Monday, 30 June 2014

Taught By The Lord

I baked these muffins for the Sunday School gift exchange stall. Gift exchange is for rewarding the children to buy with tokens earned for coming to Sunday School. Each child is given two tokens for every attendance. Volunteers set up a stall selling stationeries, books, small toys, stickers,puzzles and tidbits.
Gift exchange is held quarterly. Besides gift exchange, there  is also attendance awards for the children.

This is the first time I am baking these muffins for exchange. I made 15 and brought 12 to church. The person in charge of the stall suggested an exchange of 8 tokens for each muffin. I thought it was rather high but the muffins were quickly snapped up by the older children.  The younger ones were more interested in buying stickers and small toys which can be exchanged with one or two tokens.

I saw these muffins from Diana's post and followed the recipe closely. They are very moist and fluffy and I will be keeping this recipe for all future chocolate muffin bakes.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe who adapted this from
The Ultimate Muffin Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough


250g plain flour
100g caster sugar
39.3 cocoa powder sifted
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
152 semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs, at room temp
50g packed dark brown sugar(light brown sugar)
360ml buttermilk
113.3g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven 200C.
  • Whisk the flour caster sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium or large bowl until uniform. Stir in the chocolate chips until well-coated. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl (or bowl of a mixer) whisk the eggs and brown sugar until thick and pale brown. Pour in the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla.
  • Whisk until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir this into the flour mixture until moistened.
  • Fill the prepared liners three-quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned with rounded tops. A toothpick inserted into the centre of one muffin should come out clean, unless you a hit a chocolate chip.
  • Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the muffins onto the wire rack to cool for an additional 5 minutes before serving.
Note: If storing or freezing the muffins, cool them completely before sealing in an air tight container or in freezer safe plastic bags. The muffins will stay fresh for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to 2 months in the freezer.

This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up 'BUTTER' hosted by Jozelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen,
organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY

All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. Isaiah 54:13

Thursday, 26 June 2014

No One Has Seen God

You: "Where were you at midnight yesterday?",
Me: "I was at the supermarket."
You: " What???"
Me: "I was at the supermarket to buy all purpose flour."
You: "You went to the supermarket during midnight to buy flour?"
Me: "Yes, it was urgent, I wanted to bake Crisp Chocolate Bites."
You: "You can't wait till morning? You have insomnia?"
Me: "No. It is cooler to bake at night. You see, I have already melted the butter and chocolate, sifted the  cocoa powder, and then I discovered I have a quarter cup of flour left, so I need the extra flour urgently."
You: "Can't you use those cake flour, bread flour, whatever flour you have?"
Me: "Nope. Must be plain flour."
You:"What time did you finish baking then? It must have been very late."
Me:  "The 24hr supermarket is nearby, It was quarter past midnight when I reached home. By half past midnight, the batter was mixed and chilled for baking later in the day. The washing was also done."

You: "Cool! That was fast and easy! Taste?"
Me: "Delicious! Crisp and chocolatey. I can hear the crunch sound. I couldn't stop at one, two...I was chomping away. I have some left. Try, it is still as crunchy."

Crisp Chocolate Bites
Williams Sonoma


3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (85g salted)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped, 56g Hershey unsweetened
1 cup granulated sugar, below 1 cup level
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa powder, Hershey unsweetened dark cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  • In a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the butter and chocolate. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until they are melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the granulated  sugar until evenly moistened. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy.
  • Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour,cocoa,baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat an oven to 375F(200C). Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
  • Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Shape the dough into 34 inch balls(10g-12g) and roll in confectioners' sugar to coat completely. Place the balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared pans. Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked on top, about 12 minutes. They may appear under done in the center but will turn crisp as they cool. Let cool on the pans for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 42 cookies. (50+ cookies)

This post is linked to Bake Along hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Her Frozen Wings.

I love the musical Les Misrables. It has strong Christian values with themes of grace, mercy and redemption. 
There is one line in the epilogue which says "To Love another person is to see the face of God".

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Lord Will Guide You Always

If it is Paula Deen's dish, it must be delicious. I heard this comment from her fans many times over. I believe to be true. This simple and fast to cook Paula Deen's Chicken Georgia has swooned many of her fans.It is indeed very tasty and I am glad I trusted their comments.

I did not follow her methods accordingly. This is a versatile recipe. Add more or less to suit your taste.

Chicken Georgia
Adapted recipe
serves 1


200g chicken breast
100 white button mushrooms, sliced
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic, minced
30g butter
2 tablespoons light olive oil
50g grated mozzarella cheese


  • Flatten chicken breast with a cleaver or rolling pin for fast cooking. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Melt half butter and 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken breast and cook 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate. Sauteed shallots with the remaining butter and oil. Add in garlic and mushroom. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes.

  • Put the cooked chicken breast back to the pan and sprinkle grated mozzarella over it. Cover the pan and turn heat to low. When the mozzarella has melted, dish out and serve.

This dish is cooked for my younger son who takes chicken breast only. He gives a big thumbs up.

 This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up 'Butter' hosted by Jozelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My little Favourite DIY.

Cook like a Star event is also hosted by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose water never fail. Isaiah 58:11
Many of my friends are falling sick due to the hot scorching weather. As I pray for their well being, I am reminded of this verse of encouragement from the Word of God. Thank you Lord for guiding us through our daily ways and decisions. Thank you for providing us our daily needs. Even in this hot scorching weather. there is always enough food and water. Thank you for healing and giving us all the strength we need to carry out our physical activities. Thank you for the strength needed to accomplish your purposes for our lives too.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Speak, my Lord

Even though most cupcakes are too sweet for my liking, I feel happy looking at them.  They are just too pretty. Swirls, sprinkles and toppers, I love them all.

These cupcakes make me the happiest woman for the day. They are not only nicely piped, they are so good to eat too.  Pandan Cupcakes with Gula Melaka frosting, that's a great combination of flavours! So uniquely local too.

Having adjusted both sugars in the cake and frosting, these are not cloyingly sweet at all. The moistness in the cakes is not compromised. The Swiss Meringue is also velvety smooth, and best of all they can withstand the sweltering heat. I baked these to bring to J's dinner party, anticipating the dinner will be Malay/Indonesian food cooked by her wonderful helper.

The Pandan cupcakes are made of natural pandan, no artificial coloring or essence. I am surprised that the green is much deeper than usual, and think it could probably due to the colour and freshness of the pandanus leaves and the concentrated extract which I have left much longer in the fridge too.

The Swiss meringue is whisked with brown sugar instead of white. It is not a deliberate attempt to change the taste but I have no white sugar left. The caramelized gula melaka is the jewel in the crown. Burnt rich butterscotch like taste, gula melaka is a perfect partner for any coconut milk based dessert. I shall make it even more intense if I'm making this frosting again.

Pandan Cupcake with Gula Melaka Frosting
Bitter sweet spicy
Makes 12


200g flour
1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
125 unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
200g castor sugar (170g)
2 large eggs, at room temp
75g coconut milk + 25g water(pandan extract )
2 tablespoons pandan juice
Green colouring


  • Preheat oven to 180C.  Line muffin pan with cupcake liner or, if using cupcake papeer cups, place cups onto a baking pan.
  • Combine flour and baking powder. Sift and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, combine butter, vanilla and salt. Cream until smooth.
  • Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to over beat.
  • Fill paper cups or muffin pan with batter, 3/4 full.
  • Place baking or muffin pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Cool cakes completely on a  wire rack before icing.

Gula Melaka Swiss meringue buttercream frosting

50g (80g gula melaka,) crushed
2 pandan leaves, torn lengthwise and tied a knot 
1/8 cup water (2 tablespoons water)

3 large egg whites
110g granulated sugar (30g sugar)
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature (cold)
1 tsp vanilla paste
pinch of salt


  • To prepare gula melaka caramel, combine water, gula melaka and daun pandan in a heavy based saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until all the sugar has melted.Then continue  heating up the syrup and let it reduce slightly, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, strain and leave aside to cool completely to room temperature. The caramel will thicken as it cools. If it becomes to thick,thin out with a little bit of water before using.
  • Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk frequently, keeping it over the heat, until the mixture reaches about 70C and the sugar has dissolved (rub some between your fingers - if it feels grainy, it hasn't dissolved).
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixer with a whisk attached and beat on medium high for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  • Turn down the speed to medium and start adding small chunks of butte,checking that it has incorporated before adding more. Keep beating until the mixture comes together,this will take about 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, add in the gula melaka caramel, one teaspoon at a time,beating until well combined between each addition. 

This post is linked LTU 'Butter' hosted by Jozelyn from Spice Up My Kitchen, organised by  Zoe from
Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY.

"Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak,my Lord, since you have given me strength." Daniel 10:19

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Consider It Pure Joy

Bake Along #62 is to bake a savory pie or tart.   I love to bake along but too lazy to make the pie or tart from scratch. Here comes the cheat way or should I say the convenient way!? Use ready made frozen pastry, and a ready rolled one too! How simple and fast can this be? 30 minutes! 10 minutes of preparation and 20 minutes of baking. Viola! A nicely baked savory tart, pretty to look at, and good to eat.

The base of this tart is sour cream,grated cheddar cheese(can use Gouda, Swiss Gruyere )and egg. This is the basic base of my quickie tart. The rest is up to you, whatever you have and like.

Ham, Cherry tomato and Cheese Tart
Recipe source: Own
one 9" x 6"


1 sheet of ready rolled short crust pastry
3 pcs of square ham
15 cherry tomatoes
50g grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tablespoon light sour cream
1/2 egg
Black pepper and salt to taste
Fresh thyme


  • Preheat oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper. Cut one pastry sheet to the size you want. Cut remaining into four strips and place on the four corners to create a border.
  • Whisk sour cream, egg  and cheese until well combined. Stir in the cheese. Spread mixture over the pastry  leaving a 1-2cm border around the edge. Arrange the ham and tomato half, cut-side up. Sprinkle some thyme leaves.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry with the remaining beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Top with thyme.

This post is linked BakeAlong62 hosted by Zoe, Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce, Kitchen Flavours and
Lena, Frozen Wings.

photo credit: Pastor Kwan

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Let The Little Children Come To Me

I have been following Alvin of chef and sommelier's char siew posts from his first recipe to this final recipe. I thank him for his unselfishness for sharing the recipe in his blog. I admire Alvin's dedication in cooking and his determination in perfecting a recipe.

 The butcher has given me a piece of beautiful pork belly and this makes a lot of difference to the taste, texture and appearance. The marinade is simple and meat is quickly grilled to cook. This char siew is very succulent and moist.

Char Siew
Chef and Sommelier


1 kg pork belly strips (sliced into 2-3cm thick ) or (armpit cut) Pork Belly
500ml apple/pineapple juice (optional)

200g sugar (180g)
100g oyster sauce
4 tbsp chinese wine
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 pc red fermented bean curd (with a thsp of the red liquid)


  • Clean and pat dry the pork.
  • Tenderise the pork in apple juice for 3-4 hours. Remove, clean and pat dry. (optional)
  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and marinate pork over night.
  • Heat oven to 240C in grill and fan mode.
  • Grill pork strips for 10 mins on each side, allowing the juice to drip into a baking tray below. (if using armpit cut, reduce cooking time to about 8-9 minutes on  each side as these are thinner cuts)
  • Meanwhile bring the leftover marinade to a boil for about 5 minutes or until thickens. Brush this sauce onto the pork while grilling until char siew gets nice and charred. 
  • When done, rest the char siew and reapply a coat of the thickened sauce to give it a nice gloss.(added some water to dilute the sauce as gravy for rice)
  • Slice and serve with noodle or rice, or simply enjoy them with a glass of ice cold beer.

Awana Cookout!

Awana celebrated the end of Term 2 with a cookout event for the children. Each group of children, with the help of adult leaders, prepared food for tea. My group did the decoration for cupcakes. Other groups prepared fruits and marshmallow on skewers, pizzas,pancakes and mini burgers. It was a fun day for the kids and their leaders. They got to eat the food they have made.  Awana breaks for the June holidays and will resume again for Term 3 on 5 July.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Thursday, 5 June 2014

LORD, Hear My Prayer

If you are looking for low fat recipes, Paula Deen is not your girl.  Paula Deen, a TV celebrity chef is an expert in Southern cooking. I like to watch Paula Deen on TV but have never cooked her food. She is a bubbly person who speaks with a Southern accent. Paula Deen's cooking is generally known to be high in fat and sugar but she does have healthy recipes too. She has many recipes, and variations of many made by others and this Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake is one.
Coca Cola is a Southern invented and made product, and it is no surprise some Southern cooks add coke in their cooking.
There are two reasons why I picked this recipe. One, there is minimal washing up. Two, I'm curious about the taste of coca cola in a cake.

This cake is a breeze to make, you don't even need an electric hand whisk. I halved the recipe and reduced the sugar by half  in both cake and frosting. Coca cola is sweet too and is added in both cake and frosting. There is coke taste in the cake but you might never be able to guess unless you are a serious Coke lover. Despite its sweetness, this cake is moist and fluffy. It is also quite addictive, making me want to eat more. Could it be the effect of Coca cola? I wonder.

Chocolate Coca Cola Cake 
Paula Deen


2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup coca cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9 x 13" baking pan with non stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour,sugar,baking soda,cinnamon, and salt.
  • In a medium saucepan,combine butter,Coca-cola,buttermilk, and cocoa. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, and add to flour mixture, whisking until smooth.
  • Add eggs and vanilla, whisking until smooth.
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  • Pour coca-cola frosting over hot cake. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Coca Cola Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/2 coca cola
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecan (hazelnut)

  • In a medium saucepan, bring butter, coca cola and cocoa to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, and gradually add powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Stir in pecans.

Note: I halved the recipe and reduced all sugars to half.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star 'Paula Deen' hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy kids, Joyce from 

This is also linked Little Thumbs Up 'Butter' hosted by Jozelyn from Spice Up My Kitchen, Doreen from

O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Psalm 143:1

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