Thursday, 26 February 2015

Orange and Fennel Salad

Hi internet space,

Wow, I can't believe it's been 1.5 years since the last post! So basically, I was on a trip to Sri Lanka recently when I had a bit of an epiphany, I missed blogging. I missed the excitement of documenting my recipes, experimenting with photography and writing and especially this little space I can call my own.

So here I am, back for good I hope. With a simple recipe to slowly ease my way back.

This salad is tangy, fresh and so easy to throw together. The cranberries add a touch of sweetness while the almonds add an extra element of crunch. The flavours pair perfectly with any grilled or barbequed meat or fish.

Orange and Fennel Salad

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Serves 4


2 large fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 medium oranges, peeled and segmented
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon almond flakes


Place fennel slices and orange segments in a salad bowl. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Add salad dressing to the salad bowl and toss. Finally add in the dried cranberries and almond flakes.

Best served cold.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Banana and White Chocolate Muffins

In the last couple of months I've been quietly reminding myself get into the swing of blogging things. This undoubtedly has proven to be a bigger task that I thought it would be. The space between posts is somewhat sad and it serves as a reminder of what weekends were like - early starts to churn out dish after dish, which were then whisked out onto the porch to be photographed to its glory. I've been trying to emulate that feeling on more than one occasion but failed miserably. I've lost my touch.

Not one to be defeated, I woke up this weekend, gung-ho - adamant that I am going to get over this plateau and make a proper comeback. Not some weepy, half-assed attempt I've made in the past. So with the determination of a warrior, I cooked lunch for the family -  chicken curry, chicken in soy sauce and cabbage with mustard seeds and egg.

Despite that sounding like a lot of food, I had one more recipe up my sleeve. You see, earlier in the morning, I woke up from a lovely weekend slumber, with a deep longing for a warm banana and white chocolate muffin. Not quite sure where the craving has come from seeing that I am on a strict diet and exercise regiment but  who am I to resist a muffin urge. So off to the kitchen I go, and well, well, what do I find? Overly ripe bananas, to the point of mush, which required immediate use. 15 minutes later and 10 large muffin liners were filled and ready for the oven.

The result was pretty amazing. Light, fluffy, sweet and healthy(?) muffins ready to be devoured!

Banana and White Chocolate Muffins

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking 

Makes 10 large muffins


225g all purpose flour
100g caster sugar
55g brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
120g white chocolate, chopped up into chunks
450g ripe bananas, mashed
113g melted butter, cooled
2 large eggs, lighten beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line pan with 10 muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt and white chocolate chunks.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. With a spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined and batter is thick and chunky. 
  5. It is very important not to overmix muffin batter as it will yeild dense, rubbery muffins. 
  6. Fill the 3/4 of the lined tins with batter and bake for 25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and transfer muffins onto a wire rack to cool.
  8. Best served warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Salted Fish and Pork Belly Claypot (Ham Yue Fah Lam Poh)

Malaysian Chinese food has always been one of the great loves of my life. I’m talking fresh ingredients, tossed in hot wok with ginger, onions and garlic (the good stuff), and seasoned to perfection with soy sauce/oyster sauce/sesame oil, all ready in less than ten minutes.  

Going out for Chinese food is a weekly affair however when we do eat out, we tend to gravitate to the same dishes; Stir-fry Kai Lan (Chinese broccoli), Kam Heong Lala (clams), Egg Fu Yong and Ham Yue Fah Lam Poh (Salted Fish and Pork Belly Claypot). 

I was introduced to the Salted Fish and Pork Belly Claypot dish a few months ago, and haven’t looked back since! It sounds like an odd combination, salted fish and pork belly, but it works. Cooked in a claypot, the pork belly remains tender, juicy and flavourful. The addition of fresh ginger, onions, dried chillies and spring onions adds freshness and colour. The rice wine is a key ingredient as it really amalgamates the flavours together creating a lovely dish, worthy of restaurant standards.


This dish takes about 15 minutes to put together and is best served with rice. Perfect weekday meal! 

Salted Fish and Pork Belly Claypot (Ham Yue Fah Lam Poh)

Recipe adapted from Amy Beh


150g pork belly, thinly sliced

70g boneless salted fish, fried till crispy
6 slices of fresh ginger
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 dried red chilles, cut into 3cm sections, de-seeded (I left the seeds in for the extra kick)
2 stalks spring onions, cut into 4cm lenghts

Seasoning A
1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
0.5 tsp sugar
0.25 tsp pepper
0.5 tsp chicken stock granules

Seasoning B
1 tbsp Hua Tiau wine (chinese rice wine)
2-3 tbsp fresh chicken stock
1 tbsp thick soy sauce 


  1. Marinate pork with seasoning A for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat claypot over a high heat. Add the marinated pork, ginger and onions. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the cover and add seasoning B, dried chillies and salted fish pieces. 
  4. Stir well to combine then cover the claypot once more. 
  5. The dish is done when you see smoke escaping through the hole in the lid, or if using a wok, after 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. Add the spring onions and serve immediately.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Black Forest Cupcakes

After the previous diabetes inducing post, I figured I better take it down a notch on the sweetness Richter scale. And so here you have… Black Forest Cupcakes! Not exactly sin-free but these are incredibly delectable. You only live once so what the heck, right?

 These cupcakes are a combination of soft chocolate cake which is drizzled with cherry syrup (or cherry liquor if you prefer), topped with cherry buttercream and decorated with a single cherry. These cupcakes really do taste like a bite size version of a Black Forest Cake. However if you’re a purist and insist that the frosting should involve some form of cream, then by all means go ahead. The only reason why I chose to use buttercream was due to its durability. I needed these cupcakes to remain in perfect condition for at least 24 hours as they were made for order. Having done some research, it became clear that whipping cream based icing without the addition of a stabilizer wouldn’t last for more than a few hours. *I have included a recipe for both versions of frosting, so it really is your choice!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Adapted from BBC Food

Cupcake Ingredients

125g butter, softened
160g caster sugar
2 eggs
200g self raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa power
125ml milk
100g dark chocolate, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare and line a muffin tray.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  3. Sift in flour and cocoa powder and mix until incorporated.
  4. Fold in milk and melted chocolate.
  5. Spoon mixture into liners and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until well risen.
  6. Remove and cool before icing.

Cherry Buttercream Icing Ingredients (Option I)

Tinned cherries, pitted

150g unsalted butter, softened
200g-250g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp corn flour + a little water to make a smooth paste
Chocolate sprinkles

  1. Drain cherries in a sieve, collecting the syrup in a bowl below. 
  2. Pierce each cake numerous times with a skewer and carefully pour about a teaspoon of cherry syrup over each cake.
  3. To make the cherry drizzle, heat remaining syrup with the cornflour paste in a small saucepan until just boiling. Remove from heat and beat to thicken. Set aside.
  4. To make buttercream, beat butter until really soft. Gradually add the icing sugar and cherry syrup.
  5. * The cherry syrup will give the buttercream a light pink/purple tinge. If you prefer a more vibrant colour, add a couple of drops of a food colouring of your choice.
  6. Pipe buttercream onto cupcakes.
  7. Top each cupcake with a cherry and decorate each cupcake with some cherry drizzle and chocolate sprinkles.
Whipping Cream Frosting (Option II)

Lightly whip 300ml double cream and pipe onto cakes. Decorate as desired.