Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Rainy December...Adieu 2011


Rain dripping through the pot hole...

Yellow flowers at my parents' house in Melaka..
Life and its surprises. Nobody would have predicted them at the first place. I do not know how the future would look like. There are so many plans in my life that I have to shelve out, put aside in 2011. Sometimes, life is good without any planning, sometimes it is not. We aim for the best in our career, our personal life is going to suffer any how. I used to do a wish list for every coming new year, but somehow rather the wish is not going any way or it does not become  significant anymore. So, I stop to wish, just like  I wish that I would do more baking in the year of 2011. However, I was not baking at all towards the quarter end of  the year. Work commitments have taken  a toll on my life. I wished that  I would have baked and blogged more, sharing my thoughts and recipes. Oh, I could only wished. Blogging and baking used to be the therapy of my calling, but time is my biggest enemy. I lacked of time to do things of my own passion, and ended up feeling miserable most of the time.

 With the coming year of 2012, I certainly hoped that  my readers, friends and alike would achieve bigger things personally and professionally. I hoped that happiness and good health would surround you. I hoped for all the best things in life. We may have our own sadness and unhappiness, but there is definitely hope. Life is HOPE and let us dream of better things to come. Thank you for reading this entry. I am humbled for the initial beginning of this blog, back in 2008 and it has definitely grow, and I grow up too- in a way. Happy moments ahead everyone, may I blog more in 2012 and share wonderful stories and recipes with all of you. Adieu 2011, welcome aboard 2012- with a lot of dreams and definitely HOPE...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Went South

A clock in one of the restaurants in Malay Village


Mee Rebus Stulang in Johor Bahru

Kacang Pool -Johor Bahru

I went South-(accurately Johor Bahru and Singapore) this time, and revel on many different things. There were so many things that I took for granted all this while, and this time- I took time to do some shopping, trying out new dishes and sight-seeings. Johor is a food paradise and Singapore on the other hand is a shopping heaven.

Masjid Sultan at Arab Street, Singapore

Murtabak Singapore - Arab Street

What's left....

Ice cube box outside of 7-Eleven, probably because of space availability

A rainy day, indeed

Shopping in Takashimaya, Orchard Road

Toys fair

Handbags anyone?

Art deco near the escalators in Takashimaya
 To sum up, it was definitely a marvellous holiday- going to the South. The only drawback was the lack of time and $$$$...Oh, if only I had tonnes to spend. Yes, every one needs a wonderful holiday and some retail escapades.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Birthday Wish

Six years of existence....
Classic Chocolate Cake- I have double the recipe- seen here,
this cake is quite overbaked.

The Birthday Cake- Classic Chocolate Cake frosted with White Chocolate and Buttercream, topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries

Celebrating birthday with friends- daycare at kindergarten

Six years ago, I would have never known that my life would change with the arrival of a bouncy young baby boy. He was anticipated by yours truly as I have always wanted many children in my life.  But God has his own plan. This bouncy baby boy came into my life and commanded my full attention for six fine years as he was the only child. I've changed along the way, growing up and learning to become a mother as well. I learnt to rely to my motherly instincts and made many sacrifices in the last six years of my life. God knows how difficult it is to balance work commitments and responsibilities at the same time. You see, I have a very demanding job which required paper chase as well. Sometimes I wake up at 4 on Saturdays just to be in one of the places by 6.30 in the morning. I might as well keep saying that I hate my job, and I always dream of quitting and concentrating on baking- for leisure and pleasure, of course. That is why as much as I like to update my blog and trying new recipes- I fail in that area, simply because I don't have much time and energy to spare. I am too exhausted by the end of the day. And for this birthday celebration, I slogged like a crazy woman just to bake a birthday cake as wished by my son. I was tired before that. He was actually asking for a chocolate cake with white frosting and fresh fruits as seen from the picture. I tried to oblige as I didn't really spend time with him lately ...... I was busy with work. Eventually, I have managed to bake a birthday cake as what he had requested, only after a second attempt in baking. The first cake was a failure (even a baker failed miserably at times). Finally, after nearly giving up - I have managed to bake a Classic Chocolate Cake, overbaked it a little bit {Choc Cake recipe-click here } frosted with White Chocolate and Buttercream.  I did something horrible with the frosting, and after three hours managed to get ready for the birthday celebration. Well, that settled, I was exhausted by the end of the day. But, glad I did bake the cake.. (phew). That's what we call Love, right!

The portion of the cake- 3/4 left

Little Azeem when he was just a baby...seen here with his grandfather

This cake is a proof of a mother's love to her child....
Happy 6th Birthday dear son- may you grow up to be a wise and knowledgeable person....May we have more birthday celebrations in years to come...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Memories of yesteryears- Chocolate and Zucchini cupcakes

I have grated chocs into the cupcakes... seen here are unbaked cupcakes and "zucchinis"

Piping hot in the oven

Black beauty- they are...

As natural as they are....Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes

     I have  always loved these mouth-watering, easy to please Chocolate and Zucchini cupcakes. I stopped baking them after one incident that I wished to forget. But through the persuasian of a favourite student, V- I have managed to bake them -today. Yes, today....Time after time, he kept mentioning these cupcakes, persuading me through out the years to bake these for him and I kept telling him that I would not bake them anymore. Yes, my feelings were mixed when I baked them today, ~ thinking that I am old now. My student was only 14 when he tasted these cupcakes and he kept telling me how he missed these cupcakes. He is now a 17 year old teenager in the brink of adulthood. Frankly speaking, after an incident that I really wanted to forget, I stopped baking cupcakes altogether. I was frustrated and sad as well.. but today, I baked them again.
    Three years ago, when I started this blog, I was experimenting with all types of recipes, and I was concentrating on cupcakes. I just adored the mini-sized cakes, as you should know, cupcakes were all the craze years ago, many home bakers started business and got a lot of profits just by selling cupcakes. I knew one professional turned part time baker  who managed to do brisk business in cupcakes and  at one time, the income from her business surplussed her own salary. Then, the craze for cupcakes died... just like that. It's sad. Now, there are macaroons, whoopie pies and what ever baking creations some other people would like to offer.
     Back to these cupcakes, I did not know how to describe them - in words. I guess,  I might be over react with their flavours, as I have always loved them to bits. You can read my older posts on these cupcakes back in July 2008. At that time, I was inspired by  Heidi of 101 cookbooks. Today, I am going to share this recipe, so that every one would regard zucchini in a higher postion rather than some tasteless vegetables. Here goes;


1 cup brown sugar
3-4 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs honey
1/4 cup melted butter ( I have used salted)
3/4 cup coconut oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2-3 tbs fresh milk
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups plain flour
1 cup grated choc/chop chips ( I have grated Hershey's chocolate- did not put in the choc chips)
1  cup cocoa powder ( I have used Hershey's)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp all spice  powder( this- I omitted -forgotten actually)
2 tsp soda bicarbonate
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder( I put 1/2 tsp -missed reading the actual recipe)


    In a stainless steel bowl, mix sugar, honey, melted butter and coconut oil. You can use electric    hand mixer. (I did the traditional way.... hand-whisk). Beat in eggs, one by one. Mix well.  Stir in vanilla essence, sour cream, zucchini, grated chocolate and salt. Mix well. Add in milk, followed   by lemon juice. In a separate bowl, sift altogether --soda bicarbonate, flour, cinnamon , all  spice and cocoa powder.  Add in the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix them together.  Preheat oven for 8 mins ( 150C)-- I used conventional electric type oven.  
      Get ready your souffle paper cups. ( I used medium-sized cups). Spoon 3-5 tbs of the batter into    the cups. Make sure they are 3/4 full and there are spaces between the cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes. After 20 mins, they would be ready. Check if they are ready, by inserting  a skewer into the cakes, if the skewer comes out clean, then, your cakes are ready. Do not over  bake them...

Happy baking. May cupcakes rule your heart and brighten up your days...

Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes frosted with chocolate ganache

Cropped-up view

Ready to be given to my fav student, V...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eid-ul Adha and Marble Rainbow Cake

Marble Rainbow Cake- for Eid Celebration

The view from top -as  colourful as the RAINBOW, hence the name.

Last  Sunday was Eid-ul Adha in Malaysia. It's a special day for Muslims. This is when sacrifices are made, cattles (usually) are slaughtered, and the meat is distributed to the poor. I would have preferred Eid-ul Adha rather than Eid-Fitr personally, as I got more time to spend in the kitchen and the preparations are not so taxing. So, every year - I will head to my maternal grandmother's house in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan to celebrate Eid. It's so nice to be surrounded by family  members and this is the time I got to meet my cousins and their children as well. For this celebration, I've promised my mum that I would bake two cakes and make some curry puffs. But being me, with all the things that I needed to prepare, I ended up baking only ONE cake. Yes, only one. I know that my mum has simple taste  in cakes, she would only want a fuss-free cake without all sorts of icing. So, that would be easy then - and I ended up baking this cake. This is definitely a classic type of cake. Everybody would have known any recipe of a marble cake. I've done many types of cakes, all based on recipes - I even twicked here and there to suit my taste bud. However, this time I relied on my instincts and experiences as a baker. I wanted to do an experiment, hence this Marble Rainbow Cake. There are many cakes that used a lot of extra things, but I only want to do a simple one. My ideal cake should come out tasting good and the texture is moist and buttery as well. I followed my heart, relying much on my likings, recollecting my failed attempts in recipe inventions- and I came out with this cake. I went slowly with the methods, writing out the recipe during the process. It took me opproximately, an hour to do all the preparations and baking ( I assemble the ingredients beforehand). Apparently, I was a satisfied baker with the results. So, it was a successful experiment- I brought this back to my "kampung" (village) and there was always a second helping for everyone. Well, everyone was happy during this Eid and it's all about family and happiness. Here is the recipe for everyone to try.

315g of unsalted butter ( I used SCS and Lurpak)- they were available in my fridge
1 cup - caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
2  1/2 cup of self-raising flour ( sifted)
8 eggs
1-2 tsp of apple green colour
1 -2 tsp of red and pink colour -combine this to get the desired colour as seen in my picture
4 tbs of evaporated milk ( I used Ideal from Nestle)
* If you should use salted butter, omit salt in the recipe
* I don't used vanilla essence in this recipe- I want the taste of a buttery cake

** Preheat oven -150C (7-8 mins)
1) In a stainless steel bowl, cream butter and sugar well- 4 to 5 mins,
     medium speed using hand mixer
2) Add in salt. Add in eggs, one by one- combine well.
3) Add in flour, go slowly, by three to four batches - mix well
4) Add in evaporated milk, combine well. Divide mixture into three parts. Colour one part of the cake   mixture- green, another part the combination of pink and red. The last part should be in the original   colour.
5) Grease your baking pan with butter and line  with parchment paper.
6) Pour the original colour mixture into the baking pan. Put  dollops of green mixture in certain parts of the baking pan, then put the red mixture, as well. After that, put dollops of  the original mixture. Combine the three colours by mixing them well using a rubber spatula, so that you would have a rainbow colour cake as seen from the picture.
7) Put your baking tray into the oven. The cake would take about 25-30 mins depending on the size of your baking tray. Test if your cake is ready by inserting a skewer. If the cake is ready, the skewer will come out clean.

** Cut into squares and serve them with a cup of black coffee. Then you  will know that you are coming home... hmmmm

The journey of " balik kampung" ( homecoming)

"Kampung" is surrounded by coconut trees... ;)

Eid's breakfast- Lemang, Grandma's antique teapot and the cake cut into squares
Close- up view - on top we have the rainbow effect and when we cut into squares,it looked so beautiful with the different colours meddling into each other.

Now, that the "homecoming" is completed, everyone should have happy moments with their loved ones. Happy days ahead  and may your  heart  filled with heavenly baking goodness....


Friday, October 28, 2011

Revisited ~Coconut milk and pandan steam cake- the recipe

Cut into squares- this is a picture from my album...

The whole cake- if you want to have a smooth texture- cover the cake with a muslin cloth..

Time after time, I always wonder why this cake become one of the top posts in my blog. Apparently, when I first did the post on this cake in February this year, I did not  include the recipe. I thought it was just a no big deal cake- but the popularity of the post had me thinking. So, here I am - spending time to rewrite the recipe, admist my ever mounting work chores. I am sorry if the pictures are old ones taken from my old archive, however- with this entry, I have included the recipe. Sometimes, the idea of sharing the recipe was always in my mind, but I kept thinking of other recipes that I wanted to do. So, here I am- sharing the recipe. I hope you will try this. Double the recipe if  you want to steam it in a round baking pan just like the above picture. The recipe will be very suitable for small cupcake cases. Here goes;


5 pandan leaves, cut into small parts
1 cup of coconut milk ( freshly squeezed - you should get the medium thick liquid)
* If you should use the canned coconut milk- add 1/2 to 1 tbsp of water, (so that it does not become too thick)
1 cup freshly grated coconut - the usual dessicated ones will not bring the flavour and aroma needed in this cake
100g margarine ( I used PLANTA brand)
100g caster sugar ( I have reduced the amount of sugar -originally, it was 150g)
2 eggs
250g self-raising flour- sieved twice
** 1-2 tbsp of plain water (optional)


1) Using blender, blend pandan leaves with the coconut milk. Sieve to get rid of the pandan leaves- make sure you get a cup of sieved coconut milk. The colour now, should turn into greenish milk.
2) Beat margarine and caster sugar- until fluffy. Add in eggs one by one- Stir the mixture well.
3) Add in half of the flour and another half of the greenish coconut milk. Stir well.
4) Then, add in the last batch of flour, followed by another half of the greenish coconut milk, at this stage- you can add in the plain water ( if you want to). Stir well. Get ready with your steamer. Make sure that the water is heated moderately well for about 7-8 mins, before you put in your baking pan into the steamer.
5) Grease the baking pan with margarine. Put the mixture into the baking pan. Cover baking pan with muslin cloth or aluminium foil, so that the water from the steamer will not drop into the cake. Steam your cake (45 mins for the round baking pan), please do not attempt to open the cover. After 45 mins, you can test your cake by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.
6) Cool your cake for about 5 mins. Then, it is ready to be cut into squares.

Pandan leaves ( Google Picture)

Pandan shrubs ( google)

Fresh coconut- (google)
Happy baking, everyone.....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life Is.......Hope

I love pink....Pink has different meanings to me- it can be girlish, sweet, full of hopes and happy moments.

Not forgetting shiny, satin pink ribbons

Pink gerberas are definitely pleasant to the eyes

Life is like autumn.. the leaves are first green, after that they become red, turned into yellow and then brown. Next, they become dry and the leaves fall from the trees...

As the little bird rummaging its two little feets in the snow flakes of winter
We dream of the beautiful white and yellow  daisies in the spring- we hope for good days to come and blissful and sunny days to celebrate

Life is hope, obviously. I say that life is hope as I got to know that a friend has contracted breast cancer- today. A few years ago, I had a cousin who passed away due to cancer. She left six children, all deprived of her love. Last year, I had visited a college friend who was dying from cancer- at the age of 34. Then, my friend, Elly, brought me to visit her cousin who was suffering from cancer too. Recently, Elly's cousin whom I had visited passed away. I was sorry to hear that. Do you know that October is actually the Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Not many are aware of the significance of this month. We are so caught up with our own moments, we think that we have face many difficulties in life, that we forget some people are suffering from this illness. I have called up my friend and told her that I always think of her, and hoping for the bests. Life is hope, we do not just give up easily...We must achieve what ever that life is offering. Everybody has their own ups and downs, my test may come in another form. In the mean time, let's think that life is hope cornering in every tests that we may face... All hopes for my friend and Doa ( prayers) for her speed recovery....

These happy quotations may set us on a positive path in life ;

True happiness is not attained through selfgratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
Helen Keller

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Mark Twain

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.
Richard Bach

The supreme happiness of live is the conviction that we are loved.
Victor Hugo

We must laugh before we are happy, for fear of dying without having laughed at all.
Jean de La Bruyere

Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.
Cynthia Nelms

Live life to the fullest, the best is yet to come .....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blame it on the weather man....

The weather's been fine in Teluk Cempedak, Kuantan, Pahang- last two weeks....
I've been dreaming of doing something sweet with fresh strawberries- but somehow, rather- ended up buying a pack of strawberries and found them rotten in the fridge after  two weeks...

Missing the moments when I could do nice frosting with cupcakes... Now, time is spent doing house chores.

I really need fresh vegetables in my diet- my immune system is very low due to stress and work commitments

I dream of something like this in the future- a bake shop full of baking delights and sweets- This is my cousin's small quaint  gift shop in Putrajaya. You should see the decor inside- will rave about it in my next post.
Missing macarons or French macaroons- these little sweet pleasures as found in Whisk, Empire Gallery, Subang Jaya.. Since the catastrophe/explosion in Empire Gallery, Subang Jaya, on 28 September 2011- I couldn't go to Whisk to unstress my ever wandering tired mind .I am too lazy to attempt doing macaroons, as I know there is always Whisk to cater to my sugar rush for macaroons. Now, I have to do macaroonage any way, any how...

I've been caught sick for these few weeks...and today  I have been down with a very bad cold or flu or influenza. What with the weather- it's raining one day, then hot and sunny the next day.When ever I am sick, I think about those pleasurable moments, I think about baking sweet things or even a trip to the mall to cure my boredom. But, I am so tired and sick  to do all the activities....I've been wanting to eat macaroons in Whisk, but that seemed impossible nowadays. When was the last time I had a good, healthy meal with lots of vegetables, greens and fruits? I am totally at my wit's end. Maybe, I am stupefied for these past few weeks. I needed the rest, but I resisted it, thinking that rest could wait, work couldn't. Now, I am paying the price for not listening to the call. The call to take a rest and have a break. Last two weeks, I had been to Kuantan, Pahang and attended a friend's wedding, before that  there were two mornings when I woke up at 3.30  so that I could bake cakes. Yesterday, was spent tripping the mall, to cure my stress  and today I found myself not really feeling vivacious and lively usual. So, I needed a break. I am no superhuman, those work loads could wait- now, when was the last time, I had a holiday? I wonder... yes, holidays should be the cure, not work or the never ending paper chase... hmmmm... 


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