Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas - Tomato & Sweet Chilli Relish

Merry Christmas, my friend!

We have just come back from a holiday in Melbourne.  It was only a four days trip but we had a good look around of the CBD and tried many Melbourne specialities food including Malaysian, Vietnamese, Japanese, American, French, chocolates and the most highlight was visiting the Queen Victoria Markets twice for the fresh fruit and gourmet food. We also did a lot of shopping from European department store to discounted outlet centres and I would have to say we hadn't done such a good shopping for a long time. It really is a gastronomic trip and we just love everywhere we go in Melbourne!

Gourmet burger has been a big hit in Melbourne, there are many burger eateries in the cities. As BBQ is one of the tradition way to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Australia, this recipe of tomato relish could give your burger another level of satisfaction than the good old tomato sauce.

Enjoy a great time with your family and friends and will see you next year!

Tomato & Sweet Chilli Relish

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
400g ripe tomato, chopped
1/4 cup Thai sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup raw sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Put oil into pan and saute onion till brown, add remaining ingredients. Boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quiche Lorraine with French Salad Dressing

Life is always busy towards the end of the year! 

This week we celebrate my daughter's graduation from high school and my son's 14 years old birthday.  There is a lack of sleep trying to be the best mum I can from picking up my daughter from graduation party at 1am in the morning and baking a cake for my son at 10pm at night. The following month would be even busier with a family holiday and visit from families for Christmas. 

This is another inspiration from my daughter of the French salad dressing after her French trip. I have several attempts to try to make it to her liking.  The dressing is light and full of flavour, great for quiche and salad for the coming "hot summer".


Quiche Lorraine 


For the butter shortcrust pastry:

250g plain flour
125g salted butter, cold and diced
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

200g diced ham
4 eggs
200ml thickened cream
50g grated cheese
salt and pepper

For the French dressing:

juice of half a lemon
1 gloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
olive oil
salt to taste


  1. For the pastry: Blend the butter and flour in a blender in pulse motion till crumble, then add the eggs one by one and finally add the cold water.  Keep blending till it forms into dough.  Wrap the dough with glad wrap and fridge for at least 30 minutes or till it is harden. If you have a small blender, you may need to do it in two lots.
  2. Roll the pastry between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to 24cm wide circle and about 5mm thick. You can put the left over pastry into the freezer for later use.
  3. Place the pastry over the quiche pan and place a piece of baking paper over the top, then topped with baking beans. Blind bake for 10 minutes at 200c. Take off the baking beans and baking paper and brush the pastry with some egg white. 
  4. Reduce the heat to 180c. Bake for a further 5-8 minutes or just before it starts to turn golden.
  5. For the filling: Whisk the eggs with cream and cheese. Add in ham and flavour with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the filling mixture into the pastry case and bake for 25 minutes until is is golden. Serve with salad.
  7. For the French salad dressing: Mix all ingredients together and add enough olive oil to make it a cloudy look rather than a creamy look.  If you want a creamy look, you can add some mayo into the dressing.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Leek and Potato Soup with Prosciutto

It must be crazy to dream of soup when it is 37c in the last month of spring.

I made this soup a few months ago when the weather was a lot cooler. My daughter and I both sharing the love of smoothies, juicing and soup. I got inspired by her after her trip back from France where she first tried prosciutto at her France family. She told me the "raw meat" was very nice so we went to the supermarket and got some "raw meat" under her description. Apparently you don't need to cook prosciutto but I prefer my meat cooked so I lightly pan-fried it to have a bit of a crisp.


Leek and Potato Soup with Prosciutto
(serve 4)


4 Carisma Low GI potatoes from Coles, about 700g
1 leek, white part only
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
2 thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into pieces
Salt & pepper

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into chucks. Cover the saucepan with enough water and boil the potatoes till cooked.  Leave cool a little.
  2. Finely cut the leek into small pieces.  Heat a little oil in a frypan and saute the leek till soft.
  3. Reserve some of the water from the potatoes. Blend the potatoes with water and leek into a blender till smooth.  I did that in 2 batches.
  4. Return the soup into the pan, heat gently and add the milk, evaporated milk, stock powder. Add the reserved water bit by bit until you get a nice smooth consistency. Seasoned with salt and pepper.
  5. Topped the soup with panfried prosciutto or serve with croutons.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Magic Cake

My dear friend, after finishing my lists of health check, it's great to get good news from my doctors. As I am under health surveillance, I am good for another couples of months till the next test. So, let do some celebration!

I find this recipe from Zoe of Bake for happy kids. Originally this cake is introduced by my cousin-in-law who also introduce me to the Flourless chocolate cake with red kidney beans.  I have been following Zoe for a long time and have found several good recipes from her. This cake is called magic cake as you don't need to do much and the cake would produce three layers: a base layer that tastes like Chinese steam cake, a middle with custard filling and the top with a soft velvety sponge. This cake is best to serve within 1 or 2 days as the top sponge would lose its freshness and the bottom base becomes hard by keeping in the fridge. I would recommend to serve on the day at room temperature.

Please check out Zoe's recipe here. The only alternation I did in the recipe was to bake in a rectangle lamington pan. Then I uses a scone cutter to cut the cake out from the pan. Dust it with some icing sugar and decorate with white chocolate butterflies that dusted with fairy dusts and strawberries. 

Enjoy the magic!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Strawberry Smoothie and Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate (Dairy Free)

These are the cold and warm beverages that I make up using almond butter from my previous post. My daughter is the advocate to try out my new beverage recipes.  I have been giving this strawberry smoothie to her every morning during her exam period to boost up her immune system.  While my husband and my son both get sick from the cold, she has been strong sailing through her study.

I love the raw cacao hot chocolate during cold winter days.  The almond butter has given it an extra creamy texture. I prefer to add raw sugar than honey as raw sugar make it tastes closer to the traditional hot chocolate.  After traveling to France and drinking hot chocolate from a soup bowl, my daughter prefers the traditional hot chocolate than the raw cacao one.  Surely, I understand the reason, it is very hard to beat the taste of traditional hot chocolate!

Spring is already arrived and school holiday is commencing, life is good!

Strawberry Smoothie
(serve 1)

10 small or 5 large strawberries
1 heap teaspoon chia seeds
1 small banana
1 cup sweetened almond milk
1 heap teaspoon almond butter

Put all ingredients into the blender and blend till smooth. Enjoy!

Note: You can add half of a mango and a small handful of blueberries to enhance the flavour

Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate
(serve 1)

1 cup sweetened almond milk
1 heap teaspoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon raw sugar or honey
1 heap teaspoon almond butter
a little cold water

Put the cacao powder, sugar and almond butter into a glass, make a smooth paste with a little water.  Heat up milk in a saucepan and pour over the mixture.

Alternatively, you can froth the milk and pour over the mixture. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Homemade Almond Butter

My frist time making almond butter was more liked making a coarse paste as I really didn't know what "oil comes out" meant.  After reading detoxinista step-by-step instructions, I finally get a success making smooth almond butter.  I was only using an old model of blender and it worked well even I was a little worry when steam came out after 20 minutes of blending.  It's a stage of the heat generated cooking the almonds and the whole process takes about 30 minutes. So be patients and the final product  is delicious as a dip for crackers or put into beverages.

Almond Butter


2 cups raw almond kernels

Put the kernels into the blender with the S blade, blend until the oil comes out and smooth. You may stop the blender in between to scope down the side and let the blender has a little rest.

Getting ready

Pour almonds into the blender

After 15 seconds, coarse almond meal formed

5 minutes later, almond meal starts to form into a rough paste

10 minutes later, a thick paste is formed, you also notice the butter is heated with little steam

10 more minutes, the butter is nearly ready to form a smooth, light texture

5 more minutes, the butter is ready

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Happy Father's Day - Espresso Brownie Cupcakes

This is the second time I make these cupcakes, my family likes the strong flavour of these cakes. My husband reckons anyone like coffee would like them. It's very muddy and bitterly kind if chocolate taste so I would recommend to serve it with some fresh cream or/and ice-cream with strawberries.

This Sunday is Father's Day in Australia, why not show your appreciation to bake your dad a sweet treat instead of buying him a box of chocolate? It's also the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival) on Monday, this is a great weekend to have a family gathering.

Happy Father's Day!

Espresso Brownie Cupcakes
(make 12)

180g dark cooking chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons caster sugar

Chocolate ganache:
100g dark cooking chocolate
1/2 cup thicken cream
1 teaspoon Kahlua (optional)

white chocolate, melted
thickened cream, whipped + sweetened with a little icing sugar


  1. Melt chocolate with a double boiler with hot water. Leave cool a little.
  2. Mix the coffee powder with hot water then mix all the wet ingredients into a mixing bowl and shift the dry ingredients into another mixing bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold till the mixture is incorporated.
  3. Spoon the batter into a paper lined 12 holds muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 160c.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the ganache, melt chocolate in a double boiler with hot water then stir in the cream and liquor. Put the ganache into the fridge until it is spreadable. Spread over to the cool cupcakes.
  5. Decoration: grease a foil with a little old, put the melted white chocolate into a zip bag. Cut a little corner and pipe the chocolate into the foil with a desirable pattern.  Cool into fridge before peeling it out.
  6. Take the paper out from the cupcake. Put a halved strawberry over the cake with a white chocolate swirl, serve with more strawberries, whipped cream and ice-cream.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Homemade Cumquat Marmalade

There is this very cute 90 years old lady selling jam and homegrown fruit for the church every week.  The fruit of the jam is donated by local farmers and made by volunteers with lots of love and kindness.  Their specialities are rosella jam in March, strawberry jam and cumquat marmalade in August, mango chutney in December. The day I went to visit her, her little store was full with bottles of cumquat marmalade and she was saying delightfully, "there is cumquat everywhere!"

I bought a bottle of marmalade and 1 kg of cumquat from her.  I didn't expect there would so many seeds in cumquat so it took me a while to cut up the fruit.  But it really worth the effort because the jam is tasty (as good as the one I bought) and I am pleased that I finally make jam without using the bread machine. And now, I have jam everywhere in my fridge and pantry!

Cumquat Marmalade
(make about 5x500g bottles)

1 kg cumquats
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1.25L water
6 cups raw sugar
1 tablespoon jam setta (optional)


  1. Wash cumquats, drain.  Quarter cumquats with knife but not cutting all the way through. Remove seeds and cut off the hard pitt from the centre if needed.  Don't worry if you do not remove all the seeds, it would float out later. 
  2. Process cumquats in a blender then combine the cumquats mixture, lemon juice and water in a large saucepan.  Stand for at least 2 hours.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Spoon out any seeds if you see them floating at the surface.
  4. Add sugar to the mixture and boil for another 30 minutes. Skim scum with a metal spoon if necessary. 
  5. The jam should turn thick and bubbling. Test the jam if it is set by dropping 1 tablespoon of hot jam onto a chilled plate, move it with finger after 40 seconds.  If it crinkles and thicken, its done.  If not, add 1 tablespoon jam setta and boil for another 5-10 minutes and repeat the test until the jam is set. 
  6. Pour hot jam into sterilised jars, covered with transparent papers that have been dashed with lemon juice then tighten the jars with lids and rubber bands.
Adopted and modified from the cookbook "Classic Preserves Jams Chutneys Relishes" from the Australian Women's Weekly.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondies

After my guest post of white chocolate & raspberries muffins, it reminds me that this blondies recipe has been bookmarked for a long time and it's about time to review it.

Blondies is the white version of brownies, my favourite is the nutella chocolate brownies. Unlike a lot of people, I prefer my brownies using less oil and well cooked rather than the fudgy one.

This blondies is rich in butter taste and I like the raspberries puree which is much better than just putting in whole raspberries into the mixture so the blondies don't get too soggy.

What's your favourite brownies or blondies?

White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondies

60g raspberries
1/2 cup caster sugar
150g butter, chopped
250g white chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 2/3 cup plain flour ( I use 1 cup plain flour and 2/3 cup self raising)
1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Pre heat oven at 180c. Combine raspberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a saucepan over low heat. Leave cool a little and blend till puree formed.
  2. Place butter and 200g chocolate and melt in a double boiler. Leave cool.
  3. Whisk eggs and remaining sugar into a mixing bowl. Sift in flour and baking powder.  Stir in chocolate mixture and 50g white chocolate. Spoon into a lamington pan (I put into a square pan)
  4. Drizzle over the puree and make a swirl with a skewer or knife.
  5. I bake it for 35 minutes.  The recipe stated for 20 minutes and cool in fridge, please check the source from down below if required.
  6. Cool in pan before cutting into pieces.
Source: adopted and modified from Delicious magazine through taste.com http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/28629/raspberry+white+chocolate+blondies

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guest post to celebrate 4 years of blogging and reaching 200 posts - the Best Raspberry & White Chocolate Muffins

My dear friends, I am so happy that this blog has reached its milestones of 4 years with 200 posts.  This blog helps me to recover from my illness and I feel so grateful to be able to enjoy everyday of my life with great food, great love and great laugh!

These raspberry & white choc muffins were baked by my friend, Andi during the school holiday while our boys were making lots of noise playing their ukuleles at her place. Andi has such a crafty talent and her cooking is packed with flavour. She introduces me to the roasted capsicum and pumpkin soup that is truly a great winter warmer. There are so many raspberry & white choc muffins recipes and this recipe is by far the best, the muffins are so moist and dense with flavour. So if she is making more next time, I'll bring a container to take some home before they disappeared!

Here is Andi's thought sharing her muffins and I hope you enjoy reading this blog and have a wonderful day!

A friend of mine has popular coffee shop and bakes fresh batches of muffins each morning upon opening.  The smell as they're baking is amazing, customers flock for these yummy muffins!  Her basic muffin recipe is fool-proof and you add a handful of fruit and a handful of chocolate.  Our family favourite is the Raspberry and White Chocolate muffins and they soon disappear after coming out of the oven!  You can also do a blueberry and dark chocolate muffin which is pretty good too.  If you're quick you maybe able to stash some in the freezer for school or work- they make a wonderful treat.  My son especially enjoys them!  The balance of the sweet chocolate against the tart raspberries is just divine.  Just a hint not to break up the chocolate too small, it'll melt and disappear.  Lindt chocolate or a quality chocolate is also recommended.  It holds it's shape better and who can argue with the taste!  Please enjoy and I'm sure these will become a family favourite.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Muffins
(makes 6 extra large and 12 smaller muffins)

300g self raising flour
125g castor sugar
300ml buttermilk
200ml oil
2 beaten eggs
1 block of white chocolate, broken up
handful of fresh/frozen raspberries

White chocolate butter icing:
100g softened unsalted butter
100g white chocolate
dash milk
100-150g icing sugar


  1. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and make a well.
  2. Add all other wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Add chocolate and raspberries (be gentle)
  4. Put into lined muffin tray.
  5. Bake 18-20 minutes at 180c oven until springback or skewer comes out clean.
  6. For the icing: melt white chocolate with dash of milk until just melted. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and melted chocolate. Spread or pipe onto cooled muffins.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Green Smoothie (Dairy Free)

After making the green juice, I want to make a recipe for green smoothie. Looking around at my fruit tray and the fridge, picking up all the seasonal green fruit and vegetable, this is my new addition of a healthy drink! It involves the juicer and the blender so there is a bit of washing to do, maybe a dishwasher can be my best friend after all!

Green Smoothie
(serve 1)

1 stalk of celery
1 green apple
couple of lettuce
1 kiwi fruit
1/2 small avocado
squeeze of lemon juice


  1. Cut and core the apple, skin the kiwi fruit, wash the vegetable.
  2. Put the first 3 ingredients into a juicer. 
  3. Pour the green juice into a blender, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend till smooth. Enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Overnight Oats with Strawberry (dairy free)

What would be the perfect breakfast for you? My husband and son would put their hands up and say "Bacon and Egg!" and my daughter would be happy to have French toast with a tub of yoghurt. And for me, this overnight oats with strawberry is my perfect breakfast that keep me going for at least a few hours till lunch time. It provides a good start of the day with fibre, protein, anti-oxidents and calcium....and the best thing is that it is ready to serve in a jar with only a little of work to do the night before.

Overnight oats with strawberry

1 cup sweetened almond milk
6 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
few goji berries
4-5 fresh strawberries, halves

Pour milk into a medium size glass jar, add the rolled oats, chia seeds and goji berries. Give it a stir, then add in strawberries. Tighten the jar with a lid. Place into the fridge overnight. Add some toasted muesli and more fresh fruit if needed when serve.

Tip: I usually leave it at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. If you want to warm it up, leave the strawberries and add it in the morning instead. You can also sprinkle more nuts and goji berries before serving to suit your taste.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Papaya Chia Seeds Smoothie and Chocolate Banana Shake (dairy free)

It is in the middle of winter and it is a bit cold to have smoothie and shake using frozen fruit.  These two drinks use fresh fruit and needless to say they are packed with goodness!  In Taiwan, papaya smoothie is a very popular drink and this is my version of a dairy free one.  It is also my first time making shake with avocado, it gives a thick shake texture and very filling as well. Raw cacao powder has more anti-oxidents than cocoa powder that you must give it a try! You are allowed to get addicted to it without guilt!

Papaya Chia Seeds Smoothie

1 cup sweetened almond milk
1x 2cm thick wedge of red papaya
1 teaspoon chia seeds, soaked with 1/4 water till transparent

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth. Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Shake

1 cup sweetened almond milk
1 banana
1/4 large avocado
1 teaspoon chia seeds, soaked with 1/4 water till transparent
1 heap tablespoon raw cacao powder

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chocolate Bliss Balls

These bliss balls are packed with nutritions and I can pop three or four into my mouth without guilt.  And yet, they are so easy to make, just blend everything and roll it into the coconut.  It keeps very well for a few days.

Chocolate Bliss Balls
(make about 18-20)


1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup organic cacao powder
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon goji berries
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
desiccated coconut for coating

  1. Blend almonds and walnuts until starting to become paste, add chopped date, cacao power, chai seeds, salt and coconut oil.  
  2. Blend until it becomes sticky to shape.  Put into a bowl, add goji berries. 
  3. Use hand to shape into ball shape, roll into coconut.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Roasted Capsicum and Pumpkin Soup

After having a warm autumn, winter finally comes. I learnt about this soup from my son's friend, his mother was a very good cook and I enjoyed this soup a lot. The aroma of the garlic and the sweetness of the roasted capsicum enhance the flavour of this soup, making it a perfect winter warmer.  Pumpkin soup is one of the most versatile kind of soup, I have done a Thai style pumpkin soup before and now I've added this soup to my favourite soup list.

Pumpkin soup also has a very special meaning to me. During my course of chemo, my neighbour cooked me a big pot of pumpkin soup as a nice gesture of helping. From her Italian background, she put parsley into her soup and I would never forget how tasty her soup was.

I really think pumpkin can bring magic!

Roasted Capsicum and Pumpkin Soup
(serve 4)

800g pumpkin
2 medium potatoes
1/2 small onion
1 red capsicum
1 garlic gloves, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Peel potatoes, chop pumpkin and onion into chucks.  Place enough water to cover the vegetable in a saucepan and cook until vegetable are cooked. Leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cut capsicum into half.  With the cut size facing down, sprinkle oil and garlic.  Bake in a moderate oven until the skin are wrinkled, about 20 minutes. If the garlic burns, spoon it under the capsicum. 
  3. Place the capsicum into a zip bag and let cool.  When it is cooled, peel off the skin from the capsicum and chop into chuck.
  4. Pour the vegetable into a blender, reserve the water.  Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  5. Return the puree into a saucepan and heat up the soup.  Add enough reserved water till you have a nice consistency.  Seasoned with salt and pepper.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Berry Smoothies (Dairy free)

This is another of my favourite drink in the morning, it's especially good to have after the morning walk.  Coming home with sweat and feeling thirsty, the coldness of the smoothies melt you down with goodness. I enjoy looking at the ingredients blending into thick shake and using the spoon to eat the frozen fruit.  I couldn't ask for a better life to sit down on the sofa and enjoying this!

Berry Smoothies


1 kale leaf
few lettuce leaves
1 frozen banana
1 handful of frozen organic berries
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 cup organic coconut water
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Serve straight away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spiced Chia Seeds Bubble Shake

This is my favourite breakfast drink which is full of goodies. It's liked the Taiwanese bubble tea but I use chai seeds instead of the tapioca balls.  I keep the left over into the fridge and drink it whenever I want it.

In cold weather, you can heat up the milk to serve warm!

Spiced Chia Seeds Bubble Shake


2 cups almond milk (sweetened)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chia seeds (soaked with 1/3 cup water until transparent)
1-2 tablespoon maple syrup

Pour all ingredients into a jar, shake well.  Keep in the fridge to keep fresh.
If you're using unsweetened almond milk, add more maple syrup.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Date & Walnuts Loaf

This is an old fashion bread that I've adopted from an ninety years old reader from a woman magazine.  It is a teacake/coffee cake that meant to be eaten freshly made with the accompany of tea or coffee. Because it doesn't use a lot of butter in the recipe, the texture of the bread is a bit dry.  It is usually served with a generous amount of butter to moisten and enhance the flavour of the bread.  Imagine spreading butter to the warm bread and the butter melted and soaked into the bread, Yum! It's also a great idea for kid's lunch box with the goodness of fruit and nuts.

In Australia, banana bread, muffins and brownie are the most popular homebake.  Maybe we have just forgotten about this old fashion bread and I reckon we should bake this bread more often to keep this recipe to last from generation to generation.

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Date & Walnuts Loaf

1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


  1. Pre heat oven at 180c.
  2. Pour water into a small saucepan, add dates and butter and let it boil. Take away from heat and add the bicarbonate of soda.  Let it cool a bit.
  3. Mix the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl, add beaten eggs and then add the dates mixtures. Stir well and finally add the walnuts. Top the bread with 3 extra whole walnuts.
  4. Pour the dough into a paper lined loaf tin, bake for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Red Kidney Beans

The first question my kids asked after seeing this cake is, "Mum, what's that? It's so dark!" I just told them that it was a chocolate cake. I'd probably told them half of the truth and it's only my "not so liked bean's son" had the dare to try it even he knew it wasn't an ordinary chocolate cake. After taking one piece of it, he went straight for something else in the pantry and never touch the cake again!

However, my husband thinks this is a really nice cake, so moist and soft.  He urges me to share it so there you are, a flourless chocolate cake with red kidney beans.  Before I bake it, I don't know what to expect as I rarely bake cake without flour but I am pleased with the texture of the cake, and the taste of beans mixed with the cocoa powder, it's a bit liked those Japanese cake made with aduki beans. Maybe next time, I will ice it with some maccha (green tea) flavoured cream and that may make the cake more presentable!

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Red Kidney Beans


1 can (410g) of Red Kidney Beans
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g butter, soften
150g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda bicarbonate
4 eggs


  1. Preheat oven at 170c. Line a round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans. Process the beans with water, vanilla and 1 egg in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs and bean mixture. Stir well. then finally add the sifted dry ingredients.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the skewer come out clean after inserting into the cake.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter treats with Choc-Peanut Tartlets and Salted Caramel Tart

How can you celebrate Easter without chocolate? Here are two very simple and easy tartlets and tart that may make the preparation of Easter much easier for you.  

This year my daughter will be having Easter in France and I'm going to miss her very much. My son may feel happy that he can get all the Easter eggs but she reckons she would get better chocolate eggs in France. My little girl is growing up as a young lady, learning to drive, to be independent, to achieve her best in life.  I'm missing the fun time when the kids believed in Easter Bunny and got so excited on Easter Sunday for the Easter eggs hunt!  However, the big kids still love Easter eggs and chocolate treats for Easter!

Have a happy Easter and enjoy a great time with your family! 

Choc-Peanut Tartlets

frozen tartlet cases
peanut butter
dark cooking chocolate and white chocolate
100 & 1000 sprinkles and Easter eggs

Bake the tartlet cases followed by the instruction of the package.  Spoon in peanut butter into the cases and then toped with melted chocolate, decorated with sprinkles or Easter eggs.

Salted Caramel Tart

1 frozen tart case
1/4 cup caster sugar
25ml water + extra 2 tablespoons water
25g butter
1/2 can of 397ml condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
almond flakes for decoration
melted chocolate for decoration


  1. Bake the tart case followed by the instruction of the package.
  2. Meanwhile, place sugar and 25ml water into a small saucepan, boil till sugar dissolved.
  3. Bring to boil till dark golden colour, remove from heat and add the extra 2 tablespoons. The mixture is very hot, watch out for spit!
  4. Then add butter to the caramel followed by condensed milk and salt. Return to heat till boil. Let cool before fill into the case.
  5. Decoration the cake with melted chocolate and almond.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Good Morning Green Juice

The fun of juicing and blending smoothies is that they are so colourful, the awesome green, red, purple or orange and you know that it provides you with loads of goodies! Having one in the morning helps to cleanse your body and give it a kick start. These days I don't buy bottled juice as making your own is healthier and you can be creative to create your own favourite! This is what I call FRESH!

Green Juice
(make 1 tall glass)

1 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 cup lettuce
2 celery stalks
1/3 continental cucumber
1 green apple, cored
1 piece ginger

Process all ingredients in a juicer and drink right away.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Banana & Walnuts Bread (Lactose Free)

Gluten free baking has been popular at cafe these days but there are hardly any lactose free baking available. My son is lactose intolerance so every time when he goes to camp with the school, he has to supply his own milk and request a special diet. He just miss out all the fancy shakes and milk based beverage when we are out dining. Most of the time he can tolerate cheese, ice-cream and chocolate but when his stomach is not well, these special treats are out of the question.

One of my friend's son has very bad reaction to dairy product so all her baking would be dairy free by using lactose free product. You can find lactose free milk, yoghurt and cheese easily these days so it is not a problem if your kids don't like soy or other milk substitution. I come across this recipe from Coles website of Curtis Stone's recipe and decide to making it a lactose free version. Usually my son doesn't like baking contain banana or walnut but he has been eating a few pieces and I guess I can call it a success!

Banana & Walnuts Bread (Lactose Free)

2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons Lactose Free yoghurt
3 bananas, mashed
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped (leave 3 whole walnuts for garnish)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Sift flour into a mixing bowl, add sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. 
  2. Add the oil, beaten eggs, vanilla essence, yoghurt and banana to the dry ingredients, then add the toasted walnuts until it is well combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into a paper lined loaf pan and top with 3 whole walnuts for garnish.
  4. Bake for 1 1/4 hours at 180c or until the skewer comes out clean when insert into the cake.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chocolate Chia Seeds Cupcake (Gluten Free)

Chia seeds has been regarded as a superfood with its nutrients value.  It was introduced by one of my friend and she asked me to put it into drinking water and consume it daily for well being.  I have been trying to find out more use with this little seeds by adding it to smoothies, salad and cereal. Last week I celebrated with my girl friends for finishing my chemo and I ordered a chocolate chia seeds cake which was quite delicious! When I got home, I got onto the computer to search for a recipe straight away.  These days I don't bake very often for trying to cut down sweet food and have more veggie and fruit for good health. But sweet food makes you happy and it is OK to have a once in a while!

These cupcakes taste quite different with the cinnamon added to the chocolate.  If you have had many chocolate cake and prefer something special, you may like this recipe. The cake is moist and strong in chocolate taste and not too sweet.  This is my first baking for gluten free cake and I'm very please with the result!

Chocolate Chai Seeds Cupcake
(make 10)

5 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw sugar (3/4 cup if you want it sweeter)
2 heaps tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons chia seeds
pinch of salt

Chocolate frosting:
1/2 cup dark choc chips
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
few drops of vanilla essence
2 heaps tablespoons icing sugar


  1. Soak chia seeds with 1 cup of water for 15 minutes then drain.
  2. Beaten eggs with oil, sugar and honey in a mixing bowl until well mixed.  Sift in almond meal, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir well, then add the soaked chia seeds. Mix sell.
  3. Divide the mixture into a muffin pan, lined with muffin case. Fill the unused muffin holes with water to ensure even heating for baking. Bake for 20 minutes at 180c.
  4. For the frosting: microwave the choc chips, milk and coconut oil in medium heat at 20 seconds, then 30 seconds until the chocolate melted. Add in vanilla essence and sifted icing sugar. Mix well, then place into the fridge to harden the frosting until it is spreadable.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

White Radish Cake and Taro Cake for Chinese New Year

With the Chinese New Year coming in 2 days,  people that celebrate Chinese New Year will be busy cleaning the house, preparing traditional food to celebrate the biggest festival of the year! White radish cake and taro cake are the two most popular savoury cake amongst the Chinese.  I prefer white radish cake as it is not so filling but one of my sister likes taro cake so I prepare this for her as a way to say thank you for the support during my chemo. Cake sounds like high in Chinese, having these cakes means good meaning for achieving well for the new year.

Chinese New Year is the celebration of family gathering, a fresh start of a new year with new hope and good health.

Have a great Chinese New Year!

White Radish Cake

1.2kg White Radish
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 Chinese sausages
1/4 cup dried shrimps
4-5 Chinese mushroom
340g Rice flour (粘米粉)
115g Wheat flour (澄麵)
shallot, finely chopped
sesame seeds, toasted

2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Chicken powder
sesame oil


  1. Soak shrimps and mushroom with just enough water to cover the ingredients for 1 hour or until soften. Reserve the water. Steam Chinese sausages for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Chop the shrimps, mushroom and chinese sausages into small cubes.
  3. Peel and grate white radish into a large bowl. Mix rice flour and wheat flour in another bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a large pan, add the shrimps, mushroom and sausages till fragrant. Add the grated radish and water and reserved water then let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the radish is transparent.
  5. Add the seasoning, then add the rice flour and wheat flour, keep stirring till the mixture is thicken and dough liked.
  6. Spread the dough evenly into a 24cm round cake pan. Steam on high heat for 20 minutes, then simmer for 2 hours.  Sprinkle with shallot and sesame seeds. Let the cake cool.
  7. Heat oil in pan, cut the cake into slices and pan fried till brown and crispy on the outside.

Taro Cake

650g Taro
110g Rice flour
70g Wheat flour
3 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
2 Chinese sausages
4-5 Chinese mushroom
1/4 cup dried shrimps

1/2 teaspoon Chicken powder
3/4 Chinese 5 spices powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
sesame oil


  1. Prepare the shrimps, mushroom and sausages as the white radish cake. Reserve the water.
  2. Peel and chop the taro into 1 cm cubes. Boil taro with 2 cups water for 10 minutes or or until soften.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan, add the shrimps, mushroom and sausages till fragrant. Add taro, 1 cup of water and reserved water stir through, then add the seasoning and finally add the rice flour and wheat flour.
  4. Stir through till thicken. Spread dough into a 24 cm round cake pan.
  5. Steam in high heat for 40 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Heat oil in pan, and heat up as the white radish cake.