Saturday, December 24, 2011


First of all I wish all my friends from blog land and the real world and my dear blog visitors who celebrate Christmas a Merry Christmas

This cake was made for N's birthday today and as always most times I end up making a chocolate cake. This is a steamed chocolate cake that I got from San's Blessed Moments.

Chocolate has always been a favourite in this house with everyone and also because ~ 

" Every time I hear that dirty word exercise I wash my mouth out with chocolate." Unknown

This was a moist and chocolatey cake with the perfect amount of sweetness ...meaning not too sweet at all. I covered it with fresh whipped cream because ...

I had taken out the butter from the fridge, looked at it then put it back in.

Since we had only cut the cake this evening I could not take a photo of a sliced piece. I hope to take a picture tomorrow. Do take note of the word "hope" though. 

The recipe...

200 gm sugar
200 ml evaporated milk
180 gm butter
2 eggs
100 gm plain flour
50 gm cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Butter and line an 8 inch pan with greaseproof paper. Prepare the steamer and let the steamer heat and come to a boil while you make the cake. 

In a medium pot simmer over low heat the sugar, milk and butter until the butter has melted. Let cool until almost cool then beat in the eggs. I used a whisk. 

Sift the flour , cocoa, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. Pour the butter/milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well. I used the whisk again to do this. I find that a whisk mixes the dry and wet ingredients faster and better than a wooden spoon would.

Pour mixture into the cake pan and when the steamer water is on a rolling boil place the cake pan into the steamer. Steam for about 45 mins . I divided the mixture into two 8 inch pans and steamed each for 30 minutes.

the cake is done when it feels firm when gently pressed in the centre. Let cool before turning out.

It is quite difficult to over bake a cake that is being steamed. Steamed cakes are moist and does not dry out while being steamed. 

I had used a bamboo steamer and the one challenge I often encounter with a bamboo steamer (placed over a wok) is to have the cake pan level and not dipping more to one side. But often the cake comes out thinner on one side and thicker on the other because of the imbalance. I would have used a pan rather than a wok if I had one large enough to accommodate the bamboo steamer. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I have tried very hard to like strawberries because they are such pretty little things but I can't. That's why you will find few recipes with strawberries on this blog. I always find them tart and not at all sweet.

Having said that, they were at the least ..juicy. I bought strawberries with the original intention of making financiers with sliced strawberries on the top like here. I thought they would look very pretty. But that didn't happen. This did. Because I did not want the strawberries to go to rot. 

I used the same recipe as Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls but added dried cranberries and fresh strawberries instead. Then I placed the dough into cupcake liners and 3 mini loaf liners, scattered flaked almonds and sugar nibs that Sarah from Siliconemoulds had given me sometime ago on the tops. I made buns. They were very moist because of the sweet potatoes and fruity because of the cranberries and strawberries. Strawberries out.... next time. 

The recipe is here. Just add a large handful of dried cranberries that have been softened in a  little warm water for about 5 minutes then drained and patted dry, some chopped strawberries if you will just after the flour dough has been brought together with the egg and warm water. Knead gently as in the recipe instructions and let rise once before dividing the dough into cupcake or loaf tins. Then sprinkle some flaked almonds  and sugar nibs if you have them over the top just before you put them into the oven.

I baked the "muffins" for about 20 minutes depending on the size you make of course and the mini loaves for about 35 minutes. Than I dripped over their tops in zig-zaggy lines some glace icing (I mixed icing sugar with some water to a flowing consistency). However, R did not like that. Alternatively you could brush some honey over the top just after it comes out of the oven. 

They actually taste like a cross between bread and very moist muffins. You cold add more sugar for sweetness. These only had a hint of sweetness...mostly coming from the sweet potatoes. 

They would make a lovely gift for your mama. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Yes I'm back ~ It took quite an effort to come back. But here I am again. Again. But honestly.... I have good reasons. Yes I do. 

This was so quick to make, so delicious, so addictive that I had to blog about it. White Chilli sambal is something I learnt to make from my late Mother in law. Yes they are white chilies that she used and I have only seen white chillies in Sabah, East Malaysia. 

White chillies remain white and do not turn red when ripe. Unlike normal bird chillies or othere larger chillies which are green when young and red when ripe. I'm not quite sure why these are white. They were green at first, then they turned white and finally red. H says they are not true white chillies which never ever turn red. They are also not as big as the 'true' white chillies. But cravings make everything possible. So I made some. And they certainly will do. And I found that it really didn't matter if they were white or black. Or red.

This dish is so full of umami you just have to love it. Dried shrimps, belacan and of course the chillies. All sauteed to a fragrant aka smelly pesto. 

H 'banned' me from making this dish years ago because of its fiery spiciness. Bad for the health he says. Anything extreme is bad for the health. This is poison he says! Yes sir. Poison they are. And the more people I don't have to share my poison with so much the better for them. Yes. 

The recipe ~

A handful of white chillies ( you could use green chillies, sliced as well ~ I did once and it was good too)
2 inch square of belacan, dreid shrimp paste
1/4 cup of dried shrimps, soaked to plump and soften it up then drained
6-7 shallots, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled

3 T cooking oil

Pound shallots, garlic, belacan and softened dried shrimps until coarsely mushed up. There is no need to pound till fine.

Slice chiiles in half or leave real tiny ones whole.

Heat wok and pour in oil. When hot saute the pounded ingredients until fragrant and the mixture looks cooked through (the onion pieces will be translucent and limp and the whole mixture a slightly darker shade). Throw in the chillies and stir fry until the chillies lok slightly soft and limp. Add salt if necessary. I did not add salt because the belacan and dried shrimps are salty enough.

Serve as an appetizer with steamed white rice and other Malaysian dishes like fried fish, stir fried vegetables, Malay salad or a mild curry. Oh yummm ~


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