I’ve always love to eat dumplings. I called it “shui jiao” in chinese or dumplings never knew it was called potstickers for my 20 years of existence on Earth. Those golden fried nuggets with stuffing while its steaming hot is just HEAVEN. My father would usually buy those frozen homemade kinds from hawker centres. I think it was a few months back during the Chinese New Year in January, watched my lovely Ah Ma go to her freezer and take out bags of shui jiao (chinese dumplings) for my family to take home and eat. After watching this video by the Dumpling Sisters making it, it relieved those moments. Hence, I decided to make these on Monday for my family dinner.
The idea of making it from scratch really appeals to me just like bread does. Using my bare hands to create something edible, freshly cooked and prepared. The delicious smell from the kitchen fills the whole house. Moreover it’s homemade – made with love. There is something so warm about it, that is just hard to describe.
The recipe can be found on their website over here. I’ve slightly tweaked the recipe, using minced pork, replaced bak choy for chinese cabbage. And did not include ginger because I’ll be using lots of ginger and black vinegar to make the dipping sauce. Just the way my family eats it. Also, decrease the amount of boiling water from 220ml to 200ml or I’ll just pour it in, bit by bit till it comes together into a nice dough. Shoutout to the dumpling sisters for replying me! I’ll for sure try that next time to make prettier pleats. 🙂
It was a lot of work, no kidding. Took around 2 hours-ish? Kind of lost count but hey, I made dumplings! Yay! Combining the dry and wet ingredients, kneading the dough and flouring every once in a while to prevent the dough from sticking. It was such a cathartic process! I’m pretty proud of myself for the first try! Not bad!! When I tried the first piece, it reminded me straight back to eating gyozas at a Japanese place in Thailand. Like WOAH, that flashback was quite mind-blowing, mind you that was quite a number of years ago!!! So stoked! It’s so incredible, this reminds me of the food critic in Ratatouille the movie. Just WOW!
P.S. Papa doesn’t have to buy frozen dumplings anymore, haha!
After watching this video, I knew that one day I had to make it and that day is today! So thank you Christina Tosi for making this birthday cake!
It did not go exactly as I planned. Why you may ask, because I might have screwed it up at the last stage while I was assembling the cake hence the picture of a uneven top layer…
The story is that when you’re overly-excited like a kid in a candy store + was a tad lazy = a recipe for disaster. Well not entirely, but I have a strong feeling that there would be a no. 2 in the future despite it being time-consuming which I did not mind at all. 🙂
Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake is 3 layers tall and I might have switched my best cake layer as the base and my absolute worst / pieces and crumbs for the top. You could say I was in the “zone” while assembling it. I guessed it look quite alright. A bit quirky but it has this appealing charm to it despite using a cake ring which I purposely bought for this particular recipe yesterday! So instead of a flat top, I got a dome like structure.
However, on the bright side, I managed to use EVERYTHING, the whole ENTIRE cake, not a cake scrap left and not baking it in a quarter sheet pan! High-five anyone?!!? Read quite a number of blog posts before hand and found out that some food bloggers were left with cake scraps but not me haha! I also miraculously managed to finish baking and assembling the cake in no longer than 5 hours minus the freezing of cake. So if you think it takes a few days, fret not!
Oh and please do note that I omitted some out the clear vanilla extract, vegetable shortening, citric acid (replaced it with lemon juice) and glucose.* I wasn’t particular whether or not I was making a legit Momofuku Milk BarBirthday Cake and I think that was because personally growing up in an Asian household, I was never really introduced to a boxed vanilla birthday cake so in all I just never tried it before. Furthermore, I was already contented with the scent and taste of brown vanilla extract. I did not have acetate but I figured out using just the cake ring should be fine. Overall, I was going for the rustic look which I think I clearly achieved in doing so.
Coming from a person who just made this today, I have not tried it yet as it is currently chilling in the fridge and not freezer because I don’t have space for it. It’s filled with all the frozen meat which I’m not so keen to share the space with. And who knows, if I find the cake missing a little je ne said quo then I’ll add it in the future. Leading it to attempt no. 2? 🙂
2. Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in a bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, mix on low speed until well combined.
3. Add the oil and vanilla and mix on low till it resembles like small chunks of crumbs.
4. Bake for 15 minutes at 150 degrees.
5. Let the crumbs cool completely on the pan.
Ingredients (Cake Batter)
4 tbsps of butter
1 cup of white sugar
3 tbsps of light brown sugar
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
2 tsp of vanilla extract
245 g cake flour (2 cups)
1 1/2 tsps of baking powder
3/4 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles
2 tbsp of rainbow sprinkles
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl. Cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
3. On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix it on medium-high for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is completely homogenous. Do not don’t rush the process. You’re basically forcing too much liquid into an already fatty mixture that doesn’t want to make room for that liquid. there should be no streaks of fat or liquid. stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. ( My cake batter was rather watery because I did not add in the vegetable shortening + I had twin egg yolks for 2 eggs consecutively!
4. On low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and the ¼ cup of rainbow sprinkles. Mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Butter the sheet pan and line it with parchment. Spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles evenly on top of the batter.
6. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. (Baked mine around 38mins). The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. (Yup, it did bounce back!)
7.Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests. Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Ingredients (Cake Frosting)
8 tbsps of butter
1/4 cup of cream cheese
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of icing sugar (sifted)
1/4 tsp of salt
A pinch of baking powder
3 drops of lemon juice
1. Combine the butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Use an electric mixer and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. scrape down the sides of the bowl.
2. On low speed, add in the vanilla. Increase the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is silky smooth and a glossy pale yellow. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the icing sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon juice and mix on low speed just to incorporate them into the batter. Increase the speed back up to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a brilliant stark pale yellow, beautifully smooth frosting. it should look just like it came out of a plastic tub at the grocery store! use the frosting immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Ingredients (Milk Soak)
1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1. Pour the milk in a bowl and add in the vanilla extract. Mix it well.
Method (Assembling the cake)
1. Place a piece of aluminium foil on the counter. Invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment from the bottom of the cake. Use the cake ring to stamp out a circle and half a circle from the cake. Stamp out parts of the remaining cake that becomes cake “scrap” which will come together to make the middle layer of the cake.
1st layer: half a circle + cake scraps
:2nd layer: entirely made from cake scraps
:3rd layer: perfect circle
1st layer (base)
1. Put the cake scraps together inside the ring and use the back of your hand to tamp the scraps together into a flat even layer. Place scraps of parchment paper at the edge of the serving plate to catch fallen crumbs.
2. Dunk a pastry brush in the birthday cake soak and give the layer of cake a good, healthy bath of half of the soak. 3. Use the back of a spoon to spread one-fifth of the frosting in an even layer over the cake. 4. Sprinkle one-third of the birthday crumbs evenly over the frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place. 5. Use the back of a spoon to spread a second fifth of the birthday cake frosting as evenly as possible over the crumbs. ( I did not have enough frosting to do it)
2nd layer (middle)
6. Move your cake ring from the base layer to the middle layer, it should hold the middle cake layer. Repeat the process for layer 1 but use all all of your cake scraps to make it.
3rd layer (top)
7. Nestle the remaining perfect circle cake on top. Cover it with the remaining frosting. give it volume and swirls, or do as we do and opt for a perfectly flat top. Sprinkle the frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.
8. Cover and secure it with aluminium foil and chill it overnight.
9. Slice the chilled cake and serve. 🙂
Assembling the cake
First and second layer was a dream, brushing it with milk, sprinkling the confetti crumbs and frosting it. However, the third layer was a pure nightmare. Wrapped it with aluminium foil and chill it in the fridge.
Just like I’ve promised, here is the recipe for my Japanese Strawberry Shortcake!! Well, this is my first attempt at making it so the overall presentation isn’t really that perfect… but I’ve tried! It definitely has a rustic charm to it. And I’m quite proud of myself for doing this. 🙂 Adapted from this recipe that I’ve found on YouTube here. I felt this was by far the easiest and less intimidating to make a genoise or sponge cake. Without having to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks which I had encountered in the past that I struggle with. But I’ll conquer that one day!
Ingredients (makes a two layer 9-inch layer cake)
3 medium eggs / 2 large eggs
3/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of cake flour
2 tbsps of melted butter
2 1/2 tbsp warm milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
9 whole strawberries
1/2 cup of sliced strawberries
1 cup of heavy cream
2 tbsps of apricot jam
1 tbsp of cognac or rum
3 tbsp of sugar (for the glaze)
5 tbsp of hot water
Preheat the oven to 170 degree celcius. Butter the cake tin and line it with baking sheet.
Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk it for 30 seconds. Add in the white sugar. Place it over a bowl of simmering hot water. Careful not the water touch the bowl. Whisk it continuously till it turns pale and fluffy. Or use an electric mixer, and beat it on high for a few minutes.
Remove it from the simmering bowl and continue to beat on low till it achieves the ribbon stage. (The mixture is of smooth consistency, without bubbles when you hold up the whisk)
Sift the cake flour and fold it into the egg mixture in 3 batches.
Pour in the melted butter, milk and vanilla extract. Fold it gently.
Pour into cake pan and bake it for 25mins. (Mine did not rose so much, must have knocked a fair amount of air when I fold my mixture)
Let the cake cool.
To make the whipped cream, combine heavy cream and sugar in a chilled bowl. Whisk it till you achieve soft peaks and add in the vanilla extract. Fold it in gently.
Cut the cake into 2 slices, using this toothpick method.
To make the sugar syrup, combine the sugar and water till the sugar dissolves. Pour in the cognac.
To make the glaze, heat the apricot jam with water in a pot until runny.
Brush a layer of sugar syrup on one of the layers.
Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of cream and arrange all the sliced strawberries on top of it. (At this stage, you could apply a thin layer of apricot jam)
Again, spread another layer of cream.
Place the other layer of sponge over the cream layer and brush it with the sugar syrup. Coat the whole cake with the remaining cream.
Decorate the top with the remaining strawberries. Voila!
Hi my fellow readers! Attempted to make a Japanese Strawberry Shortcake and I am just so amazed that I’ve done it after looking pictures of it on Tumblr. And I’ve never tried a Japanese Strawberry Shortcake before! So I was really pleasantly surprised at how it taste! My Dad commented it tasted like an ice-cream cake and I agreed with him. A spoonful or two of vanilla extract and cognac did the trick! Here are some visuals that I took. Full recipe will be up tomorrow, so please keep a look out!
Thank you all so much who have clicked on my food blog and liked my posts! It gives me motivation to churn out more posts and try new recipes that I am so excited to do. It also enables me to know more about myself especially my likes! Such as the love of pumpkin and roasted vegetables! I’ve reached 200 hits in a few months which isn’t a lot but it sure is a progress, taking baby steps here! 🙂
P.S. Currently been obsessed with Lorde’s Liability and Green Light !!! Really suits my taste !! :):):)
Goals for this blog:
Brush up on my Photoshop and Illustrator skills to learn how to decorate my pictures with wording.
I decided to make a vegetarian lunch for today featuring 2 potatoes, half a green capsicum or bell pepper and a tomato. It is more like a finger food rather than a proper meal. But it’s hearty and packed with all the good nutritions and lots of dried herbs! It could go as toppings for a sandwich or layer it over a slice of bread, and potato wedges on the side. To make the vegetables taste more “meaty” I’ve roasted them in the oven. The bell pepper and tomatoes took less then 10 minutes while the potatoes, 30. Fear not, you could make ahead the bell pepper and tomatoes while you soak the cut potato wedges in an ice bath. So if you’re really starving, you could whip yourself a sandwich with the toppings while waiting for the wedges to be cooked! 🙂 It made me such a happy girl having this for lunch! Internally grateful.
Slice half the capsicum into bite size strips. Coat it with half a tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder and rosemary. Spread it on the aluminium sheet lined with baking paper or aluminium foil.
2. Slice the whole tomato into thin pieces. Coat it with the other half tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Place it on the same aluminium tray as the capsicums.
3. Bake it at 200 degree celcius for 10 mins or until golden brown.
Method (Potato Wedges)
4. To make the potato wedges, cut it length-wise and slice them till it resembles a long crescent moon. Soak it in an ice water bath for 30 mins or at least 10 minutes if you’re really hungry. Pat it dry with a kitchen towel. You can refer it here that I did previously. Preheat the oven to 220 degree celcius.
5. Peel and rinse 2 cloves of garlic. Use the back of the knife to lightly smash it. Place that in a large bowl with the potato wedges. Coat it with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, rosemary, sage and parmesan cheese till well combined.
6. Fry this with a cup of rice for a heavy meal or for breakfast with a sunny side-up egg! Enjoy! 🙂
Processed with VSCO with b5 preset
Look at that golden brown garlic nestled between the layers of roasted vegetables!
The most perfectly cooked potato wedges I’ve ever made !
A classic favourite dessert among my family members has to be my Classic Lemon Cheesecake. It is considered a classic, which means that I’ve basically means that I’ve baked it for over a gazillion time. This a go to recipe is by Martha Stewart which can be found here. It is such a foolproof and a basic cheesecake recipe that can be easily modified. If it is your first time making a cheesecake then look no further, this is the recipe for you! I’ve also included a detailed method below that includes pictures to guide you along!
5 packs of cream cheese, each at 250g
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
15 pieces of digestive biscuits
5 heap tbsp of butter
1 1/2 + 3 tbsp of white sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
4 large eggs
1 cup of sour cream
Baked it at 180 degrees for 1hr 45mins (for a creamier texture)
Soften your cream cheese at room temperature and place your biscuits in a plastic bag. Preheat your oven to 180 degree celcius.
2. Use a rolling pin to bash, roll and flatten the biscuits till it resembles like breadcrumbs.
3. Made a mini water bath to melt the butter by placing it in a bowl of boiling water.
Pour the biscuit crumbs into a bowl. Make a small well in the middle and pour in the melted butter. Stir it well. Press the mixture onto the baking tin. Bake it till golden brown around 10mins or until you can smell the baked biscuit aroma from the oven.
Tip: Keep folding the baking sheet like this and snip off the ends (which I haven’t done in the image above). You should have a perfect fit for the springform.
Using an electric mixer or a whisk, cream the softened cream cheese till light and fluffy.
Add in the sugar and continue to which till is resembles like thick frosting.
Add the lemon juice and zest into the cream cheese mixture (not pictured above). Add the vanilla extract and stir in an egg one at a time after mixing well. You can see the change in consistency becoming runnier. Then, add in the sour cream and continue to mix well.
Pour the cheesecake batter into the cake tin and bake it at 180 degrees for 1hr 45mins till the center slightly wobbles. Wrap the bottom of the cake tin with aluminium foil. Make a water bath by pouring some boiling water on a tray below the cake tin. Into the 45mins into the baking process, place a piece of aluminium sheet over the top to prevent it from over-browning.
Once it is done, let it cool for 30mins in the oven. Look at that marvelous golden top! Let it chill overnight in the fridge as it tastes much better when eaten cold! Happy baking!
Please admire the orangey, caramelised individual carrot sticks
Dear Carrots, I have a love and hate relationship with you. I dislike you being crunchy but love you insanely when you are all steamy and soft especially in clear broth. I came across this recipe from Buzzfeed when there was not much to cook with. So I took a leap of faith, nah.. I am just exaggerating and so I decided the recipe! Similar to my Ridiculously Easy Baked Potato Wedges (made this the same time and so it became my second side dish for last night’s Western food theme dinner 🙂 )
I kind of lost track of how many carrots I’ve used but feel free to modify the recipe to suit your taste!
1 tbsp of olive oil
a variety of dried herbs
5 heap tbsp of parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of cumin
Preheat your oven to 200 degree celcius
Slice the carrots into thin sticks
Place carrots in a bowl, along with the oil, cheese, salt, pepper and dried herbs. Mix them well.
Spread it on the aluminium foil lined with baking sheet.
Bake it in the oven for 20mins till crispy, enjoy!
The brand that I’ve used
Heat it up in the microwave oven the next day and it’s all good!
I’ve always had this thought that it was difficult to make potato wedges but after I’ve came across this recipe, I decided to try if for last night’s Western food themed dinner. After trying it, I can happily say that the skepticism of making potato wedges is now long gone. Hooray! I had rave reviews from my family members who tried it. I am so truly excited to make more of these and share with people that I love. I used only two potatoes as that was what I’m left with so do take note! You can increase the amount of potatoes and the ingredients to suit your needs!
These wedges looks legit, literally like the ones you see and consume at fast food franchises. These might have slightly burnt ends, a bit of a sticky kick to it. But hey, it’s my first time cooking it! These wedges are oven-baked which needless to day more? They are sort of healthy-ish? I mean it is better than fried? Correct me if I’m wrong!
I am happy and incredibly proud to say that this is a keeper and would highly recommend anyone who is making it for the first time! I mean like can you imagine something so ordinary that you see it daily just appear right infant of your eyes? As if you could not believe it that it was home-cooked of something you’ve imagine that is near impossible to do? It’s so enticing, this feeling that you can do anything and that it is even possible. Like a vision came true? You know, its rather dreamy which I kind of like it. A small little spark that ignites you, and I am probably looking more forward to amaze myself at any opportunities! 🙂
1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of dried sage
1 tsp of dried rosemary
1/2 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of parsley
Preheat your oven to 200 degree celcius
Rinse the potatoes and do not remove its skin
Cut them up into wedges
Place them in a bowl of cold ice water for 30mins
Pat them dry with a paper towel to remove all its moisture
In a bowl, place the potatoes and add in the salt, pepper, herbs and cheese. Mix them all together.
Line the aluminium foil with a baking sheet and place each individual potato side by side. Let the skin of the potatoes face at an angle.
Bake it for 30 mins till the edges turn golden brown, enjoy!
Side note: I did not try to add the parmesan and parsley after the potato wedges has been cooked but I will try it next time! 🙂
Chocolate and Vanilla Cheesecake with a layer of Chocolate Ganache without using heavy cream, say what?!?
Made this Chocolate and Vanilla literally few hours ago and it’s currently chilling overnight so that I can share this with my family and eat cake for my breakfast tomorrow! 🙂 You can find this recipe here which I made it last year. I am excited to try it and will keep you posted on how it taste ! Have a good night if you’re reading this at 11:07pm!
Adding the white sugar to the cream cheese reminds me of frosty snow!
Melting the chocolate pieces
Cream cheese mixture resembles like actual frosting, yummy!
Knobs of butter floating in the milk mixture
Egg and vanilla extract in the batter
Adding egg one at a time
The vanilla mixture (About 10 heap tbsps of cake batter)
The chocolate mixture, added the melted chocolate to it
Added the homemade sour cream to both flavours
Pour in the chocolate mixture followed by adding dollops of vanilla and then chocolate after that
Reminds me of Jackson Pollack’s art anyone? 🙂
Bake it at 180 degrees celcius for 1hr 30mins
Chocolate ganache: 5 tbsps of butter + 1/3 cup of milk + 1/4 bar chocolate pieces. Heat it up in a pot on medium heat till it thickens. Pour over the cooled cake.
Let the cake chill overnight because it tastes seriously amazing when it is best eaten cold!
Only the first morning and look how much is left!
After the cake has been cooled overnight! Dense, creamy chocolatey goodness!
I am quite a perfectionist and I’ll admit that the cake tasted a bit grainy as I must have cooked it a bit longer. Next time, bake it less than 1hr 45mins and instead to 1hr 30mins at 170 degrees celcius instead of 180 degrees? I guess the homemade sour cream was not so successful. Will buy a cup of sour cream next time!