Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Easy Banana Cake 香蕉蛋糕

Time flies and in a split second we are now in 2016, the year of Monkey!  Didn't we just have New Year Day yesterday?

I haven’t seemed to have the free time as I thought I would have in blogging even though I quit my 9-5 office work since June 2015. Well, this year I think I need to include blogging as one of my year 2016 resolutions, no more monkeying around!

Today is day 2 of Chinese Monkey year. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends, relatives and readers a prosperous and healthy Monkey year ahead.

To celebrate Monkey year, let’s just bake something with his favourite food - Bananas.

I have been trying out this banana cake recipe for a few times and very pleased with its taste and the simple method used. This recipe was adapted from Agnes Chang “ I can Bake” recipe book.

To have great flavored banana cake, it is best to use ripe bananas. Back in Malaysia, I find among local bananas Pisang Berangan a.k.a. Ang Bak chio, which means “red flesh” bananas in Hokkien with the size about 10 to 12cm long, is best for making cakes when it is fully ripe.

Other than butter cake, this is another popular cake in our family that I used to make for festival and prayer ceremony to my late mother and parents-in-law.

The following was the second version of Banana cake that I have attempted. By adding few table spoons of chocolate hazelnut spread ( Nutella), it became a great Nutella marble banana cake.

Good to have my mischievous helper to help me mashed the bananas.  

Easy Banana Cake

Source: Agnes Chang’s I can Bake

Ingredients: 180g unsalted butter
180g castor sugar ( I reduced to 150g and used brown sugar)
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, coarsely mashed and mixed with 1 tbsp of lime/lemon juice to prevent oxidation.
1/8 banana essence optional (I used Vanilla essence)
3 tbsp of milk mixed ( I used 6 tbsp)

Dry ingredients :
240g plain flour or self raising flour
1tsp of baking powder
1tsp of baking soda

(You can opt to use self raising flour and to omit both baking powder and soda if using self raising flour)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C for 15 minutes. 
2. Lightly grease a loaf tin or line it with grease-proof paper.
3. Sieve flour and set aside.
4. Mix butter and sugar using low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and beat until light and pale in yellow. (Note: Sugar has not dissolved yet).
5. Add in the first egg, beat well after each addition of egg until creamy.
6. Scrape down the sides for even mixing.
7. Mix in the mashed bananas (add in bananas/vanilla essence and milk at this stage if you are using). Pour in the sifted dried ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
8. Pour the batter into the greased baking tin. Shake and tap on table lightly to distribute cake mixture evenly and to get the air out.
9. Place the cake at the middle rack in the oven.
10. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked. If a toothpick/skewer comes out clean, it is done.
11. Remove it from the oven and leave the cake in the tray to cool on the rack for 5 minutes before removing from tray.

Notes: If the cake turns brown too quickly, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil towards the last 15 minutes.


材料: 牛油180克 白砂糖 - 180克 ( 我用150克黄糖) 全蛋 2个

1茶匙香草精 鲜奶 3汤匙  (我用4 汤匙) 低筋面粉250克(过筛) 发粉 1茶匙 (过筛) 苏打 1茶匙 (过筛) (您可以选择使用自发粉,如果采用自发面粉省略这两个发粉和苏打粉)

1. 烤箱预热至180℃。最好先预热15分钟
2. 将 烤盘抹油或置油纸。面粉过筛。
3. 使用低速 将牛油+细砂糖一起混合搅拌,换到中速打至松发变白。
4. 在糖还没有完全溶解,倒入第一个鸡蛋液后继续搅拌,每次加蛋奶油完全吸收蛋液后,再加入蛋液搅拌至蛋液搅拌完毕。再加入香草精拌匀。
6. 把香蕉面糊倒入抹油的烤盘。在桌子上轻轻地震动和敲击烤盘使蛋糕混合物均匀分布​​,并让空气排出。
7. 将烤盘放进烘箱中的下架。烤45分钟或至金黄色。 用牙签/串以测试,串出来干净,它已熟。
8. 从烘箱中取出,让烤盘冷却5分钟后才除去烤盘倒出蛋糕。

注意事项: 如果蛋糕表面过焦,最后15分钟可在面蛋糕覆蓋一張鋁箔紙。

Friday, October 2, 2015

Japanese Light Cheesecake (日式芝士蛋糕)


I have attempted two cheesecake baking experiences in the past, using the recipes from well known cook books that I have. However, I was disappointed to note that both attempts were not successful.

On both occasions, the cakes I made failed with poor cake appearances, either with cracked surface or sunk/collapsed center. Since then, I have given up cheesecake baking and only work on non-baked cheesecakes.

Not until recently when I was back in Penang, my good buddy YL bought me a new cake mold that inspired me to give it another try.

This time, knowing YL who was also a keen baker herself specializing in cheesecake baking; namely durian cheesecake, I sought her advice to learn her secret of success. She generously shared her customized recipe with me to give it another shot.

So, this time guess how did it go?

Even though with limited baking utensils and using a much smaller and unfamiliar oven in my sister-in-law’s ( SIL), LC’s kitchen….

Nonetheless, this was what came out from the oven….

Yes! I finally nailed it !


Hurray! I had a crack free and collapse free cheesecake!



However, there was a minor flaw with the cake texture. It was slightly damp at one of the corners at the bottom of cake.

This was because one of the corners of the mold was leaking and the aluminum foil I used was not double layered. I also didn’t firmly wrap the bottom of the baking mold. In the end, it resulted in some water sipping into the bottom layer of the cake and causing a damp corner.

From the recipe, I noticed the difference of the recipe was the flour content. She used very little flour in her recipe. In addition, corn flour was added in it too!  Chiffons method was used by whisking egg whites into soft peak then only mixed well with the cream cheese batter creating a light and fluffy effect. No wonder the cake was not dense and felt lighter.

I made this cake on September 16th (916) Malaysia day.  I was overwhelmed to see the cake come out perfectly. With my dad’s birthday falling on the same day, this cake was just nice to be used to celebrate his 85th birthday this year.


Thank God my dad liked and enjoyed eating the cake very much. I was on cloud nine with his compliments on the taste and appearance of the cake being better than those commercially made cakes.  His comments definitely made my day!Smile

Other than the cake, I also made my signature crispy roasted pork belly.


With the help from my SIL, we successfully prepared a sumptuous home cooked birthday dinner for dad. It was a great dinner especially when you enjoyed it with your loved ones.



Japanese Light Cheesecake



A) Cake Ingredients

250ml milk

240g cream cheese

60g butter

2 tsp. lemon juice ( helps cake set faster and brown slower and reduce the richness of the cream cheese)


B) Cake Ingredients

55g flour

20g corn flour


C) Cake Ingredients

6 eggs ( separated into egg white and yolks)

130g castor sugar




1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler.

2. Cool the mixture and fold in egg yolks, flour, corn flour and mix well. Strain mixture to remove lumps.

3. Beat egg white until foamy, gradually add sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks.

4. Add egg white mixture and fold into the strained egg yolk and cream cheese mixture by 3 batches and mix well in one direction.

5.Bang the mixing bowl on top of worktop 3-4 times hard to reduce the air bubbles on the cake, before placing into oven and bake in a preheated oven ( 170 C) using water bath for 45 minutes at 160C.

6. When the cake is done ( test with a skewer when come out clean), switch off the power and leave cake in the oven for 10 minutes and thereafter leave the door ajar for 20 minutes.

7. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan and peeling off the baking paper.



· To avoid cake shrinking quickly, leave it in the oven (while off) with the oven door ajar until cake cool down then remove.

  • To avoid bottom of cake from becoming  too dense, must fold the egg white evenly with cheese batter in one direction.
  • To avoid cake browning too quickly, place tray at the bottom instead of in the middle rack of the oven. 






















    1.用双煮沸法,熔芝士奶油奶酪,油和牛奶 时不时搞拌,直至完全溶解,没有粒粒和平滑把碗移离小锅待凉。








    5.把面糊倒进焗盘中后,在台面上敲3-4次以减少气泡在蛋糕上,再置入另一个大焗盘。倒进半满的热水,小心放入焗炉中最低的炉架上以放置到烤箱和烘烤用水浴中法 以160℃烘烤45分钟。





    7. 从烤箱取出蛋糕冷却30分钟蛋糕脱模在铁架上放凉。



    • 为了避免蛋糕迅速萎缩,必免立刻把蛋糕取出。蛋糕留在烤箱,把烤箱门虚掩着,直到蛋糕冷却下来再取出。
    • 为了避免蛋糕底部太密集,当把蛋白霜加入蛋黄和奶油奶酪面糊中后要同一方向拌匀。
    • 为了避免蛋糕太快上色,把烤盘放置在托盘底部,而不是烤箱的中间机架。



  • Sunday, September 27, 2015

    Piggy moon cakes 小猪公仔餅

    Happy Mid Autumn Festival

    Lately, I was caught up with dad’s house renovation and I didn’t realize that Moon cake festival was just around the corner, which would fall on Sunday, 27th September.

    This was a very last minute project. Only yesterday, I found I still had some left over golden syrup which I made 2 years ago. The color of the syrup was getting darker and it might not be good for another year. Hence, I decided to clear it off to make a small batch of moon cakes.
    (You can refer to my previous moon cake making posts here.)

    However, with only limited quantity of the syrup and time left, I opted to make this simple piggy moon cake cookies ( 公仔餅). I came across this recipe via Baking Taitai’s blog  originated from Joceline’s blog。

    This recipe is unique compared to the traditional recipe. As opposed to usual filling such as lotus paste wrapped inside the moon cakes, the filling is combined with other ingredients to form the dough instead.

    After reading the recipe, in the same afternoon, I rushed to my nearby bakery store to shop for the necessary ingredients.  I was in luck to get this very last plastic piggy mold in their store. I also got a small pineapple mold which resembled a fish, just nice to be used for this moon cake cookies project.
    These piglets are so adorable, aren’t they? My piggy mold used around 55g of dough.

    The moon cake cookies with the shapes of “fish” ( 30g) and flower from the old moon cake mold I had previously.


    Freshly out from the oven. It would be nicer if I had black beans to be used as their eyes. DSCN3595

    I have yet to taste these cookies as they need to be left for at least a day for it to go thru the process of “oil return”( 回油)before it is good to consume. Traditional moon cake cookies may need to be left for at least 3 days to a week.
    Fingers crossed, it will taste good by tomorrow. Smile with tongue out

    2nd October Updates:

    Just wish to update on the texture of the moon cakes. The texture was slightly harder than I expected when consumed on the next day.

    However, after resting in tight container for a week, the mooncakes were coated with nice golden color and tasted so much softer. Hence, I would advice to follow the traditional "oil return" duration before consuming these moon cakes.

      Piggy moon cakes DSCN3594

    (make 20 pieces of 30g to 58g dough each according to the mold I used)
    350g sieved plain flour (I used 170g plain flour and 180g cookies flour)
    230g golden syrup (I used only 198g, the remaining golden syrup I had)
    100g peanut oil (I used canola oil)
    5 g/1tsp alkaline water
    150g lotus seed paste (I used bean paste, click here for homemade bean paste method)
    Egg wash:
    1 egg + 1 tbsp milk, mix well and strained. (I used 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp. milk)
    1. In a mixing bowl, add in syrup, oil, alkaline water and lotus seed paste. Stir mix until well combined.

    2. Add in sieved flour and knead to form dough. Cover the dough with cling wrap and let it rest for at least 2 - 3 hours. 

    ( For softer texture better leave the dough to rest longer than 3 hours to 6 hours.)


    3. Divide the dough into portions that fit the mold that you are using. Roll each portion into a ball. Dust the moon cake mold with some flour. Press the dough into the mold. Tap to unmold. Arrange in a baking tray.

    (I omitted the dusting process as my dough was oily and could be easily detached from the mold after few knockings.)


    4. Preheat oven at 160 degrees Celsius. Bake the moon cakes in the middle rack for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before brushing the top with egg wash. Return to oven for another 15-20 minutes of baking or until golden brown.

    ( For smaller mold  (30g ), better adjust baking time to 10-15 minutes, to avoid over baked and texture of moon cakes turned harder)


    5. After the moon cakes are completely cooled down , keep in airtight container and consume the next day.

    ( If after baking, moon cakes felt harder, I would advice to follow the traditional "oil return" duration, after 3-7 days only consume these moon cakes to have softer texture.)


    份量 : 根据我用的模, 可做20个 , 25g – 58g 面团

    材料: 面粉 350克(过筛备用) (我用170克中筋面粉和180克低筋面粉)
    糖浆 230克 (我用198g糖浆) 花生油 100克 (我用菜籽油) 碱水 5克 原味纯莲蓉 150克  (我用豆蓉 ) 表层涂面:蛋黄1个  +  鲜奶 1汤匙或适量 ** 搅拌均匀后过滤 **

    4)把容器盖上。放置休息 2 - 3个小时至面团不粘手。
    5)根据模具把面团分割成每份大约 25-58克,把面团搓圆,然后放入模里印出形状。 6)烤箱预热后,把烤盘放在中层。以160度烘烤大约10分钟。 然后把饼取出烤箱。待冷一会儿(大约15分钟后),才涂上一层的蛋液。

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Coca-cola Chicken Wings 可乐鸡翅

    Recently, I took a break from my career and went back to hometown, Penang to help my dad to renovate our old house while spending some quality family time with him. With the old house under full renovation and not in livable condition, we temporarily moved to stay with my second brother and his family.

    Other than an hour or two daily playing a Project Manager's role checking on the renovation status, I had a very relaxing schedule in Penang. With ample time to spare, I took over sister-in-law's kitchen to prepare dinner for the family to ease her busy working schedules.

    Frankly, I have not been cooking for a long long time. In fact, ever since we moved back from Auckland and with Auntie Lan back to live with us and taking over my kitchen, I have not been using the wok spatula for quite some time already.

    In the hope to prepare good meals for dad, I regained the passion to try out new dishes again. I found this simple and easy recipe via Facebook.

    Coca-Cola Chicken Wings (可乐鸡翅). Yes, no kidding, this recipe only uses the famous Coca-Cola soft drink and soya sauce as main ingredients with no water added in. I also wish to clarify that this is not a Western cuisine, even though Coca-Cola is originated from the USA, Coca-Cola Chicken is one of the famous Chinese dishes in Southern China.

    Well, this is another good example of the East meets West fusion.

    The use of Coca-Cola with high sugar content easily caramelized and tenderized the chicken, leaving a sweet, sticky and glazed appearance on the chicken wings.

    It might not be a top pick in a healthy menu list for dad but it was a sure winner for the kids and party menu. In fact, I must admit to a certain extent, it was tastier than the traditional soya sauce chicken.

    Coca-cola Chicken Wings

    8-10 chicken wings ( cut into drummettes and wings, you can also use drumsticks )
    1 tin of Coca- Cola ( not recommended to use diet coke)
    1-2 tbsp. Soya sauce ( to your own taste)
    1tbsp. dark soya sauce ( to your own taste)
    1 tbsp. Chinese   Shaoxing cooking wine ( optional)

    1-2 pieces of Star Anise, cinnamon sticks
    Few slices of ginger
    Few stalks of green onions, cut the white section into 2-3 cm long, the green leaves chopped

    MARINADE: (best more than half an hour )
    1 tsp. of salt
    1 tsp of Sesame oil
    1 tbsp of Shaoxing cooking wine (optional)
    Dash of pepper

    1. Clean wings, pat dry with kitchen towels and score them symmetrically on both sides set aside.
    2. brownchickenwings_collage
    3. Place the cleaned chicken wings into a basin, and add the marinade seasoning and half of the green onion sections and ginger slices. Mix well, and leave to marinate for half an hour.
    4. Heat wok with some cooking oil, brown the chicken wings for a minute, dish up and set a side.
    5. Pour out the excess cooking oil leaving just one tbsp. of cooking  oil in the wok and sauté the left over sliced ginger, green onion and spices in the wok until fragrant.
    6. cocacola_chicken_collage
    7. Add the browned chicken wings and stir well.
    8. Pour in 3/4 tin of Coke and 2 tbsp. of soya sauce and dark soya sauce and stir well.
    9. Cover it and simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes.
    10. cokechicken_collage
    11. When chicken is done and turned into caramel color and drying up, add a tbsp. of cooking wine and stir evenly. Turn off the heat,  transfer chicken wings to a serving platter and serve.




    1. 将清洗过的鸡翅厨房纸巾轻轻拍干,倒在盆里,加入腌料和一半的葱节和姜切片拌匀腌半小时。
    2. 炒锅烧热放一些食用油,把鸡翅炒匀煎黄一分钟,盛起备用。
    3. 倒出多余的食用油,剩下一汤匙在炒锅,加入姜片,葱花和香料炒香。
    4. 待香味, 加入鸡翅炒匀。倒入3/4瓶可乐和调味料 2汤匙酱油和黑酱油炒匀试味。
    5. 加盖,中火煮25分钟,当鸡熟了,变成焦糖色并开始干起来添加一个汤匙料酒,搅拌均匀后,关火,

    Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    2015 Chinese New Year Cookies 杏仁片脆饼


    Today is the 13th day of Chinese New Year ( CNY), I hope I am still not too late to wish all my Chinese readers and friends a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year “ Gong Xi Fa Cai”. As this year is the year of “Goat”, I wish all of you everything very “goat” ( good! )


    In the beginning of the year, I had many plans in attempting to make different types of Chinese New Year cookies as New Year gifts to friends and relatives. However, due to recent hectic work schedules all those plans ended down the drain. clip_image001

    However, since I started this blog, it has been customary for me to introduce at least a Chinese New Year dish or bakery to cheer up the new year atmosphere.

    Following are the 3 types of common snack food serve during CNY, I managed to make out from my tight schedules.


    Almond flakes crisps 杏仁片脆饼, sesame crisps 芝麻脆饼 and crispy filament crab sticks that I made in the very last weekend before rushing back to celebrate CNY with my family in Penang. Due to the time constraint, I didn’t manage to make them in large quantity but only 4 small containers for my sister-in-laws and the occasion my high school reunion gathering.

    I was glad these finger foods received good comments.

    The easiest was the making of crispy filament crab sticks, by just drying up the filament crab sticks under the sun for 1-2 hours and unrolled into strips and deep fried in medium heat oil. Once the oil was heated up and bubbling, the crab meats were added and heat reduced to brown until crispy. No seasoning needed as the crab sticks were already flavoured.


    For the Almond and Sesame crisps, these were basically the same cookies, with different spread sprinkled over the top of the cookies. This round I used almond flakes and white sesame seeds. You can opt to use pistachio, sunflower seeds, black sesame too.

    Just a note to highlight, to make really crispy almond crisps, do make sure to spread the batter thinly. Also must make sure you use parchment paper or silicon or fiberglass baking sheet for ease of removal of crisps once it comes out from oven or else you will have difficulty removing the cookies from the baking paper.


    Initially, I had a failed attempt when I used normal baking paper resulting in my first batch of sesame crisps being stuck and cannot be removed from the baking paper. I had to carefully remove the crisps with a small knife by scraping them off one by one from the baking paper. At the end many crisps were cracked in the process.

    For the second batch I bought a fiberglass baking sheet and I was relieved to be able to remove all the crisps nicely in one piece.

    Believe it or not, these egg whites crisps are unbelievable additive, just one bite and I think you'll agree!




    Almond Flakes Crisp




    4 egg whites ( about 140g)

    110g icing sugar
    80g low protein flour (cookie flour)

    100g Almond flakes
    60g butter (melted)



    1. Preheat oven at 160 degree Celsius for 15 minutes.
    2. Beat egg white and icing sugar till fluffy and soft peak.
    3. Add melted butter and flour use a spatula to gently combine well.
    4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or fiberglass baking sheet.
    5. Spoon batter (1tsp) onto the lined tray and use the back of spoon to spread the batter to round thin and even layer.
    6. Sprinkle with a little almond flakes or Sesame or chopped pistachio.
    7. Bake at pre-heated oven at 160C for 12-15mins or until all evenly golden brown.
    8. Remove the crisps from the tray once out of the oven while still hot.
    9. Store in air-tight container once cool.





    烤盤布 (鋪底用.烤好易脫餅且不沾黏又能重複使用)


    4粒蛋白 (140g)



    杏仁片 100g



    1.      烤箱設定160度預熱15分鐘。

    2.      蛋白加入糖粉,拌打至發,加入融化的牛油和過篩的低筋麵粉再輕輕拌勻成面糊。

    3.      烤盤鋪一張烤盤布或不沾纸,盛一小湯匙面糊在烤盤布上再用湯匙將其鋪平均愈薄愈好。

    4.      撒上少许杏仁片或芝麻 或开心果片。

    5.      放入預熱烤箱,以160度烤12-15分钟至呈金黃色即可出爐。

    6.      一定要趁熱將脆饼移放在烤架上待涼。

    7.      冷卻後記得裝入密封罐內存储



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