Friday, April 27, 2012

Kimchi Soup

I got all the ingredients to make Kimchi after visiting the Chinatown over the Easter holiday.  When I went to uni, I used to live with some Japanese and Korean students.  There was no blogging on those days so the best way to know the other culture was to live with the foreign people.  Once a month, we would gather together to make Kimchi and then we would share the food to take home.  One day we would be having Japanese, then Korean and Chinese on the other day.  Although the food we were having was very simple and inexpensive dishes, we enjoy them a lot.

The weather is getting cool and I feel like having some spicy soup so I end up using the Kimchi to make soup.  It has brought back a few of the old memories....

Kimchi Soup
(serve 2-4)

3 cups water
Kimchi (store brought or homemade)
tofu, diced
1 sachet of stock paste

Add water to the pan and let it boils, cut up the Kimchi a little and put into the water.  Turn down the heat and add in the tofu and stock paste.  Let it simmer for a few minute and to develop the taste.  Season with salt and serve hot.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two kinds of Chocolate Muffins

Triple Choc Muffins

Choc-chip Jaffa Muffin
I would rate muffin "top in my baking" as it is quick to make and it generally use less oil or butter.  It also has less sugar if you omit the icing.  When I don't want to make anything too fancy, I would make muffins to feed my hungry kids.  These two kinds of chocolate muffins are so easy and simple to make.   I have been falling in love using buttermilk in my baking lately as it gives the cake such a soft and moist texture.  Am I biting into the cloud? Oh, it must be the chocolate cloud, LOL!
1. Triple Choc Muffins
(make 12)

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark Choc Bits
1/2 cup white Choc Bits
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk OR 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 200c.  Line 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Sift flour and cocoa into the mixing bowl, stir in the sugar and Choc Bits.  Then stir in beaten eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Do not over mix, mixture should be lumpy.
  3. Divide the misture into paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or when the skewer comes out clean when insert into the cake.
  4. Stand cake in pan 5 mintes before turning, cool the cake onto the wire rack.

2. Choc-Chip Jaffa Muffin
(make 12 large or 16 small muffins)

2 1/2 cup self-raising flour
100g cold butter, chopped finely
155g caster sugar (1 little more than 2/3 cup)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk OR 1 1/4 cup milk mixed with 1 1/4 tablespoon vinegar
3/4 cup dark Choc Bits
2 teaspoons grated orange rind

  1. Preheat oven to 200c. 
  2. Rub butter with flour in a mixing bowl until resemble crumbs.  Stir in sugar, buttermilk and egg.  Don't overmix as mixture should be lumpy.  Stir in Choc Bits and rind.
  3. Divide the mixture into muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean when insert into the cake.
  4. Cool cake at the wire rack.
Source: Adopted and modified from the cookbook "Easy baking", published by The Australian Women's Weekly.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Cake

I had been searching the photo of this cake for a while and I nearly thought that I had lost it.  It was the photo of the cake baked by my daughter for Easter four years ago when she was ten.  I bought her a cooking book for the kids and this was the first thing she made from the book.  Her cooking skills has improved over the years and she can make very nice cookies.  This is a nice recipe to get the kids to help at the kitchen and enjoy some holiday fun together! Happy Easter to you all!

Easter Cake

150g butter, soften
150g plain flour
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
1 1/2 baking powder

For the icing and decoration:
Almond flakes
coloured sprinkles or flowers


  1. Preheat the oven at 180c. Line two of the sandwich tins with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar till creamy and fluffy, add in the eggs and stir until it is smooth.  
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and mix well. Pour half of the cake mixture into each sandwich tin and smooth it level.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool the cake onto a wire rack before icing.
  4. Spread nutella between the layer and the top of the cake.  Then put the M&M around the edge and make a chicken pattern with the beak and tail decorated by almonds.  Sprinkle with some coloured sprinkle if you wish.
Source: Adopted and modified from Kids' First Cookbook, A life-size guide to making fun things to eat published by Dorling Kindersley 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

When I looked at the recipe of this Easter buns, I was expecting some choc chip kind of buns.  However,   the cooking chocolate melted with the dough all together in the bread machine to form this rich chocolate buns.  I had these with lots of nutella for breakfast.  Who would complain too much chocolate for Easter and it is not too bad for my first trial of Easter buns!

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

1 1/2 cups warm milk
2 teaspoons dried yeast
60g butter, melted
1 egg
1 heap teaspoon coffee powder mixed with 1 teaspoon hot water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cup bread flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
180g dark cooking chocolate, chopped

For the crosses:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 water
1 teaspoon sugar

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine


  1. Combine milk , yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in bowl, leave for 10 minutes till frothy.
  2. Put the liquid ingredients (milk mixture, butter, egg, coffee mixture) into the bread machine followed by the dry ingredients (remaining sugar, salt, flour, cocoa).  Press the dough cycle button.
  3. Add dark cooking chocolate into the bread machine after 10 minutes.
  4. When the cycle is completed, divide dough into 16 balls.  Place them close together onto a paper lined baking tray.  
  5. Mix the plain flour, water and sugar together and pipe the crosses over the dough.  Or in my case, add more flour to form a pastry dough and lay the crosses over the dough.  Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 200c. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce to 180c and bake a further 20 minutes or until the bread sound hallow when tap on top.
  7. Brush the glaze over the hot buns immediately.  Serve the buns with nutella spread.
Source: adopted and modified from the recipe of hot cross buns from