Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bread Series: Milk Loaf, Sesame Burger Buns and Matcha-Chocolate Swirl Bread

I think I am into making yeast bread these days. Nothing beats having homemade bread for breakfast and more importantly, Dear has been super supportive. Yeast breads are not easy to make; they are time consuming and may turn out hard like rocks. But, Dear encouraged me to keep making for practice makes perfect.

I am so glad that I am able to make soft, fluffy bread for him now.

Milk Loaf

This was amazingly aromatic, soft and fluffy.

Sesame Burger Buns

Very soft. Really soft.

Matcha-Chocolate Swirl Bread

This was slightly problematic in the bread-making process but it turned out fine. I could use less cocoa powder next time as it overwhelmed the green tea aroma.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Chocolate Chip Cream Scones

Another breakfast food. Second attempt at scones. A different kind of scones. There are just so many kinds of scones and I shall try until I find the one I like the most. The first scones I made were buttermilk scones, which I had replaced the buttermilk with yoghurt. Those plain scones are ideal with cream and jam.

The ones here are cream scones. I think they tasted delicious! I liked them so moist and their textures. With Hershey's chocolate chips embedded everywhere, they'll definitely make your day. 

Chocolate Chip Cream scones (adapted from the food librarian)
makes about 15 4-in round scones

  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 56g granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 113.4g butter (cold, cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup (8 oz) heavy whipping cream (cold) ( I used 3/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup non-fat yoghurt)
  • desirable amount of miniature chocolate chips (depending on preference)
Topping (I omitted)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp sanding sugar or granulated sugar
  1. Preheat over to 218degC
  2. Mix together dry ingredients. 
  3. Cut in the butter until you get a coarse-meal crumbs like consistency. 
  4. Add whipping cream and chocolate chips. Blend together quickly. Do not overmix.
  5. Shape into a round or square. 
  6. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. (I did not)
  7. Cut into shapes. Place on parchment or Silpat covered baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 14-16 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Lemon Curd Tart

This was Dear's birthday cake for 2012. I wanted to make a special "cake" and decide to make a tart instead.

I thought the lemon curd was quite sour. I have a habit of reducing the sugar that the recipe calls for. I can say that that doesn't affect all of the recipes I have tried but for this one, the lemon was more powerful than the baker!

Lemon Curd Tart (adapted from
makes a 10-in tart/pie



  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp cream (I used milk; not sure if that was the reason why the crust was crumbly)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat over to 204degC.
  2. Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in flour, kosher salt, cream and vanilla, until mixture is moist and crumbly.
  3. Press dough tart pan and press it up the sides, making sure the layer on the bottom is even.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is set and firm at the edges. Cool, then fill with desired filling and bake as that recipe directs.
Lemon Curd


  • 1 cup sugar (I used 194g)
  • 2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained ( I had two lemons and yielded a bit less than 2/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into half inch pieces

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together zest, eggs and egg yolks. When sugar mixture comes to a boil, pour very small amounts down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture while whisking continuously to temper the mixture. Continue to add only a few tablespoons at a time until all has been incorporated.
  3. Transfer egg mixture back to sauce pan and return to stove. Cook on medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking frequently.
  4. Remove custard from stove and whisk in butter, adding in one piece at a time.
  5. When all butter has been added, cool curd for 15 minutes before pouring into prepared tart crusts.
  6. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours before serving. (Mine cut better when refrigerated for 24hrs)
  7. Decorate with icing sugar, as desired.

Chocolate-Banana Marble Cake & Nutella-Banana Bread

I wonder who among my friends visit the public and national libraries these days? I haven't went in a long time until one afternoon after I visited Bras Basah Artfriend and I had some time to kill before the next appointment.

Gosh! To my pleasant surprise, I find our national library very complete. It has a wide collection of books, at least for the baking and cooking and food section. But, if something like baking and cooking already have a detailed collection, what can we say about other popular categories? Even better I suppose. I notice they have the latest titles that I cannot even find in For those who are running out of things to do, I would strongly recommend a visit to the library. If you do not have time to read or have no intention of borrowing (lest the hassle of having to return it), it is also nice to grab a book, find a comfortable spot in the library and enjoy the pictures while you waiting for your appointment. 

Anyway, i got hold of book "the art and soul of baking". I have heard pretty decent good reviews and wanted to check it out before making a purchase. It was a heavy big book of recipes! love it. 

A simple, down-to-earth marbled cake got hold of my attention. I have never made a marbled bread but there are such detailed pictorial instructions that I feel I should give it a try and I did. 

The process was fun and the cake was chocolatey and bursting with banana flavours.

Chocolate Banana Marble Cake (adapted from "the art and soul of baking")
makes a 9in-by-5in loaf 

  • 3 medium banana, very ripe, mashed with a fork, should yield about 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk ( i used non-fat yoghurt)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup, unsifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Van Houten's)
  • 3 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, soften
  • 1 cup sugar (I used190g)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp, lightly beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 176degC. Butter a 9in-5in loaf pan.
  2. Add buttermilk and vanilla to the cup of mashed banana
  3. sift cake flour, baking powder and soda into a medium bowl. whisk to blend well. set aside
  4. dissolve cocoa powder in the boiling water and stir until a smooth paste is formed. add extra water if it is too thick
  5. Beat butter and sugar, at medium high speed until very light, and fluffy (4-5min)
  6. Turn speed to medium and add eggs one by one
  7. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with banana-buttermilk mixture. DO NOT over-mix. It is okay to see patches of flour.
  8. transfer half the batter into another bowl and add the cocoa paste. Mix well, gently but thoroughly.
  9. Drop alternating spoon of dark and light batters into prepared pan. Create marbling effect by using a spoon to gently turn the batter over in 3 places over the length of the pan.
  10. Bake the cake for about 55-65min ( I baked mine for about 80min). Remove from oven and let cool. When cooled, slice gently using a serrated knife.

After I made this, my cousins suggested Nutella-Banana cake. What can I say more about Nutella? It has always been a winner. 

Nutella-Banana Chocolate Cake

Same recipe as above except that the cocoa paste was replaced with about 120g of Nutella.