Archive for the ‘Sweet’ Category

This recipe has gone viral a few months ago and shared several times within the Thermomix Community. I was curious, of course, and jumped on the bandwagon. The cake used the simple Quatre Quarts Cake (literally 4-fourths) recipe which was taught at Domestic Science classes. This cake is quite similar to a typical Victoria sponge and is referred to as Pound Cake.  

By the way, I have made a very similar cake which I have posted in my blog in 2015. I had wanted to use poppy seeds then but I chose the healthier chia seeds instead. You can find out the reason why in this post, Lemon Chia Seeds Sponge Cake.

I had bought a packet of poppy seeds some months back and it had been sitting in my kitchen pantry, untouched, hence this was THE perfect moment for me to make good use of the seeds… Finally!

The Challenge 

The owner of this recipe promised this cake would turn out soft and moist. That’s what fascinated me, especially so when we know that a Quatre Quarts Cake uses 4 ingredients of equal amount (butter, sugar, flour and eggs). The recipe calls for 250 g per ingredient. First off, it sounded heavy, too heavy in fact,  and I was quite hesitant to bake this cake because I usually skip a cake recipe using the entire block of butter and a quarter kilogram of sugar!  Yikes! But I was tempted to proceed because I LOVE oranges and I’m sure nothing would go wrong with a pound cake with orange and poppy seeds!  Ha ha ..

To be very honest, the biggest challenge is beating and blending the ingredients at the right consistency to achieve that moist and fluffy effect. 

Is that attainable with a Thermomix? 

Let’s find out, shall we?

The original recipe was posted by Ellin Chong as per below –


I tried to follow the recipe exactly but ended up modifying some of the steps to my liking and logic. Well, that’s just me 😉

The recipe indicated 30 mins baking time. I thought that was way too short. Was my judgement right?

Here are my modification to some of the steps 

  • I added another cycle of pulverization in (1)  i.e. 2 times MC/ 10 sec/ sp 10 to get the visual consistency I wanted.

  • I increased the time in (2) from 2 mins to 2 mins 45 sec as I thought that would give me ample time to crack the eggs one at a time to mix through the lid hole.

  • I added 15 g of London Dry Gin to give the cake a slightly boozy effect 🙂

  • I sifted the APF with 10 g of baking powder and increased the mixing time from 10 sec to 20 sec.

  • 30 minutes of baking time in my pre-heated oven was definitely too short. The cake was under cooked, i.e. still wet and the crust was too pale for my liking.  

  • I increased the time to another 16 minutes, making the total baking time of 46 minutes in my pre-heated oven at 180 deg C. That was a lot better.



So, was the cake moist and fluffy as promised?

Seeing is Believing!


    My Verdict?

    When I first saw the recipe, I saw the baking time of 30 minutes was too short for a cake as ‘dense’ as a Pound cake. Well, my initial judgment was correct. Perhaps it’s just my oven. If it worked well for the owner of the recipe then it was tested based on the type of oven she owns.

    When I increased the baking time to a total of 46 minutes, the cake turned out visually PERFECT ! I loved the citrusy smell whiffing past my nostrils and my kitchen smelt heavenly. 

    And I definitely prefer a tanned (not charred) cake to a pale looking one. Again, it’s just me.


    Was the cake moist and fluffy? 

    Yes, when it was fresh out of the oven and when still quite warm, like most cakes. When the cake was left to cool completely, I thought it was very lightweight but less moist than when it was warmer. Definitely not dry, but with a pleasant texture. It’s not bouncy either like chiffon cakes, but, hey I LOVED it!

    Some changes I would like to make are (1) reduce the quantity of sugar, as the cake became too sweet the following day(s), (2) increase a little of the poppy seeds, as I like the crunch and the subtle nutty flavour and (3) increase slightly the gin, as I was still trying to trace the aroma … ha ha ha …

    Oh yes, I should have left the cake to cool in the bundt pan and not got it out too soon when it was still hot. That’s why the surface of the cake was not smooth 😦

    Just compare the cakes I have baked using the same cake mould below …


    Nevertheless, this recipe is definitely a keeper but I will not be in a hurry to bake another one in a jiffy. 1 kg of sugar, flour, eggs and butter combined was a humongous amount to consume too often.

    Have a great week!

    Cheers!

    Advertisements

    Pisang goreng or kinchio kueh … These were the familiar outlandish words I grew up calling that moreish deep fried banana fritters.

    Choice Enough

    My late Dad seemed to know his banana fritters’ stalls absolutely well. He used to buy his favourite pisang tanduk (plantain) fritters and brought home generous quantities, much to everyones’ delight. The batter that coated each banana slice was lusciously crispy with the sweet and a hint of sour and succulent inner side. Dreamy!

    Where I grew up, the choice of bananas were endless. The tastes and textures also differ from one type of banana to another.

    Here in Belgium, I only know of one type of banana ~ the Chiquita Banana! It’s a good banana (no choice, really) which I have used in my bakes and of course, just eating as is.
     

    By the way, I have never fried banana fritters here in BE, but have always longed to eat one. People who know me will know I never deep fry my foods in my kitchen. That’s why I tend to skip a recipe that calls for deep frying.  Which reminds me of my previous post which I experimented in my kitchen, Baked Crispy Snail Nibbles *wink*

    And then I saw someone posted “Banana Fritters’ Batter” recipe on FB not too long ago. I read mostly positive comments of the result of using the recipe.



    I was curious and thrilled, so to speak, so I jumped on the bandwagon! I caught the kinchio kueh fever. LOL!

    My initial thought was to bake the banana fritters, but knowing that Chiquita bananas do not hold their form when cooked or baked too long, ie they become mushy, but very sweet, so still edible. Uh-uh, I scrapped the idea of baking and went for a milder form of frying. I pan-fried the bananas!! It may look paler than deep-fried, but I was blown away by the crispy batter.



    The batter recipe is adapted from Ellin Chong‘s recipe posted on Thermomix Truly Asian group page on Facebook while I resorted to the method I am comfortable with, id est, while deep frying is the common mode of preparing banana fritters, I opted to pan-frying mine.

    Ingredients A –

    • 150 g SRF
    • 100 g Rice Flour
    • 250 g Water
    • 20 g raw sugar (I used organic raw cane sugar)
    • 50 g Cooking Oil (I used Corn Oil)
    • A pinch of salt (I used fleur de sel)
    • 1 – 2 Tbsp sesame seeds (I did not use)

    Ingredient B- 

    • 5 Chiquita Bananas

    Ingredient C –

    • Oil for frying 

    Method –


    1. Weigh ingredients A in the TM bowl. Mix for 30 sec/ Sp 4/ MC. Scrape the side of the inner bowl to mix the small amount of un-blended flour with a wooden spoon. Mix well.
    2. Pour the batter in a clean bowl. Set aside (in the fridge)
    3. Meanwhile, peel B and cut the bananas in any shape and form you fancy. 
    4. Heat some oil in a pan. Note I shallow fried the fritters, hence, not much oil was consumed.
    5. Coat each cut banana in the chilled batter. Pan-fry on medium high heat until golden brown.
    6. Remove the banana fritters with a slotted spoon and transfer them on absorbent papers.
    7. Done!

    My Verdict?

    I was pleasantly surprised with the result of my shallow-fried fritters. I thought it would take ages for the batter to crisp up but they did not take long at all, with the right heat, of course. Similarly, I thought the texture of the batter would be runnier, like pancake batter, but it was a bit thicker. The right amount of rice flour did a fantastic job in crisping the fritters. My boys loved the C*R*U*N*C*H*Y bits and so did I! I did not change the measurements of the ingredients one bit, except that I omitted using sesame seeds, because I had none that day. That’s not a big deal as I was used to plain banana fritters, anyway.

    Will I use the recipe again? You bet! Oh yes, the next ‘victim’ will be the sweet potatoes in my cellar. Ha ha ha …

    Ellin, thanks for sharing the recipe with us. I can conclude that the recipe is fully tried and tested in my kitchen as a foolproof recipe for that amazing crunchy result.


     
    Happy Tuesday evening!

    Cheers!

    When Fortune knocks, open the door, they say. 

    But why should one make Fortune knock, by keeping the door shut?

    ~Idries Shah (Caravan of Dreams)

    Now, my ‘fortune’ started at my SIL’s place when she hosted the yearly family reunion celebrating the New Year. I happened to grab one of the mags lying on a magazine rack. I flipped through the pages quickly as lunch was about to be served. There was this page that bewitched me. It was in Dutch. I stopped a little longer and then I took my iPhone and took a snapshot of the pages. They were 2 blurry pages. My SIL saw my action. 

    Oh-oh… now what?” 

    She said, “Stop! I can do better. I will print the pages for you” 

    Phew! That was a close one…

    So yes, my SIL printed the pages for me and in colour prints on A4. What a relief I did not have to squint my eyes reading the small prints on my iPhone. 

    Curious to know what my SIL printed for me?

    Well, my fortune cookies, of course!

    What did my Fortune tell me?

    Go make more fortunes! Ha ha ha…

    Seriously? Well, I’ve been wanting to make the cookies for a long time. 

    Origin

    The exact origin of fortune cookies is rather vague. There are 3 claimants who claimed they invented or founded the cookie, however, to this day, the debate on the real founder is still on-going. Contrary to popular belief, the cookies were not invented in China (as rumoured). It’s an American thing, created by Asian immigrants in either the LA or SF areas, migrated from Hong Kong or Japan, depending on which crystal ball you want to believe in. LOL!

    Whatever or wherever the origin came from, I see it as part of an entertainment, an ice-breaker or simply, a gift! (Hint: Mother’s Day is up next … ;-))

    When I left my previous job more than a decade ago, I distributed about 50 store-bought fortune cookies much to the curiosity and delight of my former colleagues. It was something to remember by and a great way to stay engaged even if it was my last day. Cool!

    Oh by the way, I met up with some of my ex-colleagues recently, one of whom I have not met since I left  “Coy P” in 2003! It was good meeting and catching up with them ~ a very international reunion with 6 different nationalities out of 8 that Friday evening!

    We went to a Thai restaurant, so no, there were no fortune cookies 🙂

    Now I get my fortune cookie when I am at a Chinese restaurant. You can tell the fortune cookies are mass-produced. Identical in size, shape, texture and taste. You will also notice that the pastry is pretty thick, like so …

       
     
     

    With the recipe my SIL printed out for me, I wanted to surprise myself that I, too, can make these cookies in the comfort of my own kitchen. By the way, it looked damn easy on paper ~ but oh dear ~ the actual execution was near to disaster. The recipe yields 10, ten-centimeter diameter cookies. I wanted 6 cookies which I wanted to bring to a small gathering the next day. Did I manage to get 6 fortune cookies? We’ll see…

    Ingredients (with some modifications)

    (Makes 10 fortune cookies)

    • 36 g egg white (room temperature)
    • 30 g superfine sugar 
    • Pinch sea salt (ground in pestle and mortar)
    • Zest of 1 lime 
    • 55 g APF
    • 28.35 g melted butter

    Decoration (optional – my own addition )

    • Poppy seeds
    • White sesame seeds

    Method 

      

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 deg C (Note: Different ovens work differently. Frankly, this was more a trial-and-error. Cfr my verdict at the end of this post)
    2. Whisk the egg white until frothy
    3. Add sugar and whisk until smooth and glossy
    4. Add salt and lime zest. Whisk to combine
    5. Add flour. Whisk until the batter is smooth and lump-free
    6. Add melted butter and whisk for the last time
    7. Draw three 10 cm circles on a parchment or baking paper. Make sure to turn the paper pencil side down with the circles still visible on the reverse side
    8. Scoop about 3/4 Tbsp of the batter and spread it to follow the pattern of the circle on the baking sheet. Make sure to even out the thickness of the batter with the back of a spoon or a flat butter knife or even a fish knife
    9. Do not rush to bake the cookies. Make 3 at a time. Trust me, that’s plenty to keep you busy! Bake the cookies for 6 to 8 minutes. Seriously, the baking time depends on the type of oven you own. (Note, you need to work very fast as the cookie will crisp up and become brittle in no time at all)
    10. Insert a fortune in a cookie and ply the cookie in half immediately. Hold the cookie at both ends and gently curve the centre of the long straight side of the cookie on the edge of a cup or glass and transfer it to a muffin tin to hold the shape until it cools.
    11. Repeat the process until the batter is used up completely
    12. If the cookie is not crispy or under-cooked, crisp it up by baking in a low heat oven for 3 to 4 minutes or until you are satisfied with the texture. 

       
       

    My verdict : I made 10 cookies, but I managed to salvage 6 – yes, on target !! I must confess, though, that the execution was not as easy as it sounded or looked on paper! The first 3 cookies that went in the oven first were a complete disaster – not the taste – but the cookies were not pliable at all. They crisped up and turned out to be crunchy as they were, round thin cookies! BUT, they were delicious! I was so happy I added lime zest  and sprinkled some poppy seeds and white sesame seeds. My younger son, was waiting nearby like a mindless eating machine, preying for the failed cookies. Mine! Mine! Mine! And failed, I did – 4 out of 10 times! To be honest, the failure stats would have been higher. To overcome subsequent  failures, I purposely under-baked the cookies first, and then took them out of the oven and placed a fortune in the cookie and started plying and folding to form the shape of a fortune cookie. Once done, I re-baked them in the oven to crisp them up. The cookies were soft when they were still hot. Re-shaping the cookie was a must and then immediately nesting each cookie in a muffin cavity. I brought the 6 cookies for a birthday gathering the next day for lunch. I was quite disappointed that the cookie was not as crispy as I wanted it to be (btw, that’s the honest verdict from the cookie I ate that afternoon). I’m sure the other girls were too polite not to mention about some of the calamities…(?) I thought, the cookies could do with more re-baking time. After all, it was my maiden attempt in making fortune cookies and for such an “important” function *wink*. 

    Happy Birthday to the Birthday Girls , and thanks “A” for hosting us and for the scrummy “mee sua”

    Now, there’s someone else who’s waiting for these cookies …My SIL! I promised her that I would make these when it is our turn to host the family reunion, total 17 pax (including 4 kids)! And that’ll be this summer!!! Fingers crossed for success.


    By the way, what did my fortune say? 

    Lol! 

    I’m linking this post to #CookBlogShare: May 3-9, hosted by Snap Happy Bakes

    Happy Mid Week!

    Cheers!

    One beautiful Saturday afternoon, I hosted a potluck lunch for my girlfriends (without partners and kids), whom you have ‘met’ on these posts, here and here. One of the girls, C, just visited a farm near her place before coming to my house. She’s a great multi-tasker, conjuring 2 absolutely mouth-watering plates of stir-fried veggies a la minute in my kitchen! And not only that, she brought her fresh homemade pizza dough and baked 3 different toppings of pizzas that afternoon! Yup, in my kitchen. Thanks, C. All 3 dishes were absolutely DIVINE and went down our tummies effortlessly!  

      

    Oh yes, the farm visit. C bought 3 dozens of super, super, SUPER fresh eggs. She must have waited for the chicken to lay the eggs at the farm as she was the last one to arrive that afternoon. Lol! Oh by the way, she also brought a Chiffon Cake pan, in the hope of using some of the eggs to bake a nice pandan Chiffon Cake in my kitchen, using my recipe, here.  

    But alas, there was no baking of a Chiffon Cake because everyone was stuffed to the brim and was too tired to do anything “strenuous” that Saturday afternoon. 

    Girls, thanks for bringing your “lucky” pot(s).  It was gluttony all the way. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!  😱

       

    Before the girls left, C gave me 10 of the freshly laid free-range eggs. Boy, I felt so bad that I did not show her how to bake the Chiffon Cake. Sorry, C 😦

    Making Good Use of C‘s Fresh Eggs

    I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the super fresh eggs I got from C. Making my childhood favourite toasted bread spread, called kaya, had always been on my to-do list since time immemorial. Kaya is a Malay word, meaning ‘rich’, because of the creamy and custardy texture from the coconut cream/ milk and eggs (chicken or duck) and sweetened with sugar. Then other flavours or colours come in. If the kaya is brown, palm sugar or gula Melaka or gula Apong is used, whilst the green-coloured kaya is flavoured with the sweet and fragrant herb called Pandanus (or Screwpine). 

      
    I was lucky I had a packet of frozen pandan leaves in my freezer ~ not opened or used yet ~ but telepathically, waiting for me to conquer ’em. So yes, I was making the fragrant pandan coconut jam – FINALLY!

    Great Helper

    The most basic kaya recipe has only 3 ingredients ~ eggs, coconut cream/ milk and sugar, and yet most people shun from making it. Why? Because the task of standing hours on end stirring the mixture over the stovetop is immensely unexciting, dull and monotonous! It can take as long as 3 hours! It’s not like preparing slow-cooked meat stew that you can leave the cooking unattended, but you need to keep an eye on the kaya mixture, stirring constantly in order to end up with the texture you want, otherwise you have to start all over again! 

    In my opinion, there is no one right homemade kaya consistency or texture. This is really subjective and very personal to one’s target preference.

    By the way, I recently owned the latest model of the Thermomix, the TM5.  This kitchen gadget has been a great “helper”in my kitchen. Instead of me stirring the mixture, my thermie was doing the job. I could do 101 other things while waiting for my kaya to set. I was even watching the telly!

    I know there are many shortcut recipes out there, that could churn the kaya in 10 to 15 minutes. But hey, I’m not the one who’s stirring, so time and energy are not the essence 😜

    My objective was to make a decent kaya that I could enjoy and reminiscing my childhood days. Period.

    As I have said earlier, the ingredients are pretty obvious in making kaya. Eggs (usually the yolks), sugar and coconut cream/ milk.  Since the eggs I got from C were super fresh, I decided to use 5 whole eggs!

    Note: If you do not own a Thermomix, the ingredients remain the same, BUT you need to manually stir the mixture in a double boiler pot or a crock pot or a heavy bottom wok or pan. Eyeballing on the texture and consistency is key. Slow Cooker works well, too. You may want to refer to my pumpkin jam recipe, Slow-cooked Zesty Pumpkin Jam.

    Ingredients

    •  5 fresh free-range whole eggs 
    • 140 g castor sugar (increase the quantity if you have sweet tooth, but 140 g is more than sweet)
    • 245 g coconut milk (if possible, get freshly squeezed coconut cream/milk, but there ain’t any here, so the best I could get hold of was 250 ml brik Chaokoh coconut milk)
    • A tiny pinch of sea salt (my secret ingredient)
    • 40 g freshly extracted first-pressed pandan juice (from 20 pandan leaves) ~ a post on how I extracted the pandan juice coming up next on my blog (here).

    Preparation ( TM5 way) –

    1. Insert the butterfly attachment in the TM bowl and add sugar and eggs. Mix for 30 sec/ speed 3
    2. Add coconut milk, concentrated first-pressed pandan extract and a pinch of salt. Cook for 40 min/ 98C/speed 2 without MC
    3. Check the consistency of the texture by smearing a small portion of the cooked kaya with the spatula against the inner bowl of the TM. If the kaya mixture is still too runny, it’s not done yet, however, if the mixture takes a while to roll back to the bottom of the bowl, then it’s done. (Note: I had to do the ‘test’ twice as the consistency of my kaya was still a bit runny in the first 40 mins. I  added 2.5 mins * 2 at 90deg C.  Be warned that the texture and consistency of the kaya is subjective. If you prefer a runny kaya, then by all means, cook for a shorter time. I prefer a less runny kaya,  that’s all 😜)
    4. Once you have reached the texture you want, blend the mixture for 20 seconds from speed 0 to 4 for a smoother consistency (Note: you can blend above speed 4 if you don’t mind the mixture splattering to the lid and the sides of the inner bowl)
    5. Pour the kaya into sterilized jar(s). Refrigerate once cooled.
    6. Done!

       

      
    My all-natural fragrant pandan coconut egg jam. 

    How to eat Kaya ?

    Imagine kaya as your Nutella spread, or peanut butter or jam or confituur. For me, I like to spread my kaya on white toasted bread with a layer of butter. The best brekkie or High-tea. Mmm… 

       
     

      

    Oh by the way, with this recipe, I could only fill one jar, which is luckily bigger than the normal jam jars. It’s really quite addictive and Preciousss!! So you can imagine how miserly the consumption was. Lol!

    This makes a great tea time treat anytime. For this, I am entering this post to the monthly Tea Time Treats Linky Party – March 2016 hosted by Karen of  Lavender and Lovage and  Jane of The Hedgecombers 

      
    With such fresh eggs used in this recipe, I would not miss the boat this month on Dom’s Simply Eggcellent #13 – A Celebration of Eggs! over at Belleau Kitchen.

      
    With the all-natural green colour from one of South East Asia’s most beloved herbs, the pandanus, I’m thrilled to link this post to Lavender and Lovage’s Cooking with Herbs for Easter and Spring

      

    A Blessed AND Peaceful Easter!

    Shalom!

    It seems like only yesterday when we were chomping on our stuffed turkey, gratin, lobsters, soups with lots of cream and all the sweets – OMG! – Christmas cakes, puddings, cookies and whatnots! A back-to-back bountiful banquets with sinful indulgences! *blush*

    The first month of the new year is usually a ‘slow’ month with less activities and less eating spree :-). To be honest, it’s a rude shock to get back to the pace of reality, for me, at least. Back to work after the holiday mode and crippled with the crazy traffic jams, the icy cold weather and it gets dark ever so early! Really, leaving home in the morning when it’s still dark and coming home from work in the evening when it’s dark. It’s like living in the ‘Dark Side’ 24/7. LOL!

    Tribute to my late MIL

    When it’s dark and cold, our tummies seemed to rumble a bit more than normal. With not a lot of leisure time to do extravagant cooking or baking during weekdays, I opted for the easiest way out. I have been meaning to bake this ‘healthier’ version of sponge cake in a long time. By the way, this was a recipe from the Thermomix (TM5) recipe book. It not only looked great, but was a breeze to make.

      
       

    My late MIL used to bake her lemon sponge cake using yoghurt instead of butter. As I have said earlier, I have been meaning to bake this cake but have not got round to doing so until now. And I’m glad I finally did it! Thanks to my late MIL for ‘introducing’ this cake to me more than a decade ago.

    Ingredients –

    • 80g oil (I used corn oil), plus extra for greasing
    • Zest of 1 organic lemon (see my honest review “Verdict”)
    • 150g sugar
    • 3 free-range eggs
    • 200g flour
    • 120g Greek yoghurt
    • A pinch of salt
    • 15g baking powder
    • Some icing sugar for dusting (see my honest review “Verdict”)

      
     

    Method

    1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. Grease a bundt cake tin. Set aside
    2. Place lemon zest and sugar into mixing bowl and grind (For TM5 owners, grind for 10 sec @ speed 10. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula)
    3. Add eggs and mix with a hand or stand mixer (For TM5, mix for 30 sec @ speed 3)
    4. Add flour, baking powder, oil, yoghurt and salt and mix until all ingredients are combined (For TM5, mix for 1 min 15 sec @ speed 5)
    5. Place mixture into the greased bundt cake tin and bake for 30 minutes at 180 deg C. Allow to cool in cake tin for at least 10 minutes before tipping the cake from the mould to a serving plate. Leave to cool completely and then dust with icing sugar.

      

     
      
     

    Verdict: The original recipe is called, simply, Yoghurt Cake. Seeing that lemon is used in the recipe, I wanted to intensify the lemony flavour of the cake, which was light and refreshing. In hindsight, I should have used the zest of two lemons instead of one and add a splash of cointreau and make a lemon icing glace instead of just dusting with icing sugar to elevate one of my favourite citrus fruits, lemon! And what better time to start baking again with the next festive season coming up. The Chinese New Year!

    Cakes of all forms, shapes and sizes are omnipresent during ‘open houses’ at Festive occasions in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. With the playful and intelligent Monkey shooing the woolly Sheep away come 8th Feb, this cake will surely be a hit for kids from 1 to 92 😃

    Without much ado, I’m linking this post to celebrate the auspicious occasion of prosperity at Cook and Celebrate: Chinese New Year 2016, hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids 

      
    If you want to indulge in something sweet, but not overly sweet and yet tasty, zingy and not too boring at the same time, this healthier version of butter sponge cake will do justice on anyone’s palate anytime of the day. For, this, I’m linking this post to Simply Eggcellent #11 – start the year on an egg … hosted by Dom @ Belleau Kitchen

      
     

     

     

     

    Stay warm if you are cold

    Stay cool if you are warm

     

    Cheers!

     

     

     

     

     

    Honestly speaking, I have been wanting to make this insanely simple “cake” for a long time! It has been on my bucket list since time immemorial. The original recipe is called “Kek Batik” (Batik Cake), however, I called this “cake”,bars or flapjacks without rolled oats, for the simple and logical reason that it does not have a texture of a cake at all. It is a flattened no-bake sweet tray, a bit dense, chewy and crunchy at the same time, the same way flapjack or muesli bar or cereal bar or granola bar is made.

    What makes this “Kek” special is the visual batik pattern when cut at cross-sections.

      
    When I first found out eons ago that Milo was one of the ingredients in making this “Kek“, I was over the moon!

    Champion of all Beverages

    Remember this? Minum Milo, anda jadi sihat dan kuat! (Drink Milo, you will be healthy and strong)…

    When we were kids, we believed in Milo as the winner of all beverages. I remembered being absolutely happy when the Milo van came to my school and passed round free iced cold Milo drinks on a very hot day during school sports events. 

    Glug, glug, glug! It was so good…

    My Precious!!!

    I’m not a kid anymore, but I still love my Milo

    Looking for Milo in Belgium is like looking for a needle in a haystack! Arghhh!

    When I finally found a 200g tin of Milo recently, I felt like Sméagol clutching its PRECIOUSSSS…!

    Correction ~ MY preciousss! LOL!

    Green with Envy …

    I was in Kuching recently. The familiar green packs were ubiquitous in every local supermarket. Yup, I was green with envy😜

      
    Oh by the way, I remembered eating this “Kek” a lot during the Eid or Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations in Kuching. The Malays are very good at conjuring abstract looking cakes. I was told that this “Kek” is originated in Sarawak as with the popular kek lapis Sarawak (Sarawak layered-cake) The end result of the “Kek” represents the prints and designs of edible Batik or motifs of totem poles popular with the indigenous groups of people of Sarawak.

      
    LOVERLY!

    I based this recipe of Kek Batik from TryMasak.my with some changes here and there. I have reduced the amount of butter quite considerably, while increasing the amount of the rest of the ingredients slightly. I chose unsalted roasted peanuts for extra crunch and texture. And I thought the last minute sprinkle of white sesame seeds made the batik Milo flapjacks  looked absolutely stunning, like magical stardust! 😍
     Ingredients

    • 200g Delacre Maria biscuits, breaking each biscuit in 2 halves
    • 100g unsalted butter
    • 200g sweetened condensed milk
    • 120g Milo
    • 2 tsp cocoa powder
    • A pinch of salt
    • Unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly crushed with a pestle & mortar
    • Sesame seeds (topping)

       

       Method

    1. On medium heat, melt the butter, followed by the sweetened condensed milk, Milo and Cocoa powder.  Stir to combine, making sure the batter is lump-free.
    2. Add in the Maria biscuits. Remove pan from the heat. Stir to coat the biscuits in the brown batter. Finally toss in the crushed peanuts. Fold in lightly with a rubber spatula.
    3. Line a cake tin with parchment paper. Pour in the batter and press and flatten the surface tightly. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds.
    4. Refrigerate overnight

      

        
      

    I’m linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up September 2015 blog-hop event (MILO), organized & hosted by Doreen (Mui) of my little favourite DIY  & Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids.

     

    Have a great week ahead!

    Cheers! 

    “Funny when we‘re not there, they miss us. When we are there, they kinda close their eyes and pretend or think we are invisible.  When we are eventually there and as time goes by, we age quite rapidly. We actually black-out quite easily, too”.

    Now, who or what are “we“, and please be specific, I asked my 2 boys.

    A cat?

    Nope! I wondered why a cat…

    Light (bulb)?

    Nope!

    Fruit?

    Erm…Nope!

    Boys: Okay, we give up, Mum!

    Mum: Well, it’s none other than those sweet yellow curvy thingy called Bananas, my boys… LOL!

    Both my sons re-read the riddle that I invented and slowly nodded their heads with approval.

    Boys: Yeah, you’re right Mum. No wonder you spared the lives of the bananas from being thrased and put them to good use for the umpteenth time! *LOL*

    Mum: *Grin*

    Banana Makeover!

    I had 3 ripe bananas in my kitchen, dangling from the banana hanger, screaming out for a complete makeover! Actually, I had a few things in my mind with those bananas.

    Initially, I was thinking of making banana fritters. It has been a long time since I had my last banana fritter in Kuching back in 2008!  After looking at all angles, I scrapped the idea of making banana fritters as they consumed too much cooking oil for frying and furthermore, I don’t own a fryolater.

    Then I was thinking of baking a banana bread or cake. Nah! I’ve baked too many banana cakes already and have posted my downfalls and victories in these posts here, here,  here and here.

    And then, I was toying with the idea of making banana chiffon cake. Not too long ago, a colleague brought his home-baked banana chiffon cake to work and shared a few wedges with me. Boy…I was bowled over! Simply scrummy, that I finally bought myself a chiffon cake pan! Did I bake a chiffon cake? Nah! Not now. That’ll come, for sure 😉

    By the way, since it was Father’s Day recently, I thought of making something small with some extra goodness, and here’s the result! These little gems required no electric stand mixer. Only my working hand, a fork, a rubber spatula and 2 bowls (one big and one medium-sized), plus of course the measuring cups and spoons and the ingredients!

    I have adapted the recipe from JoyOfBaking.com, which I have posted here, by including a few of my own touches.

    Instead of using granulated white sugar, I opted for 1 Cup of soft light brown sugar (Cassonade Graeffe) and 1/2 tsp baking soda iso 1/4 tsp. I added 1 Tbsp caramel sauce as brown sugars are less sweet than the white granulated ones. To make the muffins a bit more special, I added 3/4 Cup Country Crisp with crunchy Chunky Nuts (wholegrain cereals, oat and barley flakes, dessiccated coconut, flaked almonds, chopped nuts – Brazil, pecan and roasted hazelnuts) and 1/4 Cup chopped pistachios.

    The method of making Quick Bread or Banana bread is such a breeze. Mix all the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl and mix all the dry ingredients in a bigger bowl. Add the wet to the dry and the chemistry begins! Fold very lightly until all white speckles of flour are no longer visible. Do not over stir unless you want hard rock muffins!   

    Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper muffin cups and fill each muffin cup 3/4 full.  Bake in the pre-heated oven at 177 deg C for a perfect muffin texture at 23 minutes! Please check your type of oven. It can be anywhere between 20 – 25 deg C. My oven usually takes the middle-of-the-road path 😉

    Verdict: These muffins were a joy to bite into when still warm. They were really light and the sweet banana flavour with the warm hint of cinnamon and the goodness from the nuts and crisps came through perfectly. I must confess that the nuts were not crunchy any more but you’ll definitely know their presence as they gave a nice bite and texture to an otherwise mundane-looking muffin. My boys loved the muffins and it’s the surest way to enjoy “black-out” bananas! And by the way, the muffins tasted absolutely divine the day after. Perfect in my dessert box 😉

    These were simple muffins but made with love and packed with extra goodness. I’m quite certain they will make a nice treat over at Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender & Lovage and co-hosted by Jane from The Hedgecombers with the June theme “Muffins, Fairy Cakes and Cupcakes

     

     
    I’m also linking this post to Tasty Tuesdays hosted by HonestMum  

    Before this week ends, I’m linking up to #Recipe of the Week 20-26 June hosted by A Mummy Too

    Enjoy the rest of the week!

    Cheers!