Thursday, July 26, 2007

muffins all the way....

I had a muffin making spree, consisting of Pandan Coconut Muffins, Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins, Cashew Nut Muffins and Chocolate Chunk Muffins. What fun I had. As per normal, things are not as hard as they seem ;-) well I was anxious to have them all ready, packed in plastic containers with a doily lining each, and bagged into my white paper bag with pink or brown satin ribbon handles. They were fun, making the bags and making the muffins.

As you noticed, I just got myself this camera and am still learning how to use it, to get optimum results that is...I could say that I have progressed.

The muffins got good unbiased reviews and I ultimately found out that people actually have unexpectedly versatile tastebuds...

Pandan Coconut Muffin

I micro processed the PANDAN LEAVES ( go to ) and left them too steep in coconut cream, as opposed to steeping them in water to extract the juices out. This in turn, resulted a dense, moist muffin, very Asian I might say as reviews said '...smells and taste like Malay kueh...'.'Malay kuehs' are usually scented with pandan , or has pandan infused ingredients. Some leaves are even added into the steamer ( tiered gas stove steamer)so that the steam will be pandan scented. Another element which resulted the muffins to be almost like a traditional 'kueh' is the addition of coconut cream, which to me gives out a scent as well. Dessicated coconut also was a contributing element to the traditional kueh taste, smeel and feel.Mission accomplished.

daun pandan ( screwpine leaves)Pandanus amaryllifolius


'Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant in the screwpine genus which is known commonly as pandan and used widely in South East Asian cooking. It is an erect green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, bladelike leaves and woody aerial roots.

The plant is rare in the wild but cultivated widely for use as a flavoring in cooking. The leaves are used fresh or wilted. They have a nutty, botanical fragrance which enhances the flavor of Thai, Malaysian, Filipino, and Indonesian foods, especially rice dishes. The leaves are sometimes steeped in coconut milk, which is then added to the dish. They may be tied in a bunch and cooked with the food. They also may be woven into a basket which is used as a pot for cooking rice. Pandan chicken, or gai ob bai toey, is a Thai dish with chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and fried. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts such as pandan cake and sweet beverages.

The plant is sterile, flowers only very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings.'

Typically, I would suggest for you to use fresh pandan leaves if its available to you...why not right?

1. Chop the leaves coarsely, then put it in a blender and pulse till fine.
2. Steep the chopped leaves in the liquid the recipe calls for.
3. The color of the product you will be making will not be as green and nice as the
pandan juice, so many might suggest for you to add a drop or two of green food coloring, as cakes, muffins and 'kueh' will turn out an unapppetising shade of green if you do not do might have issues about tinting your food, so dont do it if you do not want to..

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffin

A typical Blueberry Buttermilk Muffin, moist and filled with blueberries, which I bought in the freezer section of Cold Storage. The berries were good, plump and fresh. I had them defrosted in the microwave before adding them in the muffin batter.

Cashew Nut Muffin

These were a world on their own. My Daddy's favourite out of all four made. It has ground cashews in it, chopped cashews and topped with halved cashews, plenty of cahews. Very nutty smell and flavour.

Chocolate Chunk Muffin

Packed, bagged and ready to go...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

happy birthday to me...

it was my birthday yesterday...this year, there was no grand celebration, and i refused the dinner invitation, had bread and butter instead...but for once, for as long as i can remember, i actually felt calm and fulfilled...

so what did i do?

8 am woken up by my dad
9 am at the office, busy
1.15 pm had bread for lunch
chilled and read till
6.15 pm was at starbucks in queensbay mall got some hugs
8.30 pm at home watching tv

yes, that was my birthday...

you see, the thing is, i wanted to bake my birthday cake, but there were NO eggs!!! and the calm and collected and fulfilled thing i was talking about, is this, i didnt get pissed even though i measured al the ingredients... :-)

well, i feel wiser already, besides i got the best hug ever :-) and i will be baking today...

maybe i will get some love for myself soon...

pay attention to the next para :

'Tomorrow onwards, I will punctuate and capitalise properly.'

I read this article about how a blog actually reveals the owner's character, and I shall reveal mine as is, with capitals and all.
So till then..

Monday, July 16, 2007

french style yoghurt cake

i came across this recipe as i was surfing. the cake has a beautiful texture due to the addition of yoghurt.i followed the recipe as is except that i used 1 and 1/2 tablespoonfuls of poppyseeds..the recipe also gives a recipe for a glaze, but personally, ( my mom too actually), the cake is lovely as it is, sweetness and all..i made them into 12 medium sized cupcakes instead of a round one.. :-)

the recipe could be found at:


A 3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs

B 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

C 1/3 cup canola oil


Preheat the oven to 350F. Place liners in the cavity of the muffin tray.

1. Mix A

2. Fold in B

3. Add C

4. Fill in the liners. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean , and depending on your oven.

Friday, July 13, 2007

pear and custard tarts

blast from the past... (how cliche)

we used to move a lot when i was younger, as my dad was in the uniformed department and so where he was posted, that is where we would be...i hang out with my dad most of the time ,as i am extremely close to my dad still, even at the age of 30! when i was about six or seven years old, my dad used to take me to this coffee shop called 'YAT SUN' and i dare say that was my first exposure of greediness (how greedy can one be at that age? trust me, when you hang out with your dad, you will get anything and everything he can give you!) when it came to bakery related items, there was the butter cake, individually wrapped in plastic, some buns which i can't recall what they were and of course 'bake well tarts' and egg tarts..

how lovely they were...

my mother, a dental nurse at that time, (well that was her only occupation until she opted for early retirement) was a wonderful cook, and i must say, she had taught me and let me be useful in the kitchen, and until today, i just love being in the kitchen...i wrecked many of her precious pyrex bowls and what nots, played with flour pretending it was icing ( more on that later) and etc... she , would spoil me too...i would just point out which things i would like for her to bake ( i will feature all this later in the blog) and she would try her level best to make it as perfect as it is in the picture of the book..hehehehe....

at present...

so maybe that's why i love to bake..unlike my lucky baking peers in the west, the weather here is so hot and humid that when i want to make tart or any pastry, i have to do it ( well, most of the time) at night...

well the other day, i just thought the flaky , crusty and buttery pastry crust, and the creaminess of the custard..yumm...had some pears in hand so i was like, why don't i make some custard tarts!

another thing, fruits seems to oxidise even faster when its extremely hot! so forgive my tarnished pie tops, but trust me they were good!


you could use store bought pastry, but i made these the same day ( just remember to rest the pastry before rolling ;-) )

this recipe is adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly site for the 'treacle tart' but i just used the base (


2 cups plain flour
125g cold butter, chopped
¼ cup icing sugar
pinch salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbs cold water


1. Put flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
2. Rub in butter with fork or fingers or pastry cutter.
3. Lightly whisk egg yolk with the water.
4. Make a well in the bowl of the dry ingredients.
5. Add the yolk mixture, just enough for the dry to combine in a mass. DO NOT OVER KNEAD.
6.Place the mass in a plastic bag, seal and let it rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes or until use.
7. After the hour has passed, roll the pastry into desired thickness and place into moulds or tart tins.
8.Blind bake for 15 minutes at 160 C.
9.Cool on wire rack and make custard.
10.Makes 24-36 tarts, depending on tin size

Custard Filling

Make your favourite custard filling. You could also use boxed pudding mix. Follow package intructions.

Poached Pears

3 Bartlett pears ( not skinned, diced coarsely)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice


1. Add sugar and water to pan.
2. Boil until slightly reduced
3. Add pears, lemon juice and extract
4. Drain


Further reduce the pear syrup. Add 2 tbs apricot jam.


1. Pour custard into pie shells.
2. Top with fruit.
3. Glaze.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

my blog is actually starting life...

hello all...

a weird and long over due introduction of my WORKINGDAPUR blog series...
the working dapur consists of 2 blogs, one being the workingdapur:dapur berasap and the second theworkingdapurresources:fills of dapur berasap.

1. theworkingdapur:dapur berasap

will feature my adventures in the kitchen, with pictures and recipes of food and etc

2. theworkingdapurresources:fills of dapur berasap

will most probably contain, my recent purchases for the home, particularly the kitchen and books (food related), purchases of anything related to food, travels and pictures and etc...

thank you...come visit me frequently...

paad thai with minced beef and snake beans...

but, as a 'self-proclaimed' foodie, i still observe and try to imagine, how certain foods would taste , substituting some ingredients with beef instead of pork and etc...

my journey and my new book WAGAMAMA:ways with noodles has inspired me to fry this noodle stir fry dish, which i plainly named PAAD THAI WITH MINCED BEEF SNAKE BEANS.

this is definitely not your typical paad thai, its MINUS the peanuts, MINUS the prawns , MINUS the BEAN SPROUTS and the EGGS...

PAAD THAI means fried, thai style and to me snake beans in those vegetables sides we get at thai restaurants and meals are most befitting, as it gives a nice color, texture and scent to the dish.

paad Thai with minced beef and snake beans...

i love bangkok, the people and their food...sad to say , i can't quite be too adventurous as i have some food restrictions ( due to my religion)and some crazy allergies (genetics, i'd say) but i just enjoy the city...


some vegetable oil for frying


2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1cm ginger, thinly sliced
2tbs chilli paste (sold in supermarkets)
a few splashes of nam pla ( fish sauce)


150g minced beef , or chicken or pork ( i used beef)


5 strings of snake beans
1/2 cube of beef stock (optional)


250g hor fun noodles (cut thickly, 1 inch slices across)


lime juice for taste
sugar for taste
salt for taste


1. Heat up vege oil, till smoky.
2. Add A, garlic first ,fry till fragrant, then add chilli paste, then nampla.
3. Add B, fry slightly.
4. Add C, fry but not till too wilted
5. Add D, fry for 1 minute.
6. Add E to one's preference and taste. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL PAAD THAI recipe (what the world seems to know PAAD THAI as, will be posted soon...)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

testing.... me in suvanabhumi airport