartest kitchen, the most advanced touch-screen Thermomix.

This fresh pea mint soup was ready  in 25 minutes.


The main course Pasta all’arrabbiata was plated up within half an hour!


For dessert, we had frozen fruit sorbet, whipped up in the TM5 in less than 3 minutes! Seeing is believing! 

The TM5 Advisor also baked 2 cakes! A chiffon cake made with pulverised fresh pandan  juice and gluten-free Brownie with chestnut purée. She also made refreshing lemonade from fresh lemon and orange in 1 minute!

All these were conjured right before our eyes! We were dumbstrucked…


The demo could have gone a lot faster if the other couple could understand English. Unfortunately, the wife spoke Italian and understood very little English. Her husband had to translate every single sentence for her. Afterall, if she was a potential buyer, she would be the one who would be using the product, not her husband. He confessed of being futile in the kitchen and did not mind translating every single word patiently for his wife. From a supposedly 3-hour demo, we ended up staying for 5 hours!

Not that we were complaining. On the contrary. We were stuffed to the brim! *grin*

What’s with the demo?

Well, there’s always a catch, right. If the ‘fisher’ used the right net, (s)he will enjoy a big catch. Did the ‘fisher’ manage to catch me in her net? Well, THAT is the question?

A bigger audience that day would probably go there just for the food, but would a smaller audience like us that day make any difference?

Let’s be pragmatic, shall we?. First of all I have never heard of Vorwerk until that day. On the other hand, I know of a girlfriend who bought the 1996 edition of the Thermomix, the  TM21 second hand for the purpose of making baby food. She had used it once or twice and that’s it! It’s probably stashed in her storeroom somewhere or standing on the kitchen plateau as a white elephant. Oh oh! Me think that’s in my DNA, too. Yikes! If you have read my post, here, I mentioned about my “secret investments” which’re my husband’s nightmares…Ouch!

TM5 promised a LOT of ‘magical’ things that makes my eyes twinkle with excitement. The interactive demo on 24th Oct, for instance. BUT, wait until you hear this. It’s NOT a cheap product! Now, did my eyes twinkle? Afraid not, but my lips pursed, yes.

To buy or not to buy?

Yes,THAT is the question!

I have to remind myself that two Christmases ago, I received a Kenwood Major Premium set from hubby. A special gift I got tucked neatly under the Christmas tree. In the meantime, I have also bought a Soupmaker, a Multi-Cooker, a coffee grinder, a steamer and what-have-you? God knows why I am hoarding/stockpiling all these kitchen gadgets!  Do I have space for another piece of item in my kitchen?  Or will it be just another white elephant ? 

Yup, I have a million and one questions in my head. First, I need to make a checklist and tick imaginary boxes … the pros and cons.

I’ll be back, whether I’m sold with the idea, so stay tuned ..
Have a great weekend and stay warm.

11th November is a National Holiday in Belgium and France to commemorate the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of WWI. This took place at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year 1918. Armistice Day is how it’s called in Belgium and France, which coincides with Remembrance Day in Britain and Commonweath countries and Veterans Day in the USA. 

97 years later … 7 girls (or nearly 7) decided to get together on 11/11 at around 11 …

You have probably read about 3 of the girls in a post I have written in 2010 in “Murphy’s Law or was it just …?” and in 2012 on “The MasterChef in X, C and A …” and a more recent write-up, “Coconut Pandan Chiffon Cake – First Successful Attempt”

Since then, our group has grown to 7, including myself. It is not easy to assemble all 7 girls at one time, since almost all of us are working/ living at different locations in Belgium and Germany. Our plans to meet up were usually confined to a weekday lunch during lunch break, and that spelled QUICK lunch! We would love to have a LAZY lunch at our own LAZY pace. Weekends can be tough to meet as well because we all have our own lives to lead!

And by the way, 11th November was a Wednesday and a National Holiday in Belgium … so we decided to meet, all 7 of us.

Erm… me think it was C who started the ball rolling that time round – a week before 11/11.

C : Anyone wants to watch Crimson Peak? Let’s all meet, please..!

G : Me! I’m free on 11/11

X : Count me in

AO : Oh no, not Crimson Peak… I have a very strong imagination … I pass, but if you girls are meeting in Antwerp, let’s lunch at DJL..

AS : Yes for Crimson Peak and DJL

O : I’ll let you girls know my availability later ..

X : Let’s watch Spectre then to have a full quorum

AO : No Bond movie for me please. I usually sleep watching a Bond movie … You girls go ahead with CP after we lunch at DJL. I’ll drive home …

Me : I’m not a fan of 007, too. The movie’s really quite predictable .. How about Martian? LOVE Matt Damon and heard the movie’s brilliant!

G : Martian is EXCELLENT, but I’ve seen it already. We can all watch different movies when we are at the Cinema. I’ve done that with other friends …

AO : Oh, I love Matt Damon!

C : No Bond for me. After lunch, I’ll drive home …

AS : No Martian for me, please! I’ve watched it already with hubs and it was brilliant!

Me : Excellent! Brilliant! Must watch lor…

G : Oops…. Timing issues. 

O : Ooops … I wish I could make it with you girls but hubby has to work on 11/11 and no one’s taking care of my boy. So sorry ladies :-(

Oopsie! …. now which movie did we all agree to watch OR did we get to watch a movie at all? That’s the Question!!

Da Jia Le (DJL)

11/11 arrived and some of us car-pooled. X came to my house to pick me up first and then to another location to pick up G and AS. C was on her way to the resto and AO just left her house. Well, at least lunching at DJL was unanimously agreed upon, and besides, it was an all-girls day out! No hubbies and kids tagging along. Yay!

AO has frequented DJL and has shared some of her ‘eating spree’ photos there with us on WhatsApp. The dishes looked mouth-wateringly amazing, which reminded us of foods we could get easily back in Kuching or elsewhere in Malaysia.

I was told DJL was opened for business not too long ago. It’s a pretty small resto in the heart of China Town, Antwerp. The teeny weeny resto can accommodate less than 30 people at one time, hence we made sure that we could secure a table for 6 on 11/11. Reservation was key.

Whoever came first went straight to the resto and it happened to be C! Then X, G, AS and I arrived and finally AO. A pity O could not join us. Hopefully, we could ALL make it another time *wink*

The chef of DJL happened to be a Malaysian, of Cantonese origin who hailed from Kuala Lumpur. He spoke mostly Cantonese and some Mandarin. His wife was a little bit more linguistic as she tried her best to speak Dutch, with the Dutch-speaking patrons (I eavesdropped, btw). We have pre-ordered our dishes which were off the normal Menu card. That way, we were guaranteed of the authenticity of the dishes.

In hindsight, the one dish that put a BIG smile on my face was the Cantonese-style Yuen Yong Noodles (yin-yang rice noodles). Cryptically, that noodle dish says a lot about us girls – in relation to the choice of movie we had to make. The yin-yang noodle dish is a combination of 2 types of rice noodles, ie kueh teow (flat rice noodle) and bee hoon (rice vermicelli). If one can’t decide on kueh teow or bee hoon, then this is the PERFECT dish! And the name of this dish is downright perky. LOL!


Besides the Cantonese-style yin yang rice noodles, we had the delectable Char Kueh Teow, Loh Ark, Sio Bak and Kangkong char belacan. If you are wondering why there’re no English translations, well, those dishes are off the normal Menu card, remember? :-)


The Char Kueh Teow was especially good as we had to order a second plate. As you can see, we licked our platters (almost) clean!


Now, did we or did we not watch a movie after lunch?

THAT is the Question!

Well, we did not plan to drive 130km (to and from home to Antwerp) just to eat! For goodness sake, it was a holiday and it was the only day we could meet – nearly all of us – without any cling-ons ;-)

And the conclusion?

We came out of the cinema humming to the tune of Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall. So here we were, standing amidst the walls of the cinema complex … with mixed feelings.


Watching the movie was like reading a Marvel comic strip. How could he have 2 soft landings? A sofa and a net waiting for him out of the blue?  He is as immortal as the villain. Ah well, it was just a movie…

Anyway, the crux of the day was having good fellowship, a feeling of comradeship and girly talk from 11 am until 7pm.

Oh by the way, X, your photo was picked as the Choice Photo Award on my blog ~ this post, at least! Kam sia! ;-)

Until the next time, girls! 




Lek Tau Suan or Tau Suan is a very popular South East Asian dessert. The main ingredient in this soup-like dessert is split green beans or mung beans, minus the green husks, hence the yellow colour instead of green.

In Kuching, where I grew up, there’s a huge following of this quite addictive dessert. One can order and eat the dessert, served warm in a Chinese bowl with a Chinese spoon or duck spoon al fresco at a stall or food court. Slices of yu char kueh (deep-fried Chinese crullers) is the icing on the cake. This combination is the classic version seen served in Malaysia and Singapore.

Mum used to buy the dessert home from her favourite stall. The dessert is popularly referred to as lek tau suan in Kuching. Although ‘tau‘ means beans or nuts, but Hokkien-speaking Kuchingites specifically differentiate one ‘tau‘ to another. For example ‘toh tau‘ is peanuts, ‘ang tau‘ is red beans, ‘oh tau‘ is black beans, therefore, ‘lek tau‘ is green beans (although the colour green in Hokkien is cheh. Confusing, eh?). In Singapore, this dessert is simply called ‘tau suan‘. Whatever and however way the pearly beans are called, this is one of my favourite desserts. My Mum and siblings know that. Every trip home to Kuching will see me indulging in this dessert without fail.

This is how a bowl of the sweet mung bean dessert is served. I love it warm, ie freshly scooped out of the pot or very cold when refrigerated. The sweet starchy soup with a hint of saltiness from the yu char kueh makes the dessert complete.


These deep-fried Chinese crullers, by the way, were taken at Gerrard Street in Chinatown during one of my recent trips to London. Unfortunately, I have yet to find any Asian stores in Belgium selling these crullers. I could make them myself, but seeing the amount of oil used to deep fry the crullers turned me off. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE yu char kueh anytime, anywhere if I can get hold of them ready-made, but the idea of making them in my kitchen is a BIG hassle. Reason being, I don’t own a fryolator and I never deep-fry my food in my own kitchen here in BE.

Would you spend EUR 5 (approx MYR 25) for a bowl of Lek Tau Suan?

Crazy but true, I did! 

I was craving for a bowl of the dessert and there in the fridge of a mini Thai store, was the last portion. This Thai Supermarket is ‘notoriously’ known to charge all her desserts at EUR 5 flat! My girlfriends with whom I have occasional lunches with will know which supermarket I’m referring to *wink*

Interestingly, this dessert is called ‘tau suan’ in Thai, at least that’s what the Thai lady at the store told me. The stark difference, though, was the ‘icing on the cake’. Thai and Vietnamese lek tau suan are served with drizzles of lightly salted coconut cream. The last portion I brought home was the first time I had my lek tau suan served á laThai or Vietnamese.

No Crullers No Problem

Last weekend, I was craving for lek tau suan… again! To be honest, I have made this dessert a few times already – plain as wel as with sago pearls – but never had them garnished with fried crullers. As mentioned earlier, I could not get deep-fried Chinese crullers, hence, I resorted to adapting my lek tau suan, the Thai or Vietnamese way this time round.


This is one of the easiest desserts to make.

And by the way, I was amazed with the long list of health benefits of this Ayuverdic beans, so folks, there is no reason to not indulging in these beans, sweet or savoury. And believe you me, it did not cost me anthing near to EUR 5 for serving up to 6 or more bowls of the sweet mung bean soup! I felt utterly cheated. Then again I knew, so serve me right…

The only alternative is D.I.Y. in the comfort of my own kitchen.

Note: The measurements and timing in this recipe are tried and tested based purely on personal preference, which may or may not agree with your tastebuds, so be warned.


  • 1 cup split mung beans, washed and soaked for 6 hours
  • Some Pandan leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup + 1  Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • A pinch of fleur de sel 



  • Wash  the mung beans in several changes of water until water is very clean and clear 
  • Soak the beans for 6 hours. Wash for the last time. Transfer the beans to a strainer to drain excess water
  • Pleat a ‘mat’ form with a few strands of Pandan leaves. Place the ‘mat’ in a steamer and pour the dry soaked beans on the Pandan ‘mat’. Cover the beans with all ends of the Pandan leaves and fasten with toothpicks. Steam for 15 minutes or until al dente (how I like my beans)
  • Boil 3 cups water. Throw in 2 knotted Pandan leaves. 
  • Add in sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the knotted Pandan leaves
  • Make the starch by binding 1/3 cup tapioca flour with 1/2 cup water. 
  • Pour the starch in the sugared water. Stir until the liquid turns translucent and gluey.
  • When the mung beans are cooked at the stage of al dente, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar and mix to coat the beans. Transfer beans to sugared starch water. Stir to mix the beans evenly.
  • In a small clean bowl, add a pinch of salt into the coconut cream. Stir to dissolve. Set aside.
  • Serve the sweet mung bean congee in dessert bowls and drizzle with a tablespoon of the coconut cream



The pre-soaking of the beans for 6 hours and steaming for 15 minutes resulted in a nice bite to the beans. I loved the chewy texture of the cooked beans rather than the distintegrated and mushy texture. By adding 1 Tbsp sugar to the steamed beans created that al dente texture as well as keeping each bean whole. Most recipes used sweet potato starch. I don’t have that flour. I have used corn flour before but the starchiness would not hold after a few hours or left cold. You will end up with a watery dessert. Tapioca flour is a better option. It’s gluten-free but high in carb. The liquid remained gluey even after leaving in the fridge overnight. Honestly, if I had the choice between coconut cream topping or slices of deep-fried Chinese crullers, I would go for the later.  It’s THE best combination ever!  The drizzle of coconut cream was good but the crullers were better. Again, a subjective choice ;-)

I’m linking this post to the October blog-hop cooking event with the theme, “COCONUT” at  Little Thumbs Up organized by Doreen of my favourite little DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and hosted by Jess of Bakericious at this post.


TGIF! Happy weekend all!


When I was a kid, Mum did not cook pumpkins a lot, especially the yellow/orange/red types. The ‘pumpkins’ I was more familiar with were the Asian Squashes, such as bitter melon, chinese okra or angled loofah (ketola), hairy melon or moqua, and chinese winter melon.

Down Memory Lane

One day, one of my Aunts (Mum’s eldest sis) who was staying with us briefly, cooked a pot of pumpkin dish in my Mum’s kitchen. The pumpkin was cut in square-ish chunks, cooked with dried anchovies and shallots and seasoned with white pepper and salt. I remembered being served a plate of rice with the pumpkin dish and one whole fried fish. There were 5 identical plates served on the long rectangular table for us 5 siblings then. Mum was in confinement with her 6th and last, hence my Aunt was given the role of Nanny.

The 5 of us were seated orderly at the table. As soon as we finished our meal, we were free to leave the table. After a few minutes, the first one left, then the second and the third and fourth. The 5th remained….20, 30, 45 minutes… On her plate was a small amount of rice with the chunks of pumpkin left untouched or pretty much, untouched, while the fried fish was a bony structure, ie all gone. Tick Tock, Tick, Tock…. the 5th was still at the table. Her dinner plate was as cold as ever. Two beady eyes were watching from right oppposite the table. There was no escape. The 5th just could not get the pumpkin dish down her throat. She felt like puking from each single bite. It was sheer agony. Unfortunately, “Nanny Beady Eyes” did not allow the 5th to go scot-free. The end result? The 5th was ‘forcefully’ spoonfed until she gave in with tears rolling down her cheeks ….


By the way, “Nanny Beady Eyes” was not a bad Aunt at all. She had cooked fabulous dishes for us kids. That one dish just did not appeal to one child and that child happened to be moi !!!!! Oh… how I detested pumpkins from then on!

>>> Fastforward >>>  I was in Belgium at my MIL’s house. It was a cold and wet Autumn day. We gathered at the dinner table and there was this bowl of brilliant orange soup. It was so tasty and creamy and bang on the money. I was drooling for my second bowl. YUM!

And guess what I had eaten at my MIL’s? 

Yup, pumpkin, of course, but served differently. I have gone 180 degrees because I have begun to LOVE pumpkins! I have cooked countless pumpkin soups since then, pumpkin curries, pumpkin gratin and even pumpkin jam and roasted pumpkin seeds (Recipes Here and Here)!

And the star of today’s post is Ms Chestnut Pumpkin. Love her lots *wink*

And by the way, this pumpkin did not cost me more than a Euro! It was darn cheap at only 89 Euro cents!!


I have made this soup innumerable times and it has always been a hit with my guys. 

With the cold and wet Autumn weather at hand, a bowl of hot and tasty soup is always welcome ;-)

Here’s my favourite. Simple, healthy and hassle-free recipe with ingredients you can get easily. 


  • 1 small chestnut pumpkin, skinned
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 onion, peeled 
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 potato, washed and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable stock paste (homemade)
  • Coarse sea salt and black peppercorns, ground, to taste
  • Meatballs (optional)
  • A pinch of curry powder, to taste
  • Water
  • Light cream, to drizzle 
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnishing)

 Method –

  • Cut the skinned chestnut pumpkin in 2 halves. Remove the seeds. Roughly chop.
  • Remove the stringy layer of the celery stalks, wash and roughly chop
  • Roughly chop the onion and potato 
  • Throw all chopped ingredients in a soup pot. Add in the 3 cloves of garlic 
  • Add 1.8l water. Boil until the vegetables have softened. Remove the pot from the stove.
  • With a hand mixer, blend the veg to a smooth consistency. Add in the veg stock, ground salt and pepper and blend to combine
  • Place the soup pot back on the stove to heat the soup
  • If you want meatballs in your soup, this is the time to throw them in ( either store-bought or freshly made). For vegetarian version, omit the meatballs
  • Heat the soup until the meatballs float to the surface 
  • Serve hot with drizzles of light cream and chopped parsley. I have tried my best to make a design of a cobweb. Not quite there yet…

Amazingly, with a different angle, room and light, my chestnut pumpkin soup blushed 😊

Trick or Treat?

With Halloween round the corner, this soup makes a healthy and wholesome treat. Not a drop of oil or butter was used in this recipe. 

My nostalgic Pumpkin Soup. YUM!


Without much ado, I’m linking this post to the following blog-hop cooking challenges –

October Tea Time Treats: Halloween & Bonfire Night Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Jane from The Hedgecombers
Cooking with Herbs for Autumn hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage 

A2K’s Vegetable Palette for the month of October: The colour ORANGE, hosted by Shaheen

in advance!


If there was one type of cake I had always wanted to bake it right first time, it’s got to be that feather light and tall cake! Yup, it’s none other than Chiffon Cake!

This cake has been on my Bucket List for a good number of years. I am so glad I finally owned that special Chiffon cake (tube) pan, with removable base. A colleague got it for me from The Netherlands early this year, however, it has not been used until yesterday!  It’s a pretty big pan at 26cm diameter. 

Live Demo!

Yesterday I had 4 ladies over at my house, one being the ‘sifu‘ (teacher) whilst the three others and myself were the eager students wanting to know the tricks of the trade of baking one of my favourite cakes!

According to Wikipedia, “A chiffon cake is a very light cake made with vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and flavorings. It is a combination of both batter and foam type (sponge type) cakes

By the way, we did not make one but 2 chiffon cakes yesterday!

One of my girlfriends also brought her cake pan over for the live cooking cum baking demo’s. Her chiffon cake pan was a smaller size than mine.

David and Goliath 😄

Baking, unlike cooking requires precise measurements, therefore, two different-size pans meant utilising different quantities of measurements. That’s when the subject of Mathematics came in handy ;-)

Where precision in baking is concerned, I needed visual aids. I’m glad sifu JL took my offer by coming over to my house to give live cookery demo. 

She started with the smaller pan from my friend. While she was in control of everything from weighing the ingredients, mixing, whisking, etc, I was taking notes as I had to replicate what she had done by adapting the measurements aligning to the size of my 26cm chiffon cake pan.  You bet I was nervous. I was really paying attention to every detail.

And here were the results!

David and Goliath ~ the results!

Sifu JL got the recipe from another friend. She said it’s a foolproof recipe, even for a novice, and I couldn’t agree more. Thanks, JL!

My first visual aided attempt and definitely not my last! Before all these efforts went to waste and became lost in oblivion, I translated the verbal and visual ‘languages’ from yesterday to a ‘language’ I could decipher. I wanted to remind myself tomorrow or next week or next month or next year or in 10 or 20 years from now that if I googled my blog, I’m very certain that this is a tried and tested recipe that will not go wrong even for a novice …

Here’s my improvised recipe like how I grasped it, translated in a ‘language’ I’m comfortable with based on the live demo presented by JL yesterday with an amazingly positive result from my first ever aided attempt in baking a chiffon cake  :-D

Pre-heat the oven to 165 deg C for 1 hour


(For a 7-egg 26 cm chiffon cake pan like mine)

  • 150g caster sugar (split 50/50 parts or 75g each for the whites and yolks)
  • 150g plain flour (sieved through very fine strainer)
  • 15g  baking powder
  • 59ml cooking oil (I used corn oil)
  • 118ml Chaokoh 100% coconut milk
  • Koepoe Koepoe” Pandan paste (Note: this is very concentrated paste, hence, a little goes a long way!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 63g * 7 fresh free-range eggs (room temperature)
  • 8g vanilla sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar or cream of tartar or lemon juice (optional)


 Method – 

  • Separate the egg whites and yolks. 
  • Divide the caster sugar into 2 small bowls of 75g each
  • In a large bowl, add all the wet ingredients ~ cooking oil, coconut milk, egg yolks and Pandan paste. Mix with a balloon whisk and then add 75g sugar and salt. Stir well to combine.
  • Re-sieve the flour with the baking powder into the wet ingredients. Mix well until no sign of flour is visible.
  • Whisk the egg whites in an electric stand mixer. Add the  sugar (75g) in 3 batches until the whites turned from foamy form to soft peak meringue and finally stiff peaks
  • Add a third of the meringue  into the cake batter and fold with a rubber spatula. Continue with the second and third batches, folding lightly but quickly until the meringue is completely combined with the batter
  • Pour the batter into the chiffon cake pan and remove any visible air bubbles by poking with the spatula. Level the top layer with the spatula 
  • Tap the cake pan 2 or 3 times on the work surface to raise the air bubbles out of the batter.
  • Check the timer of the oven and place the cake pan in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes.
  • When cake is cooked, remove from the oven and immediately tilt the cake pan upside down to cool the cake. This also helps to avoid the cake from shrinking from the pan.


I fell in love with the smooth top layer. My first aided attempt and the chiffon cake did not crack! 


The crack was visible on the smaller cake pan due to the heat of the oven and the duration of the baking. So yes, the type of oven you own will trigger the different results.

Cream of tartar was not used as the stabilizing agent to beaten egg whites to increase their stability and volume in this recipe. My friend JL added 1/2 tsp white vinegar as substitute in the first cake. This step was omitted on the second cake. Vanilla sugar was also added in the first cake while it was omitted in the second cake. Overall, both cakes had perfect textures of a good chiffon cake, with or without the stabilizing agent. To be honest, I found the second cake was a wee bit sweeter than the first. In hindsight 150g sugar was a bit too much. I will reduce the sugar count in my subsequent attempts, plus making my own fresh Pandan juice. The Pandan paste was used due to time constraint.

Honestly speaking, making a chiffon cake is not as difficult as it appeared to be. Seeing is believing. I’ve seen it and it’s true! 

I’m linking this post over at the October blog-hop cooking event with the theme, “COCONUT” at Little Thumbs Up organized by Doreen of my favourite little DIY and Zoe of  Bake for Happy Kids and hosted by Jess of Bakericious at this post

This post is also linked to Dom’s (Belleau Kitchen) monthly “eggy” cooking challenge, Simply Eggcellent #8 with the theme, “Anything Goes!”


Happy new week!


Cauliflower and broccoli are both cruciferous vegetables, with very similar nutritional properties and health benefits. They are both low in fat and high in dietary fiber, water and vitamin C. While traditionally, we tend to differentiate cauliflower as white and broccoli as green in colours, it has not been the case anymore. There are few variants of cauliflower with garish-looking colours of orange, green and purple!

Erm… I think I’ll stick to my white head for now :-)


In Quest for the Best Method

As far as I could remember, my Mum seldom bought cauliflower when I was a kid, as the veg only appeared in the vegetable markets or supermarkets once a year during the Chinese New Year season. The only way I knew cauliflower was cooked then was in stir-fries (mixed veg) the Chinese way. It’s usually a good stir-fry but amazingly, all the other vegetables (broccoli, baby corn, straw or oyster mushrooms, sugar snap peas and carrot) would be gone in a jiffy leaving some white florets behind on the plate, untouched. Kids’re not very fond of the crunchy texture and odd flavour of the cauliflower. That’s what I remembered when I was a child.

Now that I’m not a kid anymore, I re-visted my Mum’s kitchen and cooked up a quick mixed veg stir fry dish for my family. It looked appetisingly good, but amazingly, I went through a déjà vu experience. All the other veg were gone in no time at all but not the poor cauliflower florets! What’s wong??!!

Honestly speaking, my guys LOVE cauliflower, but it was the wrong execution. So, exit, the quick stir-fry method…for the time being, of course ;-)

There are several ways to prepare cauliflower ~ oven-roasted, baked, grilled, fried, steamed, boiled and blended in soup or eaten raw. Cauliflower soup with a touch of garam masala has been a winner with my family. So also steamed cauliflower in bechemel sauce. Raw cauliflower is great in dips or in tabbouleh salad, perfect for the summer season.

By the way, with the temperature plummeting of late, something warm is very much desired in my home. My all-time favourite method to appease everyones’ appetite unanimously is oven-roasted cauliflower florets. It’s the easiest and trust me, the tastiest way to prepare a mundane and almost boring looking cauliflower…. from just plain white to something cheerfully exciting!

Like so!


The warmth of the spices amalgamated in the cauliflower florets with the charred bits were a joy to eat. One whole head of cauliflower was easily gone in one serving for my family of 4! Not a single floret left untouched …


This recipe is inspired by Erin Gleeson’s, The Forest Feast Cookbook, with my variation of spices, dried herbs and roasting duration. 


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets

Spice-Herb Mix

  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence 
  • Freshly-milled black peppercorns 
  • Coarse sea salt, ground ~ to taste

4 Tbsp Olive Oil or any cooking oil



  • Pre-heat the oven to 230 deg C
  • Mix the ground spice-herb mix  in a bowl and pour in a clean ziplock bag
  • Add the cauliflower florets in the bag of spice mix and shake the bag to coat the florets evenly
  • Place the spiced florets in a baking tray. Add cooking oil and stir to distribute the oil evenly over the spiced florets
  • Bake for 25 minutes
  • After 25 minutes, lower the temperature to 200 deg C and bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Ready to serve


Bon appétit!

Cauliflower is typically an Autumn veg. For this, I’m linking this post to the following October blog-hop cooking events –

Lavender & Lovage’s Cooking with Herbs for Autumn 


October Tea Time Treats: Halloween and Bonfire Night Treats hosted by Lavender & Lovage and The Hedgecombers

Cook-Your-Books #27 @ Kitchen Flavours
Happy Mid-Week! 


Down Memory Lane 

Three-quarters of the year 2015 have passed us by with the wink of an eye. 9th Aug was a very special day to remember when every single member of my family ~ my Mum, 5 sibilings and their spouses and children ~ converged in a nostalgic location, the Sarawak Museum Garden. As far as my curious young mind could remember, the Musuem ground was a sum of a subset of several activities gone by ~ the good, the not-so-good, the funny, the ugly, you name it. It all happened there. For me, I grew up visiting the garden quite often because our house at Satok Road was just a stone’s throw from the Museum’s ground.

We loved going there on Sundays watching the brassy live band performed by the Constabulary Band from the local police department. While the older folks were listening to the live band performing, we kids loved to play the see-saws, swings and popping our mouths munching boiled chick peas and peanuts! Memories are made of these.

While the gazebo that was used as a band stand remains on the Museum’s compound ~ sadly ~ it did not stand the test of time. On the contrary, the swings and see-saws vanished decades ago and our old house at Satok Road is ground Zero! *sob*

Sigh!! A Sunday today at the Museum Garden in Kuching is… Sshhh…. sshhh… it’s Oh So quiet! And so peaceful, until ….



Our contingent of 23 members transformed that Sunday into a day that will always be a part of us!

By the way, it was not easy to pick a date or dates for a full quorum. We had planned this exceptional family reunion since 2012!

The following were memorable snapshots which never failed to put a smile on my face. Each family came with a chosen colour dresscode. Forget the louboutins or stilletos, tight fits, mini skirts and cakey makeups. It was a 100% casual and natural day! Period!



The Matriach of the day sparkled like a rare Turqoise. After all, she’s the reason we converged full quorum in August anno 2015. Love ya, Mumsie ;-)

Vitamin D and adrenaline overload day!

While the family photoshoot was a full quorum, the Kayak expedition had an equally remarkable attendance of circa 83%! Brilliant!

A hot and humid day was expected, that’s for sure, hence we assembled at a shop lot before 9am, with the supposed attire on. It was a funny but fun sight to see as we were dressed in the united colours of Benetton. Ha ha ha…

Before we dispersed in two 10-seater vans, our guide, Ricky, briefed us on the general guidelines. He shook his head looking at our attire. LOL! Out of the 19 eager ‘kayakers’, only 3 scored in the correct-type-of-shoes category, while flip-flops, crocs and sandals were the common sight that morning. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

The journey to Kampung Bengoh took 1 hour. There were more families gathered there, from all over the world. It was an internationally fun-filled day! A safety briefing from Ricky and 5 other experienced and enthusiastic certified guides (Richie, Macqueen, Wazir, Harris, Jeffrey) made us felt at total ease, especially for first-timers. Useful tips were given on the paddling techniques ~ the correct angle to hold the oar, start, stop, manoueuvre and what nots. By the way, I have done a similar expedition on the Lesse years ago with my other half, but not as fun-filled and boisterous as this one! 

Oh yes…. never mind the heat, we were all fired up and ready to go!


Semadang Kayak Discovery

I understood there were 3 Kayak Operators serving similar all-inclusive day trips adventure tours on the Semadang River. We chose the family-owned Semadang Borneo Adventure Kayak Company as recommended by 2 of my nieces, both of whom had prior experiences with no regrets! As the majority of us were first-timers, we opted for the Semadang Discovery Kayaking package, excluding bamboo rafting, caving and jungle trekking. In other words, we were simply cruising on the Semadang River and enjoying the God-given scenaries at our own “paddling” paces. We covered a total of 11 km!  


It was sheer fun and physical at the same time, especially when we had to manoeuvre our oars through sporadic rough currents now and then.


After all the physical manoeuvres, our first stop was at Kampung Danu. While the other Kayak Operator(s) served a packet of Kuching Kolo Mee per pax for lunch, our Operator offered a most scrumptious lunch buffet à volonté! All dishes were prepared from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Dishes may vary from one excursion/ trip to another, but as far as I could remember, we enjoyed hearty, home-cooked dishes of Manok Pansoh (chicken cooked in bamboo), chicken curry, stir-fried okra (ladies’ fingers), cangkuk manis (sweet leaf or mani chai) served with local brown rice. Desserts were watermelon and butter pound cake! YUM! YUM! YUM!




We were given assurance that there were no Crocodiles, but abundance of roc(k)odiles! The turtle rock was a sight to behold, the gigantic “mammoth” and lots more


All work and no play makes Jack/ Jane a dull boy/girl.  So Jacks and Janes swam, skipped stones, fooled around, sang “row, row, row your boat”….

Yes… Merrily down Semadang River :-)
Cheers people!


Notes: Initially, I  had not wanted to go for the reason that I can’t swim, and I’m glad I went! It was also a refresher course for me. The waters were quite shallow, hence, this adventure package is suitable for novices. For the record there were a handful of very young kids (as young as 5 years old) in our group, of course accompanied by their parents or an adult. Each kayak is provided a waterproof bag and a half litre bottle drinking water and a life jacket per person . It is advisable to bring sunblock lotion, insect repellent, a pair of sunglasses, a cap or sun hat and extra bottles of drinking water. It’s hot!!

In hindsight, footwear with good grip is recommended.

The package included transfers to pickup and drop-off, lunch buffet and digital photos DVD.

Oh yes, don’t forget to bring dry clothes/ change of clothes and towel. These are left at Kampung Bengoh upon arrival.

And last but not least, bring your smile and good mood with you, because that’s what the reunion was all about. Remember a smile is a curve that sets everything straight and it’s FREE!!

Final word of Thanks

A BIG thank you to the main initiator of the Reunion event 2015. The photoshoot and discovering Semadang river would never have got off the ground if it wasn’t for my youngest sister’s persistences. She’s the Director of the entire event. Thanks, sis from the bottom of our hearts! You have made our Family Reunion a blast and it was a moment which will be remembered forever😜

Have a great weekend everyone!