hot chocolate

After watching this week's episode of Top Chef, I am just spazzing myself over the irresistibly, adorable and hot pastry chef, Johnny Iuzzini.

This week's episode finally had the cheftestants creating desserts in the Quickfire Challenge for the delectable Johnny. Unfortunately there weren't too much variations from the usual chocolate cake, buttermilk cake, and traditional souffle and pavlova. Though, Richard's weird looking banana scallop dessert and Dale's halo-halo which looked too much like ais-kacang to me were the better of the bunch. And as much as I hate to say it, Richard won yet again for his odd take on bananas. Damn, he's the type of guy you just love to hate yet you can't stop rooting for him.

Even this chick is excited about Darling Johnny.

Where have you been all my life? Well, all my life since I got into dessert and pastry type cooking. Which makes it about two or three years now. In any case, immediately after the show, I googled the dude and found out that in addition to being the guest judge in this week's Top Chef episode, he was voted as New York City's Sexiest Chef and won numerous James Beard awards and the restaurant Jean-Georges that he works in was awarded the very prestigious three Michelin Stars. He is one of the best pastry chefs in the USA if not the world currently.

And how can one not love a guy with a huge ass tatt on his biceps/triceps? And that cheeky looking smile and grin. I will be awaiting for your new pastry cook book; Dessert Four Play with anticipation. Or if someone is willing to sponsor me that book that would be fantastic too.

I'm thinking of doing like a weekly recap of each Top Chef episode. I mean I know there are many blogs out there which do that already but it's the thought and words that count, right.


Another day, another yummy recipe to conquer and devour. I've been on fire this week and I've been wanting to try this recipe for the longest time too. Actually I've got loads of recipes that I want to try but I should start with this first.

It's a different kind of brownie which is sort of two toned with a coconut topping and a fudgy brownie base. The coconut topping will brown so be careful that it doesn't burn but you want to get a nice brown finishing as well.

I was quite happy with the brownie except that I would try a different brownie base another time as it was a little too dry but the coconut topping was really sweet and tasty. The coconut was quite sweet and had a good texture to it.

cupcakes celebration

Cupcake season is abound us! I've been on the lookout for some cute cupcakes to make on occasion of it being my friend's birthday and for visiting.

I decided to try my hand at two absolutely delicious looking cupcakes which they did not disappoint by the way. They were the upside down or downside up cheesecake cupcake by Su and the coffee cake cupcake by HTEAC. I made half a dozen of each of the cupcakes which means half of the original recipes. They were both really good but I think I preferred the coffee cake cupcake more because of the streusel like topping which gave a good crunch and bite to the whole cupcake. The cheesecake filling was wonderfully light but after a few days the graham crust became a little soft so it's best eaten on the day it's made itself.

The next cupcake is a black bottom cupcake from BB. These were really yummy and so sinful. The black chocolatey bottom was fudgy and moist which was what I really wanted and the cream cheese topping with chocolate chips capped these little beauties off perfectly.

The final but no less important or delish cupcake is plucked from Jamie Oliver's 'Cook with Jamie' cook book and it was actually a carrot loaf recipe which I switched and played around with the proportions and ingredients a bit to create my own carrot coconut cupcake. It was moist, very lovely texture, fluffy and not overly sweet or greasy even with the cream cheese frosting which every carrot cake, loaf, muffin or cupcake should have accompanying them.

Before frosting

Cream cheese goodness

Carrot Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing (makes 9 cupcakes)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs separated
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

1 medium sized carrot to make about 3/4 cup; grated and drained
1/2 cup grated unsweetened coconut (desiccated or flaked coconut is alright too)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or almonds (optional)

1. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy and pale.
2. Beat the egg yolks in one at a time.
3. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon followed by the carrot and coconut.
4. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and fold gently into the cake mix.
5. Spoon the mixture gently into prepared muffin tins or a loaf tin and bake in preheated oven at 180 C for about 40-45 minutes till golden and risen.
6. Let cool while you prepare the icing.

1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 - 3/4 cup icing sugar (according to sweetness)

Cream the above ingredients together until a thick and smooth consistency is reached. Add a more icing sugar to taste if you want a sweeter frosting.

Spread a generous portion of icing on top of the cooled cupcakes to form a mound.
Munch in and enjoy!

the three c's plus one

I was really excited about making the following cookies. It's been so long since I made a batch of cookies and these two recipes to follow were really tasty.

I love almost anything with carrot in it except chicken pot pie with carrot or any stew with carrot. I think I just like the dessert part of using carrot in them. So when I came across this carrot cake breakfast cookie from Cookie Madness, I knew I had to try them. I changed the ingredients slightly by using white chocolate chips and grated coconut and omitted the raisins and nuts. I don't think it was very healthy in the end when I made the changes but they still tasted fantastic!

One of my good friends told me she was craving for some chocolate chip cookies and so I decided to make some for her when I was to meet her soon. It's a wonderful chocolate chip oatmeal and coconut cookie which smelled and tasted even better. I think they actually improve the next day and keep pretty well too.

breadey cake and cakey bread

It's been a dry spell but I'm back.

Been trying out some new cake slash bread recipes and made an Elvis inspired pound cake from Muffin Top. It was a bit on the dry side and I actually halved the massive recipe which could have been the reason for it being dry but I think it was quite good overall, especially the day after.

This yeasted coffee cake had plums in them and tasted really yummy actually. It's my first time in a long, long time that I used yeast since and I was really happy with the results. I would like to make it again but using other fresh fruit like maybe berries, apples, or pears. It was very much a bread but the top was crumbly and sweet which was more like a crumble or cobbler cake topping. The plums gave it that zesty tartness that went together prettily.


I think it's getting just a tad bit strange and unorthodox that I think middle aged British men look hot to me.

I've been teased several times for my outspoken affection and affinity for Hugh Laurie and Jamie Oliver and now, I'm being smitten with potty mouthed Gordon Ramsay.

I'm getting addicted to 'Kitchen Nightmares' (both the US and original British version) just like I was with every of Jamie Oliver's shows in the past. Yeah, so maybe Ramsay just seems to be shouting and screaming at almost every person he encounters in the show episodes but still he does spout some sensible nonsense every now and then. Just watching Chef Ramsay bleeping and effing his way through the kitchen and tearing the restaurant apart is entertainment enough. But only he can do it in such a way that wearing a white chef's jacket can look both intimidating and irresistible at the same time while chopping up perfect 6 ounces fillets off a great big halibut.

I've been missing some Jamie love for a while now but just sifting through his cook books is enough to get me excited about trying new things and fresh ideas again. I've already got two of this books which make for excellent reading material and would love to get my hands on that Italian one as well in future. Love his style of cooking emphasizing always on freshness and simple ingredients to create wonderful meals that can please anyone. That boyish English cockney charm does rub off on you after a while after all, doesn't it, eh.

Alright, so my love for older chefs doesn't cover just the British since I've been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for as long as I can remember watching food and travel programs several years ago. Love his witty comebacks, quick one-liners, sarcasm and ironic humour that he unflinchingly displays and for not holding back what he loves and hates no matter what and who. I miss 'No Reservations' too.

Anyways, there will be new cakes and cookies coming up soon. I've been baking a slew of new ones and will post them up real soon.