Happy Pumpkin Day

October 31st, 2013

It’s that time of the year again… where pumpkins are being sold everywhere and it’s the only time that I actually buy pumpkins as Little Bee gets influenced by the excitement of Halloween… when what should really be big in this country is Harvest Day… but never mind… at least nursery will get pumpkin pie out of it.

pumpkin pie



Ready made shortcrust dessert pastry
550g pumpkin flesh, microwaved for 20 minutes, drained and pureed
125g soft brown sugar
1/2tsp ginger powder
1/2tsp mixed spice
1/2tsp cinnamon powder
3 eggs
120ml single cream

  1. Preheat oven at gas mark 4 (180C)
  2. Roll out the pastry and line it on to a greased loose base flan/quiche dish. Prick the base and cover it with baking paper/tin foil and pour in the baking beads/rice and blind bake it for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beads/rice and paper/foil and bake it for another 10 minutes.
  3. In the mean time add all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Increase the oven heat to gas mark 7 (220c). Pour the wet mixture into the pastry shell. Put it in the oven and cook it for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to gas mark 4 (180c) and continue cooking until the filling has just set.
  5. Leave it to cool.

I hope the kids and staff at nursery will enjoy the pumpkin pie for pumpkin day ;)

Tepung Pelita Test

August 10th, 2013

I bought a bag of banana leaves as I wanted to make otak otak… which is actually wrapped in coconut leaf but I didn’t know where to get coconut leaves from, whereas I know I can banana leaf quite easily.

I didn’t realise how much was in the bag and obviously I had lots left and I started thinking of Malaysian puddings that is wrapped in banana leaf and tepung pelita came to my mind. I think it originated from the state of Kelantan but of course if it’s yummy (like most food in Malaysia) you will be able to find it somewhere in Malaysia.

The only problem is, I don’t think I have the patience of cutting, cleaning, heating and folding the banana leaves into small cups. I did try but because I didn’t heat the leaves long enough, they were still stiff and kept ripping or breaking.

Hmmmmm… so for this experiment, it will just have to be in cups.

tepung pelita

Maybe one day I will find the patience to do the cups and also stand at the stove and stir the mixtures… but after a few busy days of cooking, I guess I rushed everything and used the short cut of using pandan essence rather than proper pandan leaves… let’s just say, it’s not something that I would serve to guests… but Little Bee says she likes it… or she’s just being kind.

Kuih Dadar

April 28th, 2013

kuih dadar

Unlike home… as in Malaysia… if I need to use pandan, I would just go to my mom’s back garden and cut one out.

Here, in the UK, you could use pandan essence or pandan paste or buy a big bag of pandan leaves and keep them in the freezer. I had a bag in the fridge as I didn’t have space in the freezer and for the last two weeks has been figuring out dishes to make with pandan. The more pandan leaves I need to use the better. Not that I am complaining as I love the smell and taste of pandan.

Anyway… I saw a picture of a banana and coconut cake and don’t ask me why as they do not resemble or even taste the same, I suddenly thought of kuih dadar. I haven’t had it for ages and the last time I was in Malaysia it wasn’t even on my food I have to eat list. But I do remember my mom made this for me a long time ago and I remember buying it from the school canteen when I wanted a sugar fix and I remember loving the sweet taste of gula melaka mixed with the smell of pandan… and with all these memories, I had to make it as I wanted a little taste of home.

kuih dadar


5 pandan leaves
50ml water (to blend the leaves with)
120g plain flour
250ml santan (coconut milk)
50ml water
1 egg
100g palm sugar
1 pandan leaf
75ml water
100g desiccated coconut
1tsp corn flour

  1. Put the 5 pandan leaves into a blender with 50ml water and blend into a pulp. Strain it through a fine sieve and put it aside.
  2. Add flour, santan, water, egg and 4 tbsp of the pandan juice into a bowl and mix well.
  3. In a saucepan, add the palm sugar, knotted pandan leaf, water and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolved. Add the desiccated coconut and corn flour and stir for another minute. Set it aside.
  4. Heat up a frying pan and lightly grease it with oil. Pour in about 3 tablespoon of the pancake mixture and swirl the pan to form a thin layer of pancake… almost crepe like.
  5. When it is cooked, transfer it over to a plate or chopping board and spoon on about 2 teaspoon of the filling mixture on to the pancake and roll it up like a spring roll.

Just another Malaysian flavour that I am happy to share.


Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake

April 13th, 2013

lemon and poppy seed cake

Little Bee had a playdate yesterday and we decided to make a cake… well, I thought her playdate mommy would appreciate cake and coffee so it was more for us mommmies than the kids… but Little Bee doesn’t mind as she loves being my good little helper.

I did make this cake before but it was a rush and I didn’t let it cool down properly that it was crumbly when I sliced it up. But it was still lovely… at least I thought so and that’s why I decided to make it again.

The recipe is adapted from the BBC Good Food page here. I don’t have an electric mixer and mix by hand and I didn’t make the icing as I do think that I personally do not need extra calories ;)

sliced lemon and poppy seed cake


25g poppy seed
185ml warm milk
185g unsalted butter, soften
220g caster sugar
3 eggs
300g self raising flour
1 lemon’s rind, grated

  1. Put the poppy seed and milk in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix the soft butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing. Add the flour and poppy seed and milk mix, alternating between the two (I did it three times as in a third of the flour and then a third of the milk and poppy seed, mix and then again until all are mixed together). Add the lemon rind and mix further.
  3. Pre heat the oven at 180c or gas mark 4 (I did it now so I won’t waste any gas ;) )
  4. Lined the bottom of a 10cm x 20cm loaf pan with baking paper and lightly butter the side. Pour the mixture in and bake on the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, cover the cake with tin foil to avoid browning, and bake for another 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin on a wire rack for about half an hour. Tip it out and let it cool further on the wire rack or just slice it up as it’s nice to have cake when it is nice and warm :)

I baked it much longer as 40 minutes, which was the recommended time on the original recipe, was not enough in my oven. Your oven might be more high tech than mine so 40 minutes might be enough.

Bubur Kacang Hijau

November 25th, 2012

bubur kacang hijau

It seems from my posts that I’m having a bubur spree :D Well, sometimes it happens but the truth is, bubur is the easiest dish that people tend to forget and take it for granted.

Bubur kacang hijau is actually a dessert or pudding rather than a meal itself. However, saying that, it is very filling and probably is a meal by its own right.

The reason I made it is because Little Bee has a cold. When I have a cold, I usually just boil ginger in water and then make kopi jahe (ginger coffee) but somehow I just don’t think that Little Bee would like ginger juice on its own… I might be wrong as I’ve never tried.

Anyway, I made this pudding because I can still boil in the ginger and it’s sweet and I was hoping that Little Bee would eat it… but it turned out that Little Bee doesn’t like it. Little Bee doesn’t really like pulses so I can’t really say that it’s the fault of the dish… because it’s not. I love it… maybe it’s my fault for reducing the sugar in the recipe but I do find it to be very sweet when I have it in Malaysia so I prefer it with less sugar. In Malaysia, if they serve it hot, I then add ice cubes to it to cool it down and also water it further so it won’t be to sweet.

Well… with Little Bee not wanting it, more for me! So, I’m not complaining :D


200g mung beans
750ml water
5cm cinnamon stick
3cm fresh ginger, bruised
4 pandan (screwpine/pandanus) leaves
60g non-refined granulated sugar
250ml coconut milk

  1. Rinse and soak the mung beans over night. The next day, drain the beans and put it in a pan and add 750ml water with cinnamon stick, ginger and pandan (tear in half length wise and tied into knot). Bring to boil, reduce the heat and cover and simmer until the beans has soften.
  2. Add sugar and coconut milk. Bring it back to a boil. Switch off the heat.

It can be served hot or cold… and trust me it’s yummy! Even if Little Bee doesn’t like it ;)

Happy Pancake

March 10th, 2012

I asked Little Bee what she wanted for breakfast this morning and she said ‘Pancake‘.

So I made her this:

happy pancake

Usually one pancake with honey was enough for her. But today she wanted another one.

another happy pancake

AND I had been offering her dried apricots for days which she rejected… but with them being the ears, she ate them and told me ‘Apricots are my favourite’.

So maybe with me going ‘bento crazy’ on Thursday, ordering a recipe book, sandwich cutters, boiled egg mold, etc will work to get her to enjoy food more. Maybe happy faces will make her eat more vegetables :)

When I do get my book and accessorize I will then start experimenting. Watch this space ;)

Sicilian Orange Cake

January 3rd, 2012

I saw a picture of the cake on Almost Bourdain and was salivating. As it was coming to Christmas and time for celebration, I decided to bake, yet again :)

Sicilian orange cake

Sicilian Orange Cake


250g lightly salted butter at room temperature
250g unrefined caster sugar
4 eggs
2 orange zest
250g self raising flour
85ml freshly squeezed orange juice
for the icing:
80g unrefined icing sugar
2tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

  1. Preheat oven at 170C/gas mark 3. Grease a round cake tin and line it with baking paper.
  2. As it is winter at the moment, I soften the butter a bit further in the microwave, medium heat for 30 seconds. Cream the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Beat in majority of the orange zest, keep about 1 tsp to the side for garnishing. Add all of the flour and mix well. Slowly mix in the orange juice.
  3. Spoon in the mixture in the baking tin and bake it in the middle shelf for 50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted in the middle of the cake, comes out clean.
  4. Leave the cake to completely cool down in the tin on a wire rack. As the cake is cooling, mix the icing sugar and orange juice. Take the cake out of it’s tin and remove the baking paper. Place it on a plate and pour the icing mix onto the cake, letting it drip down the side. Sprinkle the left over zest on top of the cake and it is now ready to be served!

a slice of Sicilian orange cake

Pancake with Sweet Buttered Bananas

October 16th, 2011

The pancake recipe is here… but it is really yummy when you top the pancakes up with sweet buttered bananas!

Pancake with sweet buttered bananas


3 bananas peeled and sliced
1 tbsp margarine/butter
1 tbsp unrefined caster sugar

  1. Melt the margarine/butter in a pan. Add the sliced banana and fry for a minute.
  2. Add the unrefined caster sugar and fry for another minute.
  3. Scoop the banana and some of the buttered sauce on to the pancake. Seriously yummy!


October 9th, 2011


We were watching Big Cook Little Cook on cbeebies and they decided to make some pancake meal for whoever it was that came to their cafe. And I thought, pancakes for tea would be nice. So, that was what we had.


125g self raising flour
1/2tsp cinnamon powder
2tbsp unrefined caster sugar
1 egg
150ml milk
Corn oil

  1. In a bowl, sift together the flour and cinnamon. Add the caster sugar, mix and make a whole in the middle.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the egg and milk. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry bowl and whisk lightly and quickly to make a batter with thick cream consistency.
  3. Heat a frying pan on a medium heal and pour a little oil in it. I used a paper towel to spread the oil evenly. Drop a ladle full of batter into the pan and use the back of the ladle to evenly distribute the batter into a circle.
  4. Cook the pancake for 1-2 minutes until bubbles rise to the surface and burst, and turn the pancake over and cook for another 1-2minutes. Remove from pan and repeat until you finish the batter.
  5. The pancake is ready to be served and I just drizzled some chocolate syrup all over it to the delight of Little Bee.

Peanut Butter Cups

August 23rd, 2011

My colleague brought back some Reeves Peanut Butter Cups when she was in the USofA. As usual, I started to think ‘How hard can it be?’

So, I started to look for the recipe and again, referred to the Joy of Baking site. I, however, omitted the milk chocolate as I prefer tasting the cocoa rather than sugar. This is what I ended up with.

Peanut Butter Cups


125g creamy peanut butter
28g unsalted butter
1/8tsp salt
20g unrefined icing sugar
400g dark chocolate
10g shortening

  1. In a microwavable bowl, add the peanut butter, unsalted butter and salt. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds (soft not melted). Stir it the icing sugar.
  2. Over a simmering water, melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl.
  3. Line about 30 petit four cups on a baking tray.
  4. Drop a teaspoon of melted chocolate into each cups. Add a teaspoon of peanut butter mixture into the middle of each cups and top each cup with another teaspoon with melted chocolate.
  5. Refrigerate until set.