Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nestum Cereal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

The 1st new cookie recipe of Chinese New Year of 2014 will be this Cereal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

235g sifted All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Fine Salt
240g room tempreture Unsalted Butter
165g Brown Sugar
1 room tempreture Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
200g Chocolate Chips
120g Nestum Cereal

Step By Step
1. Place All Purpose Flour, Baking Soda and Fine Salt in a plastic bag and give it a few gentle shake to mix them up evenly. Set aside the Flour Mixture.
2. Beat Butter and Brown Sugar until all the Brown Sugar has desolve and the batter is pale.
3. Add in the Egg & Vanilla Extract until well combine.
4. Pour 1/2 of the Flour Mixture into the the batter and stir until mixed well. Add the other 1/2 and do the same.
5. Pour in the Nestum Cereal and mix until evenly distrubuted.
6. Lastly, fold in the Chocolate Chips.
7. Scoop the cookie dough mixture and store in a air-tight cointainer overnight in the fridge or 30mins in the freezer.
8. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
9. Drop 3/4 teaspoon of cookie dough onto your prepared cookie sheet with each arranged approx 3cm apart.
10. Bake 6mins or until golden brown.
11. After removing the cookie tray, let the cookie cool slight on the tray before transfering to the wire rack to cool completely.
12. Store in air tight containers.

Lesson Learnt from our 2 sets of baking:
- Chilled dough overnight in fridge does make a difference. First 3 photos are immediately baked, last 2 photos are chilled overnight before baking the following day.
- Do not over fold the chocolate chips if not the dough will be colored.
- Add additional All Purpose Flour to have a crispier cookie texture.

Click here for our blog page Baking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Monday, January 6, 2014

"HK's Most Famous Dim Sum" - Tim Ho Wan, Bedok Mall

When a restaurant labels itself as "Hong Kong's most famous Dim Sum," one can't help but to wonder how exactly those claims are substantiated. Perhaps there's an International Dim Sum Association somewhere that regularly conducts worldwide telephone polls to gauge each famous restaurant's popularity? In Tim Ho Wan's case, the evidence does seem to corroborate the claims. After all its first outlet opened in Plaza Singapura to epic 3 hour long queues!

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall

Fast forward half a year later and the queues have died down somewhat - perhaps mostly because a second outlet was opened in Toa Payoh, and a third one last month in the newly launched Bedok Mall. The queues haven't totally gone, though - they've just shrunk to a more reasonable 20-30 minutes. So we finally pay a visit to see what the fuss is about.

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Baked Bun with BBQ Pork
Baked Bun with BBQ Pork

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Chee Cheong Fun with Pig Liver and Steamed Egg Cake
Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice roll) with Pig's Liver and Steamed Egg Cake

Right off the bat we notice that although the look-and-feel is very much a 'mass market' Dim Sum restaurant, the prices are firmly in 5-star-hotel-restaurant territory. Dim Sum here ranges from $3.80 to $5.50, which is pretty much the same as Royal China in Raffles Hotel and Yan Ting at the St Regis.

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Har Gao and Deep Fried Stuffed Beancurd Skin
Har Gao (steamed prawn dumpling) and Deep Fried Stuffed Beancurd Skin

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Salad Prawn Dumpling
Salad Prawn Dumpling

We thought that the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork was a clear winner. The easiest way to describe it is a Polo Bun with a Char Siu filling. The crunchy, sweet top goes surprisingly well with the juicy Char Siu filing, and is definitely a must-order when you're here. The Steamed Egg Cake, Carrot Cake and Deep Fried Stuffed Beancurd Skin were also very good - large, generous sized, delicious portions.

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Siew Mai
Siew Mai (pork dumplings)

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Chili Crab Wu Kok
Chili Crab Wu Kok (yam dumpling)

Most of the other items, however, were pretty par for the course and we didn't think they were any better (or worse) than the other similarly priced Dim Sum restaurants in town.

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Steamed Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake

In fact, we even thought that the Chee Cheong Fun was mediocre; a little on the dry and tough side - and the addition of pig's liver wasn't anything special, and the Chili Crab Wu Kok (yam dumpling) was poorly thought out and even more poorly executed.

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall Osmanthus Jelly
Osmanthus Jelly

So, at $25-$30 per person and a 20-30 minute queue, is it worth it? Personally, we feel that at the same price point, it makes more sense to continue going to Yan Ting, Royal China, or any of the other top Dim Sum places in Singapore as there's no queue and you get a way higher level of comfort and service. Exception being, of course, if you've got a hankering for those heavenly BBQ Pork Buns, or if you stay fairly close to any of the three outlets.

The restaurant uses a queue'ing system, with a strict 'all guests must arrive before being seated' policy. No reservations. Non halal.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Soft and Moist Banana Cake (using The Famous Mrs Ng SK’s Style) Recipe

Banana Cake is one of the staple cake that my family have brought me up with. When we're up in Petaling Jaya to visit our grandparents and relatives, my parents will bring us to one particular shop and buy like 5 long loafs of banana loaf back to Johor Bahru and store it in the fridge.

Ingredients A
250g Plain Flour
0.5 teaspoon Baking Powder
0.5 teaspoon Baking Soda
0.5 teaspoon fine Sea Salt

1. Sift Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda.
2. Place all in a plastic bag and add Sea Salt and give it a shake to evenly mix up. Set aside.

Ingredients B
120g ripe Banana
0.5 tablespoon Lemon or Lime Juice
0.5 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
2 tablespoons Fresh Milk

1. Mash bananas with Lemon or Lime Juice to prevent browning.
2. Add in Vanilla Essence and Fresh Milk and mix well. Set aside.

Ingredients C
90g soften Salted Butter
50g Castor Sugar
20g Brown Sugar
2 Egg Yolks

1. Cream Butter with Castor Sugar until pale and fluffy and then add vanilla extract and mix well.
2. Add in one Egg Yolk at a time and wait until it is incorporated.
3. Add in Mixture B and mix to combine well.
4. Add half of the flour and mix on low speed until incorporated.
5. Mix in remaining flour. Set aside.

Ingredients for Meringue Mixture
2 Egg Whites
20g Castor Sugar
1/2 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar

1. Mix Castor Sugar with Cream of Tartar.
2. Place the Egg White into a clean and dry mixing bowl.
3. Beat Egg Whites until foamy and gradually pour in Sugar + Cream of Tartar mixture.
4. Beat until it reaches stiff peaks.
5. Set aside.

Combining Banana Butter Mixture and Meringue Mixture and remaining steps
1. Preheat oven at 160°C.
2. Prepare two around 5" pans generously grease the sides.
3. Place half of the Meringue Mixture into the Banana Butter Mixture and fold in until incorporated.
4. Fold in the remaining Meringue Mixture into the Banana Butter Mixture.
5. Pour the combine batter into the pre-greased baking pan until reaches the 3/4 level.
6. Place in the oven for 30mins or until golden brown on the top.
7. Test with a cake tester, if it comes out clean, leave the cake in the oven door slightly open for 10mins.
8. Remove cake from oven and let it rest in the baking pan for 15mins.
9. Turn the cake upside down on a cooling rack & remove the pan.
10. Let it completely cool before storing.

We love this recipe. It's a keeper.


Overall Feedback: Soft, Nice, Moist, lovely light banana cake.

Click here for our blog page Baking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~