Sunday 29 September 2013

Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin (Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman)


Life is about cherishing the past, facing the present and moving ahead towards new milestones.

There’re so many uncertain events happening in my life right now.  I’m not sure and also can’t see what is ahead of me.  But FAITH tells me that no matter what lies ahead of me, God is already there.  So by worrying never changes the outcome.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Therefore, I put everything aside and get on to BAKE!! J

I’m glad to submit another recipe by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, before we move on to the next theme for Cook Like A Star.

Perfect  Potatoes Au Gratin.  Why is it called Perfect Au Gratin?  According to The Pioneer Woman, there isn’t really such thing as “bad” Potatoes Au Gratin.  It’s just simply made the title of this recipe weightier.   Ha ha!

I didn’t have experience making Potatoes Au Gratin before I make this as I just started to learn how to bake about few months back.  This is so easy and delicious.  

After knowing how to make this basic Potatoes Au Gratin, I believe we can improvise further by adding some bacons or dry herbs.  Can also replace cheddar cheese with Parmesan cheese, which I think it will be even tastier as I like Parmesan Cheese and would prefer this to Cheddar Cheese.

Here’s the recipe for classic Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.

(This is for 8 servings, which is too much for my family)

4 whole russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 tbsp butter, softened
1½ cup heavy cream
½ cups whole milk
2 tbsp flour
4 cloves galic, finely minced
1 tsp salt
Freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
1 cup freshly grated cheddar (I used ready pack grated)


(1)Preheat oven to 200ºC

(2)Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.

(3)Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

(4)In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk flour, minced garlic, salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

(5)Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.  Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.

(6)Repeat (5) two more times, ending with the cream mixture. 

(7)Cover with foil and bake for 30mins.  Remove foil and bake for another 20mins, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling.  

(8)Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

(9)Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful.  



Cook Like A Star.  This event is hosted by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids; Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake.

This month we are cooking and baking any recipe from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Strawberry Flavor Ombre Birthday Cake


I love cream decorated cake.  It’s simply so marvelous.

When I saw Joyce from Kitchen Flavour did this cake for her daughter, I was so inspired and decided to do a similar one for my sister-in-law’s birthday.

Ombre refers to shaded tones of the same color assembled from light to dark, forming color gradient.  So is this cake of mine an Ombre Cake??

Although my piping technique is not so skillful, I have to admit that I’m rather proud of how this cake turned out. 

 It looks so pretty and so sweetly romantic…

As for the cake itself, I’m using my Chiffon Cake recipe, which I think it makes a better sponge cake.  It’s extremely puffy and soft, and light too.  

I baked two 7" cakes and formed a 4-layered cake with 2 tone of pink.  

 But I've to confess that I had used quite a bit of artificial ingredient.  I used Strawberry oil from LorAnn Oils to gave out strawberry flavor in the cake, and food coloring from Wilton.  

Personally I prefer to use whipping cream to frost cake as whipped cream is light and fluffy.  I feel that butter cream or cream cheese is a bit overpowering and the texture is a little heavy on a light cake although it’s delicious. 

Here is the recipe for whipped cream frosting.

To make a stiff icing, mix in a little gelatine.

4 tsp   Water
1 tsp   Gelatine or Walton Stabiliser Gel

Stir water and gelatine together and mix well.  Microwave it until it’s cleared.  Cooled and set aside.

400g  Heavy cream
60g    Powdered sugar


(1)Whip the whipping cream until it’s medium stiff.

(2)Pour in the gelatine and continue to bit until it’s stiff.

(3)Divide the whipped cream into 2 and mix 1 with food colouring.  Amount of shade will depend on individual liking.

(4)Insert piping tip into the piping bag.  For this cake, I’m using Walton 1M tip to pipe the rosette.  Fill 2 sets of whipped cream into 2 different piping bag.

(5)Before you start the piping, spread every layer of cakes with plain whipped cream.  Then coat the whole cake with a thin layer of plain whipped cream.  (I have missed out the pic for the coated cake)

Put the stainless steel whipping bowl and the whisk into the freezer for at least 30mins before you start whipping the cream.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Naughty Fat Chocolate Muffins


Baking has been the best way for me to relieve stress.

Lately, I’ve been very upset and disappointed over something not worth mentioning.  So I decided to turn on my oven and bake J  

For the last 2 weeks, I haven’t been baking anything new.   But I tried making bread again.  Unfortunately it didn’t work out as usual.  I just don’t have the luck in making bread…  I failed terribly all the time.   

Finally, I concluded that I failed because I didn’t knead the dough long enough.  You know why so?  Hand kneading is very tough and tiring.   I'm thinking ... ermm… how about getting a kitchen assistant?  Checking out now whether is KitchenAid a better assistant or Breadmaker? :P

Ok.  It's enough and now back to my baking.  I mentioned I haven’t been baking anything new for the last 2 weeks.  But I revisited my recipes and had baked a butter cake (egg separation method) and banana cake.  

Butter cake, banana cake and also muffins are my family all time favorites.  I’m always happy to bake for them whenever they request.  

Hey!  Look at these muffins.  Don’t you think they look awesome?  :D

Well done, Titus!!

Last weekend, I got the chance to bake with my younger son, Titus.  He was consulting me what should he bake for his home econ holiday project.  So we visited some of my regular bloggers’ recipes and he decided to bake these muffins from Bake For Happy Kids, and he chose the Naughty Fat Muffins instead of the Nice Fat Muffins.

The muffins were so chocolatey.   It’s very moist and the chocolate inside was completely melted.

The muffin top was slightly slanted.  I guess Titus didn’t level the batter properly when he spoon the batter onto the muffin cups.  But overall, it was an awesome muffin and we finished them all in a day.  

This is definitely a keeper!  I foresee I’ll bake them quite often.



1 2/3 cup  Self-raising flour, sifted
1/3 cup     Cocoa powder, sifted
2/3 cup     Caster sugar
1/3 cup     Dark chocolate chips (I used chocolate coin instead)
100g         White chocolate(I replaced with unsweetened chocolate chips)
100g         Butter, melted
1 cup        Milk
1 no.         Egg


(1)Preheat oven to 180˚C or 160˚C with fan forced.

(2)Line muffin pan with paper cases.

(3)Combine flour, cocoa, sugar and chocolate chips in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.

(4)Whisk butter, milk and eggs in a large jug.

(5)Add the wet ingredients to the well.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined (don’t over-mix).  Spoon the mixture into paper cases.

(6)Baking time is 18-20mins or until firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Stand in pan for 5mins.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serve.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Bacon Onion Cheddar Biscuits (Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman)


A hearty snack that hits the spot.  

This is going to make a wonderful breakfast and also perfect side dish for dinner.    

The recipe is totally awesome.  It was taken from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.

These biscuits are just so delicious.  It is pretty easy to make.  It loaded with lots of cheddar cheese, onions and bacon.  This recipe called for frying of bacon and sautéing the onions in some of the bacon leftover grease.

Look!  Oh my goodness.  It’s beautiful and yummy!
Serve them fresh and hot straight from the oven for breakfast or dinner.

You can also freeze leftover by cling-wrapped it individually and place them in the freezer bag.   It’s good on some crazy morning, just simply remove few pieces from the freezer; microwave it for 1-2 mins.  It makes breakfast so easy and convenience.


2 cups (240g)        All-purpose Flour
1 tsp                      Baking Power
¾ tsp                      Salt
1/4 cup (60g)         Vegetable Shortening (I used butter instead)
10 tbsp                  Milk (whole Milk Is Best)
4 tbsp                    Vegetable Oil
1                            Egg
10 slices                Thick Cut Bacon, Fried And rumbled
1 cup                     Finely Diced Onion
1 cup                     Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese


(1)Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening (or butter) until all combined.

(2)Combine milk, oil, and egg in a separate bowl. Whisk together.

(3)Fry the bacon till done but still leave a little chewy – not burned to crisp.

(4)Remove the bacon from the pan.  Set aside for it to cool.  When it’s cooled, chop it into small pieces.

(5)Combine flour mixture, milk mixture, bacon, onions, and cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Stir gently until all combined.

(6)Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes on 190˚C or until golden.

(7)When it is done, remove from pan and serve warm.


This is my 1st post contributes to Cook Like A Star and this month we are cooking or baking any recipe from 

Saturday 7 September 2013

Char Siu 叉烧肉


I must tell you this - Philip doesn’t pay me to advertise their Air Fryer Ok??  J

But I really want to say Philip Air Fryer is a very useful equipment in my kitchen that everyone at home uses it daily.  My 2 boys will grill beef or chicken patty and make their own sandwich after school.  They will also make hash brown and sometime they do their own french fries or heat up muffins for their afternoon snacks too.

Last weekend, I made this – Char Sui 叉烧 (Roasted Meat) again.  By the way, my family loves meat. 

The is from Niegella Lawson’s recipe but has been modified by Bake For Happy Kids for Cook Like A Star - August Theme.

The recipe called for pork tenderloin.  But I’m not sure tenderloin is from which part of the pig.  Serious!  I’m not joking.  The butcher in the wet market couldn’t help me too.  So I told him I’m making Char Siu and here he went gave me 五花肉 …. and again I’m not sure this is from which part of the pig.  

As I didn’t want to irritate him further so I simply just take it, pay and go without question.  I promise I’ll check it out if I’m making Char Siu again ok? J

These are the ingredients used for marinate.


One tenderloin or 叉烧肉
4 tsp of Soy Sauce
2 tsp of Tomato Ketchup
3 tsp of Hoisin sauce
2 tsp of Sweet Sheery (use Hua Tiao wine instead)
2 tsp of honey
2 scant of dark mascovado sugar (can substitute this with dark brown sugar)


(1)Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the pork tenderloin in half across.  Place the pork in plastic freezer bag (as I don't have so I used clean plastic bag) and pour all ingredients to marinade. Make sure that the pork is well coated with the marinade and leave them in the fridge for at least 24 hrs.

(2) To cook the pork, preheat the Air Fryer to 220°C or 200°C (if using oven, remember to switch to full fan forced). Take the pork out of the marinade, reserving the marinade. Line a baking dish with tin foil and place the pork on it. Bake for 15 mins, then turn the Air Fryer down to 160°C or 150°C and bake the pork for another 20-30 mins.

(3) Transfered the pork onto a fresh foil-lined tray and bake for another 10 mins at 200°C. When the char siu ideal colour has been achieved, remove it from the oven and let it cool. When cooled, slice the pork into very thin slices.

(4)Heat the reserved marinate with low heat until thick and syrupy and used it to spread on top of the meat before serve. 

And, here you go a plate of delicious and yummy Char Siu.