Saturday, June 29, 2013

An Unexpected Health Issue and 3 Years of Blogging - Devil's Food Cake II

My dear friend, I'm afraid I have to leave you for a while as I am going to have an unexpected surgery tomorrow that require a period of resting.  It had been 3 years since I had my last surgery.  I am afraid to go to the hospital again but it is important for me to maintain good health to live in this beautiful world.  Let's hope everything goes well!

I am excited that I'm reaching my 3rd year of blogging at the end of July! I have never stay in a hobby for that long and you can see how much I love spending my time in the kitchen. I am pleased that I've learned from you, not only about food, it's all about sharing love and experiences.

I made the strawberry devils food cake for my son's birthday last year.  Then I find this recipe at the back of the flour packet with the name as "indulgent chocolate fudge cake" which is very similar to the recipe of devil's food cake using bicarbonate soda and milk.  It's the best ever rich chocolate cake so far judged by my husband, he actually ate two big slices in one go, very naughty! I guess we should act like a devil sometimes!

For the left-over cake, simply heat up in the microwave, the ganache melted to be a fudge topping, serve with some ice-cream will be a great winter dessert. I'll recommend using Lighthouse's self-raising flour and Cadbury's cocoa for the recipe, they work well together and the cake is moist and soft!

See you soon, good health to you all!

Devil's Food Cake II

1 cup Lighthouse cake & biscuit self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup Cadbury Bournville cocoa
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
120g dark chocolate
200 butter, diced
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk

Chocolate Ganache:
150g milk chocolate
25g dark chocolate
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon thicken cream


  1. Preheat oven to 170c (150c fan-forced), line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate soda into a mixing bowl until mixed through. 
  3. Melted butter and chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.  Let cool slightly.
  4. Add the eggs, milk and chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir till well combined.  Pour the cake batter into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean after inserting into the cake.  Let the cake cool for a few minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack.
  5. To make the ganache: add chocolate and cream in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth.  Cool the chocolate mixture into the fridge until it becomes thick and spreadable.
  6. Decorate the chocolate cake with the ganache.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Apple Slices

Besides the satisfaction of feeding the long queue of hungry kids, one of the good thing being a volunteer at the school tuckshop is to learn new recipe.  I first came across this apple slices through a funding raising event, it was the best slice for the day! It bet all the cupcakes and sweet tart. While the taste of this slice still fresh in my mind, I find it selling at our school tuckshop. It must be a very common slice but I have never seen it before. The two slices that I have are quite different (one not baked for the topping and the other baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon) and I prefer the first one I have at the fundraising.  After searching recipes from the internet and a bit of modification, this is what I make to my liking.  Crispy coconut, buttery base with the fresh taste of soft apple and custard cream topping with a hint of cinnamon.  What can you ask for more than that?
Apple Slice


For the Base:
1 1/3 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:
2 1/2 large Granny Smith green apple
plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup water

For the topping:
250g lite sour cream
1 egg, beaten
ground cinnamon


  1. Line a slice pan with baking paper.  Preheat oven to 180c.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients of the base into a mixing bowl, add in melted butter and vanilla till all mixed.  Add to the baking pan and press to flatten the base evenly.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Peel, core and cut the apple into cubes.  Add the apple into a saucepan with water and sugar, bring it to the boil. Turn down to medium heat and simmer until the apple is cooked and the water nearly evaporated.
  4. Drain off excess water and spoon in the apple onto the base.
  5. Beat together the sour cream and egg, sprinkle with a little cinnamon.  Put the slice back to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes at 160c.
  6. Cool the slice in pan before cutting. This slice is best serve on the day of cooking.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pork & Bean Enchiladas

There is so little I have known about Mexican food.  We make nacho, taco and tortilla quite a lot but that's probably what I have been up to.  Last year, I went to a Mexican themed party hosted by my dear American friend, she used her Mexican relative's recipes making a range of food including some chilli black bean and that was quite interesting.  I found that this enchiladas recipe from the newspaper using only kidney bean.  I modified it a bit adding pork and avocado & sour cream topping to suit my family's taste. I add the topping because it is quite dry with the mince and bean and I have to say that I love the taste of coriander in this dish.

Pork & Bean Enchiladas
(make 5 rolls)

520g pork mince
200g tinned red kidney beans
500g tomato pasta sauce
1 onion, finely cut
3 garlic gloves
2 tablespoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
grated cheese
salsa sauce
lite sour cream
fresh coriander
salt & pepper
5 Mission sun-dried tomato & basil wraps or any tortilla wraps


  1. Heat oil in pan, cook onion and saute until onion starts to soften.  Add garlic and pork mince and cook till it changes to brown colour.  Add cumin, chilli powder, 1 cup of pasta sauce and 1/2 of the coarsely mashed red kidney beans. Simmer on low for a few minutes then add the rest of the whole beans.  
  2. Divide the filling into 5 portions.  Fill the tortilla wraps with the filling and roll up, place the end downward.  Arrange tortilla into a baking dish, spread the rest of the pasta sauce over and sprinkle with grated cheese.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown in a preheated oven at 180c.
  4. Mix the diced avocado with salsa sauce.  Cut the enchiladas half and arrange onto the serving plate. Top with avocado salsa mix and sour cream.  Sprinkle with some fresh coriander and serve with green salad.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hong King Style Chicken & Potato Curry

Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, my mum is the main cook for the family and she only cook very typical Chinese dishes.  Dinner would be steamed fish, some stir-fry chinese vegetable, a meat dish with some soup.  My dad would cook once in a while, this curry dish is one of his favourite.  I always look forward for this dish because I love spicy food. Over the time, I have added lemon grass, more spice into this curry to make it more tasty to suit my family.  This curry is not hot as the Indian or South-East Asian's, to me it's a Level 1 training to enjoy the curry dish.

Potato is very important in the dish, it helps thickens the sauce and most of the time what's left over is not potato but chicken.  

Hong Kong Style Chicken & Potato Curry
(serve 4)

900g chicken (a mix of wings, thighs and drumsticks)
1 small onion
2 lemon grass
4 washed potatoes or any potatoes
1-2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon garlic mince
2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup water
1 cup lite coconut cream
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
salt and pepper for marinate

  1. Remove as much fat and skin from the chicken.  Cut the chicken into chucks and marinate with salt and pepper for about 1 hour.
  2. Cut onion into cubic chuck, peel skin off potatoes and cut into chucks, use the root of the lemon grass and cut diagonally into 2 to 3 pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a big saucepan, saute the onion and garlic then add the lemon grass and chicken.  Stir through until chicken starts to turn brown, add 1 cup of water.  Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes, then add curry powder, ground coriander and garam masala and potatoes and stir through.  Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Keep stirring for a few time.
  4. Add the coconut cream, evaporated milk, salt and sugar into the curry, cover the lid and let it simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are cooked.  Keep stirring for a few time to make sure the curry doesn't stick at the bottom, add more water if it turns too dry.
  5. Serve with rice, salad and Indian bread.