Saturday, May 25, 2013

Recipe: 白糖糕, Quick & Easy Pak Tong Ko

steam: 22 minutes, ferment: 2 hours (White sugar flavour)

steam: 22 minutes, ferment: 2.5 hours (Pandan flavour)

Chinese Steamed White Cake

  • (A) 115 g rice flour + 20 g wheat starch + 150 ml water
  • (B) 2 pandan leaves (knotted) + 1/4 tsp salt (or less) + 95 g sugar + 150 ml water
  • (C) 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • (D) 1/2 tsp oil + (dilute a pinch of baking soda with 1/2 tbsp water)

*Replace sugar with brown sugar for Brown Pak Tong Ko
*Add 10 ml pure pandan juice for Pandan/Green Pak Tong Ko (adjust water accordingly)
  1. Mix (A).
  2. Boil (B) and simmer with low heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Remove pandan leaves. Pour to (A),stir well.
  3. Add (C) into the lukewarm (not hot) mixture, stir well. Keep it cover and set aside to ferment until tiny air bubbles appeared on the surface of the mixture (about 2 hours or more).
  4. Bring water to boil in a wok/steamer together with a 4" x 8” greased baking pan.
  5. Add in (D) to the mixture, stir well and pour into the pan. Steam at medium-high heat for 20-23 minutes (when skewer comes out clean).
  6. Cut the perfect slice of cake when it is cooled. Enjoy!
  • Yeast die instantly at 60 Celsius. Safe at 48 Celsius. Optimal between 30-37 Celsius.
  • Lukewarm = slightly warmer than body temperature, between 36-42 Celsius...not burning with finger test.
  • Low fermentation temperatures can have slight effect on the taste and smell. I personally prefer higher temperatures, with least alcohol flavour.
(A) batter
                                  (A) + (B) mixture

(A) + (B) + (C)

Yeast dissolved completely

Cover and ferment for 2 hours or more

Tiny air bubbles appeared on the surface
 4" x 8" greased baking pan, preheated in the steamer

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Recipe: Chewy Oatmeal Snack


Spread a layer of peanut butter or nutella on them... yum yum yummy....and so so healthy!

Perfect for breakfast and snacks.


  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (used pistachios)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (used dates)
  • 1/4 cup seeds (used 1/2 cup white  and black sesame)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt (used rock salt)
  • 1 cup milk (or 2 ripe bananas)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 176 Celsius
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Mix wet ingredients.
  4. Pour wet into dry. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a 9×9 or 2 smaller dishes, either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Cut into 9 squares or more.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recipe: 清水蛋糕, Clear Water Sponge Cake

I have been avoiding cakes that require folding. This is simply because 'folding' is a real challenge for a beginner like me.

Yesterday, I decided to move on and take the challenge., well prepared by watching a folding process through YouTube video. 

(A) 3 egg whites

(B) 50g caster sugar + a pinch of salt
(C) 3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg + 50g corn oil (used EVOO)
(D) 50g cake flour (shifted)
  1. Whisk (A) until frothy, add (B) and beat to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat (C) to create a smooth mixture. Add (D) and beat/mix until well incorporated.
  3. Fold egg whites (1/3 at a time) into yolk mixture.
  4. Fill cups 3/4 full, bake for 18-23 minutes at 150 Celsius. (Different texture achieved at 170 Celsius).
Texture: Light yet moist, soft and spongy

Notes for beginner (like me):

Stiff Peaks:
  • You can see this clearly by lifting up your whip and holding it horizontally. The egg whites should not drop or fall off the whip. It is important not to over-beat at this stage. If you whip until the egg whites are dry, the mixture will break down as you fold it into the batter, creating a heavier end product.
  • Total and complete incorporation of egg whites is not necessary. You may see some thin, fine stripes of egg white. This is okay.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Recipe: 喜板, Xi Pan Pink Kuih

I am over joy to realise all of them (the kuih) has gone missing in just seconds!

Due to popular demand, we had it a second go on Saturday afternoon. See how much fun they had:

  1. 150g all purpose flour (shifted)
  2. 120g glutinous flour (shifted)
  3. 75g castor sugar
  4. 220ml water or 180ml (though it is much easier to handle at 180ml, the texture is slightly better at 220ml)
  5. 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  6. 2 drops red food colouring (optional)
  7. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  8. banana leaf (cut into round shape)
  • Mix ingredients 1,2,3,4,5,6 till smooth (no lumps).
  • Add in oil, mix well.
  • Scoop a table spoon of batter, drop it on the banana leaf.
  • Slightly press down, adjusting to round shape
  • Set it aside to rise for 30 minutes or more.
  • Steam at medium-high heat for 15 minutes. 
  • Open the lid 2 minutes after turn off the heat.
for slightly better texture, replace 150g all purpose flour with 120g all purpose + 30g rice flour

Replace ingredient (6) for other flavours:
  • Pandan Xi Pan: 1 tbsp of pure pandan juice or 1 tsp of pandan essence (adjust water accordingly)
  • Pumpkin/Sweet potato Xi Pan:  steam 120g, cubes of pumpkin/sweet potato with high heat for 10 mins, mash while it is still hot. Reduce water to 105ml instead of 220ml

Recipe: 鸡蛋糕, Steamed Pandan Sponge Cake

I have had many failures steaming sponge cake in my college years...back then I can only afford to beat the eggs using hand whisk...and I guess I wasn't that serious in baking too.

I do prefer oven baking cakes than steamed cakes over the years. 

My heart was beating fast when I was about to open up the lid...

...tadda... I am happy with what I am seeing : )

though there were a few drops of water (formed from condensation) dripped on the cake, overall it is a success!!!

Ingredients: updated Dec 17
1) 250g eggs (2 extra large eggs + 3 large eggs)
2) 170g caster sugar

3) 165g self raising flour or (155g all purpose flour + 2 tsp baking powder)
4) 25g corn starch

5) 3 tbsp pure pandan juice (or orange/lemon juice) or (2 tsp vanilla extract+35g water)

6) 3 tbsp vegetable oil
*mix 5 and 6 and set aside

  1. You may replace ingredients 4,5,6 with 6 tbsp of cream soda/7 up/Sprite (vanilla/orange/lemon flavoured carbonated soft drink)
  2. add 2 tsp of vanilla extract (if you do not like the eggy smell)
  • Beat eggs and sugar till bright yellow at medium speed (about 5 minutes).
  • Turn the speed to max and beat till pale white (about 5 minutes). Do the ribbon test (visible lines appeared as shown).
  • Turn the speed to medium and continue to beat for 1 minute. This is to achieve smooth and light whisked eggs.
  • Add in the sifted flour, alternate with pandan mixture in 3 batches. Hand whisk till incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into lined 8" round bamboo/woven or rice cooker steaming basket. Leave aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  • While waiting, bring the water to boil. Wrap the lid with cloth if needed to prevent condensation during the steaming process. (stubborn me, skipped the wrapping)
  • Steam at medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes.
  • Open the lid slowly with the heat still on. Off it and remove the pan...enjoy!
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