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Monday, April 16, 2018

Barley beef burger

This burger uses leftover cooked barley as a binder which lends an interesting texture to the burger pattie. I opted for 3 parts beef and 1 part barley so that the pattie can still bind without falling apart when handled. No egg was needed to hold the contents together but care is needed when transferring the raw pattie to the hot pan. A wax paper or non stick pan is best to prevent the burger from sticking to the hot surface or breaking up when flipping over.


3 cups of minced beef
1 cup of drained, cooked barley
pinch of oregano


Mix beef with barley.

Season the beef mixture with pepper and oregano or any of your favorite herbs.

Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make out 5 beef balls and slightly flatten them to slightly less than 1 inch thick.

Pan fry on baking paper on medium heat until both sides are seared and crusted.

Serve with portabello mushroom burgers and tomato slices ( matching size ).

Eat with your favorite salad.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Polenta and Almond Blueberry Cake

Since I am off to low carbohydrate food, I thought this would be one good experiment for my tummy. For every 100g of polenta, it yields 15g of carbs and has a GI of 7. A diabetics dream, if you hold off the fat of course!

Frankly speaking, this cake is one very oily cake with a gritty texture from the polenta. The cake is an acquired taste but overall, it gets addictive. If you are not a fan of polenta, replace the polenta with almond meal.

If I were to do it again, I would halve the butter and tweak around the eggs for a better lift. 

Adapted from Grains as Mains by Laura Agar Wilson

Ingredients :

200g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
3 large eggs

200g fine almond meal
100g fine polenta meal
1 Tbsp baking powder

200g blueberries
1 cup almond flakes

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Prepare a 7inch springform pan.
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs and combine.
In a separate bowl, combine almond, polenta and baking powder.
Fold dry ingredients into egg-butter mixture.
Fold in blueberries.
Transfer batter to the pprepared pan.
Sprinkle almond flakes.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 180C for 50 minutes or until a skewer poked in the center of the cake comes out with a bit of crumbs.
Cool before removing the cake from the pan.
Dust with icing sugar.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cantonese Egg Tarts

This project generates quite a bit for washing and takes a bit of effort to make. Chill the pastry in between handling for that perfect round base.

To achieve a smooth custard within the sunken look, take care not to over bake the tarts such that they puff up in the oven. Once that happens, the custard will sink and shrivel.

For my guinea pigs,  as usual.

Credits (with minor adaptations) Christines Recipes
Makes 24 smallish tarts.

125g unsalted butter, room temperature
55g icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/8 tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
25g cake flour

Custard filling:
150g boiling water
70g superfine sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
75g evaporated milk, low fat
2 eggs, beaten lightly

Method (pastry):
Prepare 24 Aluminum pastry case. Use a cupcake tray to hold the cases. Set aside.
To make the pastry case, whisk butter and icing sugar on medium until very pale and light (forming ridges).
Add in egg, in 2 portions, and whisk until well incorporated.
Add vanilla.
Replace mixer whisk with paddle.
In 2 portions, sift in flours. Combine until homogenous.
Flatten / roll out the pastry between 2 silicon sheets.
Use a cutter ( bigger than pastry case ) and cut out 24 round pastry bases.
Freeze until pastry is firm.
Use a flat thin spatula and transfer the cold cut out pastry to the Al cases.
You may have to move between the freezer and worktop many times if your kitchen is warm. If the pastry is too soft to handle, chill until firm and repeat the process.
When the pastry is softened enough, gently mold the pastry to fit the case.
Chill until ready to use.

Mathod (Custard) :

Pour boiling water onto the fine sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Add vanilla.
Whisk the egg in the evaporated milk and combine it with the sugar solution.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
When oven is ready, pour the custard filling into the chilled cases until it is 90% full.
Bake the tarts at 200C for 10 minutes.
Reduce the baking temperature to 180C.
Bake the tarts again, at 180C for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Cool for 5-10 minutes.
Gently remove the tarts and continue to let them cool on a rack.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Nestum cookies

I have gone through the same recipe so many times that I practically know the proportions by heart. Here is one seriously delicate and crispy wisp of a cookie that should not be taken too lightly. It is a huge hit and my many guests who ate it couldn’t have enough of it.

I did not do any finishing touches with egg wash or jam. It tastes so good without it and would have been absolutely fantastic with the embellishments. There is no way to figure out if it lasts for 2 weeks as the OP mentioned because the cookies disappeared into bellies within hours.

Thanks to Bake for Happy Kids and all her hard work sharing a recipe that works all the time!

Credit : Bakefor Happy Kids with minor modifications

Makes about 20 small cookies


50g of plain Nestum flakes, baked at 160C for 8 minutes and cooled

100g unsalted butter at room temperature + ½ tsp vanilla essence + 1 Tbsp icing sugar

60g plain flour
40g corn flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
¼  tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt

For coating:
Untoasted Nestum flakes, 1 cup

Preheat oven to 160C.

Line a baking tray with silicon sheet.

Bake the Nestum flakes in 160C preheated oven for 8 minutes. Cool and reserve.

Using a stand mixer and paddle, mix butter, vanilla essence and icing sugar until pale and light.

Sieve in flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until homogenous.

Add toasted Nestum flakes in 3 batches. Mix until homogenous. Dough will be slightly stiff.

Transfer the dough to a piping bag. Cut the tip of the bag to make a 2 cm wide gap.

Pipe a knob of dough about the size of a 20 cents coin.

Transfer the piped dough into the Nestum reserved for coating.

Coat the dough and shape lightly to make a little ball.

Transfer the coated ball of dough to a lined tray. Slightly depress it with a fork to make grooves ( not too flat because it will be too fragile to  handle when baked )

Repeat until all the dough is used up.

In a preheated oven, bake the cookies at 160C for 20 minutes.

Removed immediately to cool on a rack.

Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Yogurt and lemon cheesecake

Adapted from “Cheesecake Mania” by Kevin Chai

Most of the instructions come from the “Cherry Cheesecake” recipe in the recipe book. Except for the fact that I did not have any cherry and misread the cake crumb base as biscuit base, everything worked out fine. The final product deviated greatly from the picture in the recipe book but an appreciative hubby lapped it up all the same.

Talk about having eyes and yet not seeing.

Mix these and pat it firmly on the base of a lined 7 inch spring form pan-
150g biscuit crumbs
20g caster sugar
50g melted butter

In a mixing bowl, use a paddle and mix these:
250g SCS cream cheese, room temperature
40g caster sugar (20g for a lighter taste)
2 eggs
100g low-fat yogurt  (I used Nestle)
20g corn flour (sifted in)
Zest of one lemon

Wrap a 7-inch spring form pan in AL and set it in a watertight pan.
Prepare the biscuit base. Chill and set aside.
Preheat oven to 170C.
Mix at low speed all ingredients listed under “filling”. Do not agitate too much so that filling is not foamy.
Pour the filling on the chilled biscuit base.
Pour 2 cups of water into the water bath.
Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven at 170C for 40 minutes or until the edge is about to tan.
Cool well before removing it from the pan.

Enjoy it slightly chilled.