Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What I Ate in Las Vegas

Went to Las Vegas again earlier this year with Mum, sis, and sis-in-law (old girl power!)
Pictures of some food we ate over there. Forgot to take pictures of the food mostly...too busy gobbling them.

Buffet is like a must "to-do" thing in Vegas. We went for two breakfast buffet. But of course, most breakfast buffets are not as great when compared to the lunch or dinner buffets...less variety.

First up, The Buffet @ Aria

It's pretty new so the price was rather cheap and we heard that it was not bad so we decided to give it a try.

We are so random...look at our selection for our "Round 1" (I only took picture of "Round 1", after that, I was too busy stuffing myself)

These are actually the first thing I took. I always go to the dessert section first. Hehe.
Sugar-free blueberry muffin, moist chocolate cake, and pistachio biscotti.

We couldn't resist fresh fruits.
This slice of vege pizza was surprisingly delicious!
More muffin and pastry!

Next stop!
The Buffet @ Wynn

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hot Pot and Homemade Kimchi

Hot Pot (Sukiyaki???)

Anchovy based soup, veges, tofu, starch noodles, slices of beef, and dipping sauces.


Recipe adapted from Maangchi (a good source of Korean food recipes)
The kimchi is actually for my Botany project
After a few days...
The longer it is left to ferment, the better it taste...or maybe it's just me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cream Cheese Tarts

Had a few blocks of cream cheese left in the fridge (bought a lot when it went on sale) and I decided to make some cheese tarts (one of my Mum’s favorite). Browsed through my collection of recipes and found a few recipes for cheese tarts. I simply pick one to try. Not sure where I got the recipe from…if anyone seen the same/similar recipe, do tell me, so I can credit that person.

The recipe makes about 20 tarts but since Mum is the only one that eats cheese tarts in the family, I halved the recipe.

Original recipe:


Tart shell

Butter                  120 g (I used less butter)

Sugar                   60 g (I reduced the sugar used)

Egg yolk              1

Superfine flour     250 g

Cream cheese filling

Cream cheesecheese      180 g

Butter                             20 g (I used less butter)

Caster sugar                   30 g

Egg                                1

Lemon juice                   ½ tsp (omitted)


Tart Shells

1.      Cream butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, add yolk, and finally add flour. Knead the dough by hand.
2.      Scale the dough and divide it.
3.      Push the dough using hand evenly to the mould. Then, make holes at the base using a fork.
4.      Bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
5.      Gently tap the mold to release the shell and leave it aside to cool completely.
I get 8 tart shells from the recipe.

I think I made the tart shells a bit too thick.

Cream Cheese Filling

  1. Cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth and fluffy, add egg and continue to beat till smooth.
  2. 1Then, add lemon juice. Mix well. (I added a teaspoon of milk)
  3. Fill the tarts with the cream cheese and add a little jam of choice. Draw using a toothpick.
  4. Bake in 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove and leave it to cool. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

I did not have enough cream cheese filling but I was too lazy to make more.

I added strawberry jam.
I fail at making nice swirly patterns.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Long Long Ago...

Just pictures of what I had made long long time ago...

I remember I made this after Halloween...'Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies'. Not sure where I got the recipes from.
Most of the candies did not made it into the cookies...I ended up eating most of them during the process.
The easy way.
Made this with Pillsbury Biscuits  ( I miss all the easy-bake stuff)
Was testing a butterless sponge cake recipe....It turned out good but I lost the recipe. D=
My first swiss roll attempt.
Whipped cream with red bean filling.
The "sponge cake" was lacking...Perhaps that's the reason I did not keep the recipe for it.
My first steam buns.
Had to steam it with makeshift steamer.
Rather ugly looking. But I WAS pleased with it.
Now that I look back at it...I should really try to make steam buns one of these days...better looking ones hopefully.
(Any steam buns recipes to recommend? I would love to try them out =D )
Souffle Cheesecake. It was a Japanese recipe that I painstakingly transalated but I lost it. D=

I remember that it tasted very good. Strong cheese flavor as the eggs' flavor were not overpowering. But the method was definitely different from most souffle-type cheesecake. (Lots of work >.<;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Scones

I was “cleaning up” my picture folders and I found the pictures of the ‘Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Scones’ that I made back in the States. It was delicious and hearty, perfect for breakfast. And so, I would like to share the recipes that I found for these savory scones.

When I think of scones I usually think of them being sweet, not savory. But one morning, when my sister was eating the cranberry scones I made, she said something like, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I just fried an egg and some bacons and sandwiched them between the scones?”

It started giving me ideas since she said that, so I decided to search for some savory scones recipes. I just randomly typed “bacon and egg scones” and viola! Tons of recipes popped out.
So, among the many recipes, I referred to Leite’s Culinaria and King Arthur’s recipes.

I modified the recipes to suit our taste and also to make it less fat/calorie (or so I hope).

Original recipe of ‘Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar Scones’ by Leite’s Culinaria
Original recipe of ‘Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones’ by King Arthur Flour

My modified version (not highly recommended):


2 cups              all-purpose flour

1 tbsp              baking powder

1 tsp                salt

2 tsp                sugar

Pepper to taste (may omit if you don’t like pepper)

3 tbsp              butter, cubed and cold

1 cup               mozzarella cheese, shredded (2% fat)

3 large             eggs, scrambled and broken up into pieces about 1 inch square
                        (I used Egg Beater)

6 strips             bacon, cooked and cut into pieces about 1 inch square (about 1 cup)
                        (I used Turkey bacon)

3/4 cup            milk (or just enough to form a dough)


1.      Preheat oven to 425 F degree ( 210 C degree). Line baking sheet with parchment.
2.      Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and pepper together. Stir them until they are well mixed.
3.      Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.* Do not  overmix.
         You can do this using pastry blender, two knives, your hands, food processor, or stand mixer.
4.      Mix in the shredded cheese, scrambled eggs, and bacon pieces till evenly distributed.
5.      Add in half of the milk first, stir to combine. Keep adding until a dough is formed (no crumbs left at the bottom of the bowl). The dough will be sticky and chunky.
6.      Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface. Pat the dough into a smooth rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into 6 portions.**
7.      Place the scones at least 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
8.      Brush the scones with a bit of milk.***
9.      Bake the scones for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and serve warm.

*          Because I used less butter, my mixture usually did not turn out like coarse breadcrumbs. I always stop mixing when the butter lumps are about the size of small peas.
**        It can be in any shape (round, rectangle, square, triangle) or size you prefer
***      You can use egg wash or even heavy cream; this is just to help their crust brown.

I highly recommend everyone, especially scone-lovers, to try the original recipes. I am sure it will be delicious. (If anyone out there happens to try them, do share with me on how it turned out)

In my honest opinion, my version is not the best tasting “bacon, egg, and cheese” scones but it is a “healthier” alternative. Well, actually, it is to cut down the calories so we will feel less guilty for consuming such hearty scones. Haha. Like my Mum always said, “Things with less oil [fat] are less tasty.” And I find myself agreeing with that statement more often than not. Though I can think of a few less fat/less calories food that are more delicious…

Milo Chiffon Cake

I wanted to make a chocolate chiffon cake but I ran out of cocoa powder and cooking chocolate. Then I remembered a “Milo Chiffon Cake” recipe that I copied from All That Matters sometime ago. It was the perfect time to try out the recipe.


4 egg yolks
30g castor sugar (I used 20g sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
40g corn oil
130g UHT milk
3 tbsp Milo (I used 4 tbsp)
1/2 tbsp Cocoa powder (Omitted)

120g Cake flour
1/2 tbsp Baking powder
*Sift 2x

5 egg whites (I used 4 egg whites)
40g castor sugar (I used 30g)
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

1.      In a bowl, using hand whisk, whisk yolks and sugar till sugar dissolves.
2.      Add oil and salt, whisk and add milk, Milo and cocoa powder. Stir well.
3.      Fold in sifted flour and mix well
4.      In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat till the whites are frothy. Add in cream of tartar and beat till soft peaks.
5.      Add in sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.
6.      Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
7.      Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
8.      Pour the batter into a 21cm chiffon tube pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
9.      Oil a piece of aluminium foil and cover the pan loosely. Bake at 170 deg.C for 10mins.
10.  Turn down the temperature to 160 deg.C and bake for 10mins. Lift up the foil to check the surface of cake, bake for another 10mins.
11.  Insert a skewer to check if cake is done. Remove the foil and reduce the temperature to 150 deg.C and bake for a further 5 to 10mins to brown the surface.
12.  Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled.

The chiffon cake came out soft and fluffy. But as Rei @ All That Matters commented, the Milo’s taste are not very strong (even though I added more, it is still subtle). Still, my family enjoyed eating the chiffon cake.

Definitely something to try, especially when you ran out of cocoa powder or decided to try something different than plain old chocolate chiffon cake.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Choux Pastry and the Ugly Cheesecake

Recipe from Do What I Like

(makes 8 puffs) (I made 14 small puffs)
85ml water
50g butter (I used only about 40g of butter because that is all I got left)
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
50g bread flour
20g cake flour
2 eggs (lightly beaten)


1.       Cook water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan till bubbling hot. Turn the heat to low.
2.      Add in the flour mixture in one go and mix with a wooden spoon till a dough is formed.
3.      Still on low heat, cook the dough for 1 - 2 minutes till a thin white film is formed at the bottom of the saucepan.
4.      Transfer dough to a mixing bowl and beat till it is lukewarm.
5.      Add in egg by thirds and mix till well blended and smooth.
6.      Place batter into piping bag and pipe it onto a lined pan in rounds of about 5cm in diameter. Spray some water on it.
7.      Bake at 200C for 25 minutes then 180C for 8 - 10 minutes or till dry and golden brown in color. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for 30 minutes.

I wanted to make the choux pastry “crispier”, so I left it to bake for a longer period of time. But I think they were over-baked because I forgot about them – left them to bake longer than I intended to.
My family prefers the softer texture choux pastry because they felt that this “crispier” (almost burnt) choux pastry is dry and too hollow inside. Does that even make sense? I am not too sure myself because I’ve never been a fan of cream puffs and did not eat much of them. Thus, I am not even sure if that is how it is suppose to come out or taste like.

I also baked a ‘Feather Light Cheesecake’ for my friend. I got the recipe from Jessie Hearty Bakes (original recipe from Alex Goh). Unfortunately, mine did not turn out as pretty as hers.
My oven’s temperature must have been too high – look at the hideous surface. D=

I decided not to give my friend because it looks so ugly but she showed up with a big container and insist on having it. She said that the cake is spongy, soft and …well, light. She would love it better if the cheese flavor is a little bit stronger but overall, she likes the cake.
I will have to try to make the cake again and taste it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pandan Chiffon Cake


75 g cake flour (I used 70 g plain flour and 5 g corn flour)

½ tsp baking powder

4 egg yolks

10 g sugar

A pinch of salt

60 ml pandan juice

30 ml oil

4 egg whites

50 g sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar

(I used 21 cm chiffon mold)


1. Sift the flour and baking powder, set aside.

2. Beat egg yolks, sugar, and salt until light. Add pandan juice and oil.

3. Pour in sifted flour and mix until well incorporated. Set aside.
4. In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy then add cream of tartar. Whisk until soft peak then gradually add in sugar. Whisk until stiff peak.

5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/3 of the whites into the pandan batter until well incorporated. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites by half.

6. Pour the batter into the chiffon mold. Tap the mold lightly to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.

7. Baked in preheated oven at 170 C degree for 45 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Remove from the oven and invert the mold immediately. Let cool completely before unmolding.

Burnt top D:
And there's the...hole in the middle. I usually get that hole instead of cracks. Was it because of my oven temperature (too high) or was it something else?

Oh, look how it shrink... D;

The chiffon cake is soft, fluffy, and moist. The sweetness is just right (you may want to add sugar if you prefer sweeter taste). The pandan’s fragrance is very strong but the taste itself is subtle.