Wednesday 27 November 2013

Oats and Cherry Cookies with Sesame Seeds

Oats is this month theme for Little Thumbs Up.  I was contemplating whether should I bake as my family doesn’t like oats and don’t take at all.  I had a little concern that no one would eat the oats cookies if I bake.  But I was so surprise that my family had eaten up all the cookies!  I’m glad they had consumed some oats in their diet from these cookies.  I'll definitely bake this again.

I’m not a cookie person neither do my family.  You can see from my recipes that they are mostly cakes.  Yes, I prefer cakes to cookies.  But these cookies are exceptionally good!   It’s crunchy and has nutty taste.  The aroma from the oats and sesame seeds were so nice. 

This is definitely one of the Chinese New Year cookies that I’m going to bake for my relatives.

 These lovely cookies are from AllanBakes.
Allan is Singaporean baker and runs baking classes at neighbourhood community club.  He has written 3 cookbooks and I owned one of them, 
which is AllanBakes, Really Good Treats

INGREDIENTS (makes about 68 cookies)

120g       Plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp      Wholemeal Flour
¼ tsp       Bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch   Salt
120g       Unsalted butter - at room temperature
60g         Castor sugar
1 tbsp      Light brown sugar
1 no.        Medium size egg - slightly beaten
1 tsp        Vanilla Extract
140g       Quick cooking oats (I used Quakers Oats)
140g       Cherries – cut into tiny pieces (I used cranberries)
50g ea    White and black sesame seed – lightly toasted and mixed together


(1)Preheat oven to 160°C.  Line baking trays with baking paper or aluminium foil (shiny side down).

(2)Sift both types of flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.  Mix bran back into flour mixture.  Set aside.

(3)Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and both types of sugar at medium speed for about 6 minutes or until light and creamy.

(4)Add egg and vanilla extract and beat for 20 seconds.

(5)Add the flour mixture gradually and mix well for about 30 seconds.

(6)Stir in oats, then cherries (or cranberries) and mix well.

(7)Shape dough into 2-cm balls and coat with sesame seeds.  Arrange slightly apart on lined baking trays and press lightly to flatten.

(8)Bake for 20-25mins or until golden brown.

(9)Leave cookies on tray for about 10mins before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cookies will keep up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.


I’m submitting this post for Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite DIY.  The theme for this month is Oats and it’s hosted by Vivian from Vivian Pang Kitchen.

I’m also contributing this recipe to Cook-Your-Book #6 organised by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.

Come!  Join us to bake.

Monday 18 November 2013

Sticky Five Spice Pork Spare Ribs


Early bird catches the worm.  When I saw the rack of spare ribs at my usual butcher stall in the market, without hesitation, I simply grabbed it before they were gone.

I’m not sure how should I cook it.  So I visited Bill Granger’s recipe since we’re cooking his recipe for this month and December.  Eventually, I chose to cook his Sticky Five Spice Pork Spare Ribs.

My family loves spare ribs especially when it is marinated with honey.  They leaped with joy when they knew that I’m cooking that.

This finger-licking good is a fantastic recipe from Bill Granger.  It has a sticky sweet and salty flavour.  The meat is tender and the flavour is well infused into the meat. 

I’m so proud and happy that I could make such a delicious dish!


2 kg rack of pork ribs, back ribs
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp grated root ginger
125 ml soy sauce
125 ml hoi sin sauce
60 ml honey
1 tsp chinese five spice
2 tbsp sunflower oil, or other mild oil


(1)Put the ribs into a baking dish. In a bowl, mix all of the remaining rib ingredients together to make a marinade. Set aside about 4 tablespoons of the marinade and pour the rest over the ribs and rub in well.

(2)Turn the ribs meat side down, ready for cooking and set aside for half an hour or longer to marinate.

(3)Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6

(4)Transfer the ribs to the oven for 40 mins then increase the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Turn the ribs, brush with the reserved marinade and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

(5)To serve, transfer the ribs to a chopping board and cut into individual ribs. (For me, I have cut the ribs into individual ribs before marinate).  Serve with the cabbage salad, some steamed rice and wedges of lime.  Scatter the coriander over before serving.


I’m submitting this to Cook Like A Star.  This event is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids; Yen from Eats Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake

For November and December, we’re baking and cooking recipes from Bill Granger.

Bill Granger is an Australian chef and food writer.  He is also a self-taught cook and runs a few restaurants in Australia. 

Bill takes pride in presenting delicious food that is simple, fresh and looks irresistible.  He is a self-taught cook who gained his knowledge from eating, reading and experiencing food. 

Hope you'll like this recipe!

Sunday 17 November 2013

Oven Baked Barramundi (Sea Bass) Fish with Lemon and Dill

With a little lemon and dill, it makes such a simple and delicious fish!

I learnt this from Yen, Eat Your Heart Out.  I like the way she prepared the dishes.  It’s simple and easy, which is very suitable for working mum like me.

It’s always nice to have fresh herbs from your own garden.  But it’s difficult or simply not possible to find fresh dill from the market in the area that I’m staying.  Unusual fresh herbs like dill are usually sold in premium supermarket.  I’m staying at the far end, in west side of Singapore; it’s harder for me as premium supermarket is usually located in down town, if not will be quite a distance from where I'm staying.  Therefore, instead of using fresh dill, I used dry dill which also taste good too.

I steam or bake most of the dishes I prepared.  I hardly do deep frying because I’m not so steady in handling wok and I can’t stand the sizzling oil spilling over my hands.

I prepared the dip.  But instead of serving the dip separately, I poured it over the baked fish.   It makes the skin of the fish so moist and tasty and my family loves it so much.
This recipe is definitely a keeper.  At times when you're running out of idea what to cook for dinner, this will be a great choice.


800-900g Sea Bass
1 lemon, washed
3 stalks dill (about 1.5 tbsp of dry dill)
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the dip
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce


(1)Preheat oven to 180°C. Clean the fish thoroughly, rub some salt in the stomach area and rinse with water. Pat dry with kitchen towel.

(2)Cut the lemon into half. Slice one half of the lemon into thin slices.

(3)Line a baking tray with foil.  Drizzle olive oil over fish, coating both sides well. Stuff the stomach area with the lemon slices and dill. Squeeze the juice of the remaining half all over the fish (including stomach area). Season with salt and pepper.

(4)Place the fish in preheated oven and cook for 25-28 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the thickest part goes all the way through.

(5)While fish is cooking, make the dip. Heat the oil in a wok/frying pan over medium high heat then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove, along with oil into a small bowl. Add the light soy sauce and mix.

(6)Serve the fish hot with the soy sauce dip or pour the dip over the baked fish.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Homemade Pork & Prawns Wantans Soup

What a simple and hearty Wantans soup!

It’s my 1st time making these Wantans.  The most challenging part is gathering the top of wantans skin. 
Look!  The skin was a little torn.  But it didn’t affect the taste of the wantans.
It’s not difficult to make, it’s just time consuming.  But when you see your family enjoyed eating them, it really worth the time doing it.

Here’s the recipe adapted from 


200g pork mince
70g peeled prawns
1 1/2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped
2 tsp light soy sauce
A pinch of salt
A pinch of white pepper
1 tsp ginger wine
30 wantan skins (can easily get from supermarket)

Chicken Stock
(1)1.5ltr Chicken Stock (1 used 2 chicken breast meat to make about 1.5 litres of chicken stock

(2)Salt, to taste

(3)2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped (I also include Chinese parsley)


(1)In a bowl, place the pork mince, prawns, spring onions, soy sauce, white pepper, and ginger wine. Mix well and marinate for 10-15 minutes.

(2)To wrap wantans: Prepare a small bowl of water. Take 1 piece of wantan skin, and place a small mound (roughly 1 tsp) of filling in the centre. Dip your finger into the water, and run it around the edges of the wantan wrapper. Bring the opposite edges together to form a triangle. Gather the top of the wantan skins and seal with more water to form a wantan parcel.

(3)Place chicken stock in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the wantans (cook in 4 batches) and cook until the wantans float to the top, about 1 1/2-2 minutes.

(4)Serve in a small bowl with some chicken stock and garnish with some spring onions. 

Saturday 9 November 2013

Japanese Milky Madeleines

These simple better cakes are a classic Western-influenced treat in Japan.  They are perfect for afternoon tea, paired with your favourite hot beverage.

It was another Saturday afternoon that I was alone at home again.  My hubby flew off to KL early in the morning to attend his colleague’s wedding and the boys were in church.

I wanted to bake something for boys to eat before they go church.  So I decided to try out Okashi’s Japanese Milky Madeleines.

This is a Japanese version of Madeleines.  It is lighter and not so buttery like the French Madeleins and they’re baked in the paper cups instead of shell shape mold.

The cake is milky and has strong honey fragrant.  It’s more on the sweet side so I’ve reduced quite a bit of sugar.  I think it can still be reduced a little bit more if you’re not on the sweet side. 

 Overall I’m happy with the cake.  The recipe is for 18 cupcakes.  But I only managed to make 12.  The cakes were all gone before the boys stepped out of the house.

My greatness fulfilment is hearing my 2 boys said, “Mum, the cakes are so yummy.  Can make some more?” and my reply was, "Sure! I'm happy to do it."


120g               Pastry flour or top flour
20g                 Rice flour or corn flour
15g                 Milk powder
½ tsp               Baking powder
15g                 Honey
1 tbsp              Hot water
100g               Unsalted butter
50g                 Double (heavy) cream (45% fat)
1 tsp                Vanilla extract
140g               Eggs
1 pinch           salt
150g               Japanese sugar (jo haku tou) or castor
                        sugar  (I reduced to 80g)


(1)Preheat oven to 170°C.  Line a muffin tray with paper cases.  Sift together flours, milk powder and baking powder.  Combine honey and hot water in a small bowl.

(2)Place butter, cream and vanilla in a heatproof bowl.  Place over a pot of simmering water and heat, stirring until butter is melted.  Set aside.

(3)In another heatproof bowl, beat eggs and salt with a whisk.  Add sugar and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and mix well.  When egg mixture is warm, use an electric mixer to beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium and continue beating for about 1 minute.  Add honey and mix well.

(4)Gently fold in flour mixture with a spatula.  Add cream and butter mixture and fold until just incorporated.

(5)Spoon batter into a piping bag fitted with 1-cm piping tip.  Pipe batter into the prepared baking tray (I skipped using piping bag.  Instead I just used a spoon to spoon the batter into the paper cases).  Bake for about 25 minutes until madeleines are light golden in colour.  Cool on a wire rack.

(6)Store madeleines in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or up to 1 month in the freezer. 


I’m also contributing this recipe taken from Okashi, sweet treats made with Love by Keiko Ishida to Cook-Your-Book it is linked to Cook-Your-Books #6 hosted by Kitchen Flavours.

Cook-Your-Books is all about cooking or baking from your many cookbooks or magazines that you have collected over the years.  It’s time to get those books (or magazines) out of the shelves, and start to cook or bake.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate never fails to satisfy the palate, and this chocolate cake will not fail to please your guests and family when it is time for dessert.  

To my dear bloggers and friends, how I wish I could serve you a slice of this cake.

 Last week was a fruitful and accomplishing week for me.  As I work 3 days from home, I took the opportunity to try out 3 new recipes (Matcha Swiss Roll, Japanese Cheesecake and this Chocolate Cake).  I also repeated some of the baked as requested by my boys too.

This is a dark, moist and incredibly rich chocolate cake.  It tasted even better after overnight in the fridge.  It’s luscious and soft and extremely chocolaty.  You simply can’t resist it and will never say “no” to it.   Make sure to enjoy it with a cup of cold milk.  

It’s a pretty easy cake to make and perfect for a birthday cake.  The next time if I’ll to make this cake again, which I foresee would be quite soon, I’d like to slather the whole cake with chocolate frosting.  I can’t imagine how will it be like but I know it’s going to be incredible! 

This cake is from Okashi, sweet treats made with love by Keiko ishida. 

(18cm round cake pan)

35g         Pastry flour or top flour (I used Cake Flour)
50g         Cocoa powder
100g       Sweet chocolate (55% cocoa) (I used dark chocolate instead)
80g         Unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
40g         Caster sugar
4              Egg yolks
50g         Whipping cream (35% fat)

4              Egg whites
100g       Caster sugar (I reduced to 70g)

Whipped Cream (Optional) – I skipped
200g       Whipping cream
2 tsp        Caster sugar


(1)Preheat oven to 170°C.  Prepare an 18cm round cake pan with a removable base.  Line with parchment paper.  Sift flour and cocoa powder together twice.

(2)Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof  bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Once chocolate and butter have melted, add sugar, egg yolks and cream and mix well using a whisk.  Set aside.

(3)Make meringue.  Beat egg whites until foamy.  Add half the sugar and continue beating for a few mintues, then add remaining sugar and beat until egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form.

(4)Add one-third of meringue to chocolate mixture and fold with a whisk.  Add flour and cocoa powder and fold in thoroughly.  Add remaining meringue and fold just until incorporated.

(5)Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for about 50mins.  Note that the baking time may vary according to your oven.  When cake is done, unmold from pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.

(6)Optional. Make whipped cream.  Combine ingredients in a clean bowl.  Place bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water (For me, I’ll usually place the stainless bowl and whisk in the freezer for 1 hour before I use it to whip the cream).  Using an electrical mixer, whip cream at medium speed until stiff peaks form but cream is still smooth.

(7)Dust cake with icing sugar.  Slice and service with whipped cream.  Garnish as desired.


 I’m also contributing this recipe to Cook-Your-Book, which it is linked to Cook-Your-Books #6 hosted by KitchenFlavours.

Cook-Your-Books is all about cooking or baking from your many cookbooks or magazines that you have collected over the years.  It’s time to get those books (or magazines) out of the shelves, and start to cook or bake.