Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Carrot Cake from the 'Sweet Spot' by Pichet Ong

In Chef Ong's book 'The Sweet Spot', the recipe is called Carrot Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting. As obvious as it is, I rarely make carrot cakes but this recipe caught my eye as I was going through the book as it calls for butter to be creamed at the start, and the addition of 1/2 cup of canola at the end of the process.

The texture of the cake is almost like a semolina cake, grainy but soft and delicious. I did not ice the cake as suggested as I thought and many think that it is delicious on its own. But after a few days, the oils from the cake started to seep through the cake. All else, if eaten fresh, well up to 3 days unrefrigerated actually, it is extremely sumptuous.

Monday, August 13, 2007

pickled bamboo shoots in 'red curry'

I am not sure about those not in Asian countries, but to all of us in Asia, the rice cooker has got to be the most useful and needed kitchen appliance of all time! I mean of course there is the conventional stove top cooking methods, whereby, you was and drain the rice, add sufficient amount of water, and leave it for awhile, go back to the stove, stir to ensure no crusts form at the bottom of the pot, leave again and it goes on....

The rice cooker on the other hand is basically this, wash and drain rice, add water to a sufficient amount, leave and in 45 minutes, you have your fluffy white rice!

Yesterday, while waiting from my clothes to come out of the machine, I made lunch for myself. I cooked some white rice as I found some bamboo shoots in the fridge ( available from Asian grocers or supermarkets, I should think) and thought up of this dish. The words 'Red Curry' are in inverted commas because, this is NOT the Thai red curry you are used to, there are some influences due to the addition of the kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk and dried 'asam' I had used.

Pickled Bamboo Shoots in 'Red Curry'

8 tbs cooking oil
2 large onions, pulsed till a paste
4 tbs chili paste, store bought
1/2 cup coconut milk ( sold in mini cartons)
1/2 cup water
3 tsp sugar
2tsp salt
4 pieces dried assam ( if unavailable, use 2 tbs of tamarind pulp juice)
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1 packet baby bamboo shoots, cleaned and sliced thinly


1. Heat up oil in a skillet or pot.
2. Add the pureed onions, fry until aromatic.
3. Add chili paste.
4. Add the coconut cream, let boil.
4. Add the water, salt sugar and baby shoots.
5. Let simmer. Add the assam. TASTE at this point, you might like it saltier, or
6. When your satisfied with the taste, add the finely sliced kaffir lime leaves.
7. Serve with white rice.

P/S : Look for these ingredients at

would too much chocolate cake cause baker's block?

Let's see, I am on the quest of finding the most perfect chocolate cake recipe ever...I made another batch of chocolate cupcakes, but this time, I used the No-Cook Fudge Frosting recipe taken from my bhg pink plaid cookbook...

The results were fantastic! My dad thought it was the moistest (is there such a word) and chocolatiest ( I know, no such word) chocolate cupcakes ever! And he, even ate the frosting!

So far , this is my ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe, until I get a new one that could actually top this!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

chocolate cupcakes with sugared flowers...

Last two weekends, I was busy 'practising' and preparing myself for a commitment, an order actually, I wanted sugarpaste flowers to top my cupcakes , so i tried making gumpaste one weekend, but i forgot to take the pictures though, and it was alright. I called a bakery supply shop, looking for ready made sugarpaste and this was the conversation went:

Me : Hello Aunty, do you know where I can purchase ready made sugarpaste?
Aunty: Here, none laa...
Me : Ohh...(disappointed tone) in that case I have to go and make my own..(sigh)
Aunty: You gone for classes before?
Me : No...Why?
Aunty: You think you can simply go make sugarpaste and flowers without having gone for classes?
Me: err......

YES I CAN! The beauty of books and the internet! How dare you think I can't! My parents did not teach me to be a loser and weep over not being able to purchase ready made sugarpaste! I should have known better! They still provide me witha book allowance of USD$200 a month! So , Aunty dearest, I did do my own sugarpaste, it was lovely, did not crack after two weeks and I don't need ready made sugarpaste no more!!!

Thank you God for giving me the patience and knowledge to do so, thank you Mummy and Daddy for buying me expensive books and thank you Uncle for supply the massive kilos of icing sugar!

P/S: 'AUNTY' and 'UNCLE' are not blood relations to me or my family, just a respectful way of calling elders...

So since that was ok, I decided to try my hand at pipng royal icing flowers, and the results were amazing, and I decided to use them as toppers on my cupcakes for my latest order, look below...

My favorite ones are the white ones...