strawberry fields forever

Getting straight down to business, it's all about luscious strawberries today. First up is a modified buckle recipe from Simply Recipes which I substituted the blueberries for strawberries. The texture of the cake didn't really look alike to the original one perhaps due to the strawberries being used giving it a different type of texture, albeit still tasting great.

The crumble topping was very good and addictive to eat so it was very dangerous to have around the house by your lonesome especially.

Next we have a strawberry bread with a strawberry glaze drizzled liberally on top after it's cooled down. I halved the original recipe and came out with a small loaf and a small pie sized cake. The batter became a shocking pinkish and redish colour when I added the crushed strawberries which brought that much needed sunshine to this cloudy Easter morning.

The glaze I made with some of the juices leftover and used about a half cup of the crushed strawberries mixed with about a cup of icing sugar or till you get the desired consistency you want. I decided to make it a little bit more liquid than usual and left some small chunks of the strawberries in there.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the results of these cake/bread/buckle and will make them again soon with some variations next time.

blondie in the kitchen

I love blondies!

The edible, sweet and chocolatey type of course. This new type of blondies is a modified version from this website. It's full of chocolate chips and coconut goodness all filled in a generous square sized portion. They're sweet but not so overpowering that the coconut can't be hinted at and the edges are really crumbly that they remind me of shortbread cookies.

Chocolate Chip and Coconut Studded Blondies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips plus some for studding

1/3 cup desiccated coconut plus some for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare greased baking tray.
2. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix.
3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt till batter comes together.
4. Add chocolate chips and coconut till well combined.
5. Spread the batter onto prepared baking tray and top with the remaining chocolate chips and coconut.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes till browned on top.
7. Let cool and slice into squares. Makes about 12 squares.

if you can't stand the heat

Get out of the kitchen! Top Chef kitchen that is.

Yes, it is latest season of Top Chef that I'm talking about and it's already the second episode down and second contestant out.

So far I'm currently rooting for "Kiwi" Mark, "Fauxhawk" Richard and "Tulan" Dale. It's not strange that they're all guys by the way and that the two persons eliminated first were women.

I'm looking forward to more kitchen disasters, tasting nightmares and of course dining divine. Hopefully my favourites will last long and well into the competition and so far they're doing quite alright provided they don't screw up something big.

Someone make some dessert! And no I'm not talking about some tiny looking banana bread cocktail thing.


I've made these babies twice before already now but they didn't look as impressive and pretty as this time when I finally made them to almost perfection as I can possibly get them to be.

The two recipes that I got the basic recipe from is here and here. The two of them are basically the same but I just thought that the pictures looked pretty darn fantastic. I couldn't exactly get my popovers to rise and create that hollow bit in the middle like they did but they still tasted great with honey drizzled on top when still fresh and piping hot from the oven.

Basic Popovers

1 tbsp melted butter plus more for buttering the muffin/popover tins
2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour

1. Preheat oven to about 230-250 degrees. Liberally butter 10 insides of the muffin or popover tins if you have them and place inside the oven in the middle rack to warm them up.

2. Melt the butter and let cool a bit. Warm up the milk and let cool as well.
3. Mix butter, milk and eggs in a bowl till well whisked.
4. Add the flour and salt and mix well till you get a rather smooth batter.
5. Take out the muffin tray and spoon the batter into the buttered tins up until 3/4 way through.
6. Place the tray back inside the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Resist the urge to open the oven door to get the most rise from the popovers.

7. Lower the temperature to about 180 degrees and continue baking for about 15 minutes more or until you can't stand the temptation any longer.
8. Eat them piping hot out of the oven with honey or fresh fruit jam!

I halved the original recipe and made five brown babies. I think making them fresh and eating them on that day itself would give the best results instead of heating them up for later. But then again who can resist these, when they look this great, taste fantastic and takes as little as ten minute to get the batter made! They came out so invitingly hot and smelled intensely good and tasted even better! I can imagine how good these would have tasted with roast beef and gravy and mash, just like a traditional English pub supper. Yum!

sour cream tea bread

I decided to try out this sour cream tea bread recipe just to use up the last tub of sour cream in the fridge. I made two small loafs on two different days and I halved the original recipe to accommodate the small sized tins. The first time I made it, they tasted wonderfully but I had made the mistake of mixing the sour cream and flour together instead of what the recipe called for alternating the mixing. The batter turned out pretty stiff and had a bit of trouble pouring and smoothing the batter into the loaf tins. However, they still turned out beautifully browned and smelled heavenly in spite of the ugly crusty appearance.

I made some vanilla glaze to make the cake look more interesting which involved mixing about 5 tablespoons of icing or confectioner sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, and 2 tablespoons of milk. The glaze came together quite easily but if left alone for a while, it became stiff again so be careful about that minor detail. If you want it a bit liquid, just add a bit more milk. I drizzled the glaze on top of the cooled cakes using a knife.

The next day, I was more diligent in the mixing and came out absolutely perfect, appearance wise and taste wise too. I did something a bit differently from the recipe on those two occassions, which was to toss in a thin layer of chocolate chips after pouring a thin layer of the batter at the bottom of the tin and then followed by another layer on the top to cover the chips. The recipe was halved again as well. So in all actually, combined from the two days, I made one whole cake from the original recipe that called for it.

The result: my friends liked them! Yay! The batter came together incredibly fast at about ten minutes and I only sticked the cakes in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes because they were browned quicker than I thought and I didn't want the cakes to be too brown and tough on the inside. The cake was fluffy, light, airy and just so tasty even without the chocolate chips I imagine. I would like to try mixing in some roasted almonds or even berries to see how it will turn out.

caked out

These slew of cakes were baked for a farewell occasion for a friend and I brought along two varieties of coffee cakes; apple and banana fillings in each, and a chocolate chip sour cream cake. The coffee cake was from a previous time that I had made before and thought deserved a repeat performance.

The chocolate chip cake turned out wonderfully except that I think I should have used three instead of only two pie pans which lead to the overflowing disaster of the year where the cake sort of gravitated towards the back of the oven and began overflowing onto the baking tray quite a bit. After I took out the tray, and while still hot, I tried to carefully remove the excess spillage of cake which resulted in some half-eaten appearance at the edges. The peeled off cake pieces was actually quite tasty and crunchy because they were somehow more baked than the cake itself so they became my snack. Yum for me! The cake turned out quite well anyway and was really good too.

The coffee cakes were delish as usual and I used banana for one of them this time. Easy breezy to put together and even easier to eat.

banana cookies

These absolutely heavenly banana cookies from Vanilla Garlic were divine. They tasted like what a banana cake would be except in cookie form which make them easier to munch on and savour slowly as well. The texture was quite cake like and soft.



I made two different batches of cookies, one plain and one with chocolate chips mixed in. The chocolate chips one was quite decadent and really sweet but still lovely no less. I enjoyed the plain banana ones with some honey drizzled on top too.

berry nice

Ah, man. It's been a long while since the last post. Well, I might as well jump right into the swing of things again.

I've been dreaming of peanut butter anything for a while and well after reading this post on Smitten Kitchen, how could I not try out the peanut butter cookie recipe that was demanding to be made and gobbled down.

My version of the cookies omitted the chocolate chips by the way and was rather flat and soft in texture rather than the crispy and crunchy type. Though the peanut butter flavour was amazing and came through really nicely and aromatic without being too overpowering. But then again, since I love peanut butter everything, I might be biased in my verdict so I gave a whole bunch away to friends. Fortunately they liked them too so this recipe is definitely a keeper for the books!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter (I used Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add sugar and continue mixing until smooth.
Add egg, milk and vanilla.
4. Continue beating the mixture and add the flour mixture until you get a rather sticky dough.
5. Prepare two grease paper lined trays. Using two spoons, scoop a tablespoonful of dough and shape them into a ball. Line the balls on the tray making sure to keep them about an inch and a half apart to allow for expansion.
6. Using a fork dipped in water to prevent the dough from sticking, press the balls down with it. I forgot to add the second fork indentation so it's not really a criss cross shape.
7. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Don't overbake. These cookies will appear underbaked and soft and chewy in the middle.
Makes about 45 smallish cookie morsels.

I had a half cup of blueberries in the fridge and didn't know what to do with them. Scouting for some blueberry recipes, I came across this delicious looking bilberry muffin recipe by A cat in the kitchen. I know I don't have bilberries but they sounded similar to blueberries so I thought why not.

Blueberry Muffins

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
A splash of milk (About 2-3 tbs)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 180 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add the egg, vanilla and milk and mix until combined and smooth looking.
3. Add the flour and baking powder and continue mixing until just combined and come together.
4. Toss in the blueberries and mix in. Scoop the dough into the prepared muffin tray (makes about six large ones) with a spoon and fill up till about 3/4.
5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes till browned on top but still tender and moist inside.
Tastes great with a teaspoon of honey drizzled on top and eaten while still warm.