Wednesday, December 31, 2008

kueh bangkit - take 1

kueh bangkit - I'm sure this snack name sounds familiar to many out there (esp those who celebrate cny in Singapore and Malaysia).

Christmas has gone and very soon we'll be welcoming 2009! Not long after comes along cny, not to mentione, collecting ang baos! hehe. To get myself geared up for cny baking as well as re-start my baking engine, I decided to give this popular cny goodie a try.

Last chinese new year, while i still wasn't crazily involved in baking, I tried baking pineapple tarts and little did i know how much fun it could be. I regretted not starting earlier as my uncles and aunties really liked them and said that they'd wanna order some from me the next yr (which is 2009).I'm not too sure about baking cny goodies for sale, but i sure do not mind making them and giving it away =)

It was then, that i slowly increased my baking frequencies and started trying out more crazy stuff. well, i did start a while back but not THAT involved. At one point of time, i really wanted to slow down my baking stints as i was facing failures after failures. First it was the macarons, then i switched to doing swiss rolls. the macarons cracked, got burnt etc. I finally got decent looking ones but with airholes! sigh. my swiss rolls cracked, one after another. I finally managed to roll nice ones but it's still rather unpredictable. I had a little more success with macarons, but now i realised it was a little more like a meringue rather than a macaron.

ok, so before i bore anyone to death, i made some green tea swiss rolls sometime back. No one in my family fancies green tea so i decided to give some to my sec sch friend. Turns out, her mum asked if i knew how to make pineapple tarts so she could buy some from me during cny! Wow! happy, shocked, surprised, scared!

Now that i'm back from my holiday, christmas is over and cny jus coming right up, i decided i should venture out more into other kinds of cny goodies and try more stuff! so here..presenting my first try on kueh bangkit.

i've been asked last yr by several friends if i bake kueh bangkit (when i offered them my pineapple tarts). sadly, I jus had to turn them down and say no. Personally, i don't fancy this cny snack. Many LOVE it for its melt-in-the-mouth texture, which i prefer to describe it as "like eating chalk", which is, precisely why i don't like it! hahaa.

So this year, if there was any other cny snacks i'd try out would be KUEH BANGKIT. One of my friends got sooo excited upon hearing that i was gonna attempt it that he kept urging me to try it and let him sample.

Now, back to the attempt itself. Do a quick search on google and you'd find endless recipes for kueh bangkit. Now, which is the best? I really have no idea. From my very short brief research, there are some basic things i learnt about baking good kueh bangkits.
  1. tapioca flour/tapioca starch is one of the main ingredient and is required to be roasted to remove any moisture present in the flour

  2. thick coconot milk/coconut cream is what gives this sinful snack its wonderful smell and aroma + texture

  3. some recipes required a small amount of butter/margarine

  4. some recipes uses pandan leaves to enhance the smell/frangrance of the snack

  5. as usual, different recipes call for different oven temps and different baking time

Somehow, i gather that, this being one of the "olden" day snacks, people might not have used ovens. instead, charcoal and tins were probably used and doneness was judged upon years of experience. the thickness of the dough and size of the moulds were usually not specified probably also because people of the past just passed the recipe down generations after generations.

So how would i rate my first try? It definitely smelled like kueh bangkit, it's aroma alone could generate the cny festive feeling. It LOOKS like kueh bangkit, nice and white and not burnt. phew! it TASTES...well..that's where i guess i gotta improve. it tastes kinda crispy/hard on the outside but as you sink your teeth in, the insides gives way and melts (like chalk ha!) in your mouth. I probably like it a little better this way hehe. But not many others out there.

And so...more experiments coming my way! For now, I'm satisfied. For those interested to give it a shot this chinese new year, this is the recipe i used after mixing and matching a combination of various recipes.

Kueh Bangkit makes approx 85


  • 6 pandan leaves

  • 500g tapioca flour/tapioca starch

  • 200ml coconut cream (packaged)

  • 150g icing sugar

  • 1 egg yolk


  1. Wash, dry and cut 5 pandan leaves to about 5-7cm lengths.

  2. Measure out tapioca flour. Place a paper towel/kitchen towel over a large microwave safe bowl. Depending on how big your bowl is, put about 1/3 to 1/2 of the amount of flour onto the paper towel in the bowl, making sure the flour is quite spread out. [you'd want to remove as much moisture as possible in the flour] using about 1/3 to 1/2 of the cut pandan leaves (depending on the portion of flour you used), place them in the bowl of flour, well dispersed in the flour. [you'd want the frangrance of the pandan leaves to be absorbed by the flour]

  3. Place the bowl in the microwave, microwave the bowl on HIGH for 1 min, take the bowl out and stir to ensure even "drying". Repeat 5 times (i.e. totaly of 5 mins). Change the paper towels as you'd realised the moisture of the flour is being absorbed by the paper towels. Change it about once every 1 or 2 mins.

  4. Repeat the process for the remaing portion of flour. Leave it to cool completely, preferably overnight.

  5. Heat the coconut cream with 1 pandan leaf in a pot over LOW heat for about 5 mins. Stir and allow it to cool.

  6. Measure out icing sugar, sift. Measure out 120ml of cooled coconut cream, add icing sugar, followed by egg yolk. mix to combine, making sure mixture is well combined and smooth.

  7. Sift the cooled tapioca flour. Add about 350g of sifted tapioca flour to the coconut mixture and knead to form a soft, pliable dough. [do not add all the tapioca flour all at once]

  8. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  9. sprinkle some tapioca flour on a clean surface as well as your rolling pin. the dough should be soft and pliable and should not look "shiny" or "spread". Should it "spread" or feels wet, add more tapioca flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, until it feels dry enough.

  10. Roll the dough to a thickness of ~4-5mm. Dip a cookie cutter (i used a flower shaped one about 5-6cm in diameter) into a bowl of tapioca flour and cut out shapes from the rolled dough.

  11. Use a scraper to help transfer the cut out dough onto the baking tray. Use a crimper to make patterns on the cut out dough. You can also leave it plain.

  12. Preheat oven to 140C.

  13. Bake for about 25 mins (depending on the thickness of your cookie). A thicker cookie would require a longer time to bake and vice versa.

  14. Cookies should NOT brown.


  1. it is good to have spare trays available as the dough dries out pretty quickly. So, work quickly, cut out all the dough.
  2. I read somewhere that adding too much coconut milk would yield hard,dry cookies. Also, make sure your coconut cream is THICK and DO NOT add water.
  3. A possible way to prevent the dough from drying out too quickly would be to cover the balance dough place in a bowl with a slightly damp cloth. (i personally haven't tried that out yet)
  4. do not add the flour too quickly or too slowly. too quickly and the dough might become dry and hard. too slowly and it might be too wet. you can always adjust the texture by adding more coconut cream/tapioca flour. having said that, as mentioned above, addtion of too much coconut milk yields hard,dry cookies.
  5. if you don't like to use a microwave/don't have one, you can "dry" the flour by either frying the flour with the cut pandan leaves over low heat for 20-30 mins and cool overnight OR spread the flour evenly on a large baking tray and bake it at 160C for 25 min and cool overnight (i haven't tried this. I opted the microwave option as it was faster and easier)
  6. The cookie might spread and puff up during baking. The thicker the cookie, the puffier it would be.
  7. [update]: The dough remaining from the cut out can be combined and rolled out again to cut more cookies. Just keep repeating untill all the dough is used up. If the remaining is too small to cut out, just pinch into small balls and bake them too! No waste!
  8. [update]: The recipe only uses 350g flour in total. 500g of flour is prepared as the excess 150g can be used to flour the work surface and rolling pin. It also can be used when combining the dough to a right texture. i.e. if too much coconut milk was added and the dough becomes too wet, more flour can be added. Likewise, 120ml of coconut milk is a rough guide. More or less can be added according to the texture of your dough. add in tablespoons until the right texture is achieved.

special thanks to Aimei from Baking Cottage for pointing out certain steps which i did not make myself clear in. *read update*

adapted from:
1. Delicious Asian Sweet Treats by Oi Lin (book available in some major bookstores in singapore or order online at
2. Lily's Wai Sek Hong
3. Little corner of Mine
4. aunty yochana

Final verdict, the cookies i made are light and crispy on the outside and melts in the mouth thereafter (i.e. chalky!)

I hope to be able to post a video soon, as soon as i manage to get it right =) so..stay tuned!

happy baking!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

back from a break..

i've been away for quite a while, not because i'm too lazy to update my bakes alr, but simply because i was away!

it was a a trip i pretty much looked forward to and well, though i had not enjoyed it tremendously, i still had a fun time.

My greatest regret is not being able to visit Laudree while i was in paris.
I passsed by it several times but just did not make it into the shop. sigh. While i managed to try some macarons from another shop in interlaken, switzerland, i must say i was pretty impressed and surprised that it didnt taste annoyingly sweet! it had a nice thin crisp shell on the outside and my teeth sank into the soft,moist center. lovely! it was more of the texture i made using the french meringue method (minus the air pockets i had)

Now, i have more reasons to experiment more!

With cny just around the corner, it's time for me to start baking up cny goodies. I missed giving out some christmas bakes and missed the opportunities to bake more christmas stuffs so i must make the most out of chinese new yr. I hope i will!

=D Glad to be back!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

chocolate gateau

took a break from baking the past 2 days as i was busy shopping for my winter clothings. originally wanted to try out a chocolate mousse cake for my grandma's birthday this saturday as a "cartoon cake" would probably take TOO long.

The cake didn't turn out nice/beautiful so i didn't take any photos.

Woke up early this morning to try our
happyhomabaking's chocolate gateau. I guess i was tootired and not in the right mood for baking. It's supposed to be a flourless chocolate cake, with ground almonds replacing flour.

1.I was too lazy to sift the ground almonds as i didn't wanna spend 2 hours sifting it like i did before (for my previous macarons attempts)

I started out, melting the chocolate and all, whisked in the eggs, ground almonds and milk. whipped up the egg whites. Sigh.

2.the egg whites was whipped a tad too much, a little liquid started coming off and that really upset me as this hasn't happened in a long long time. Anyway, i went ahead to fold the egg whites in and poured it into the baking tin.

3. The oven was pre-heated and stayed at 170C for quite some time. little did i know, 5-10 min after placing it in the oven, after i was almost done with washing up, the temp dropped 20 degress! argh

4. I fiddled here and there to get it baked and the top became charred while the insides still soft.

I read that HHB baked it in a smaller tin and baked it for the same amt of time stated in the recipe. She mentioned a shorter time would prob be needed in a smaller tin. I checked the doneness for like 4-5 times. sigh

5. The center rose nicely while the sides could not rise past a certain height. I'd probably not butter the sides the next time round

6. I let the cake cool. Was preparing the ingredients for my chocolate mousse. 10 min was up and i unmoulded the cake. A careless move and a chunk of the cake broke off! I gave up and decided not to continue. my cake wasn't as high as her too.

7. Used the cracked eggs for the choc mousse to do a quick omelette for my sis. Lucikly that went alright (how wrong can omelette go anw)

The verdict:
  • I took a small slice to eat it. It was good enough on its own. Really moist like how HHB described it. However, it wasn't smooth and velvety perhaps due to the coarse almond bits. I could even "crunch" them
  • I could very much taste the almond and the rich chocolately taste.
  • i can't say if people who detest nuts would take a liking but i thought the texture could be a nice contrast to chocolate mousse.

Till i'm back and regain my baking mood i'll probably try out the full chocolate mousse cake recipe.

but that will be till i'm back from my holiday..

those intersted to give the recipe a try: my own notes/comment in

Adapted from


150g dark chocolate, broken up
75g golden caster sugar (I used light brown sugar)
[i used normal brown sugar]
150g unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon runny honey
[I used NuZee Bee honey bought from NTUC]
4 large eggs, separated
200g ground almonds (almond powder)
75ml milk (I used low fat fresh milk) [I used about 70g of low fat milk]

chocolate ganache:
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
[I did not do the chocolate ganache]


  1. Line the base of a 20cm cake pan (with removable base)[I used an 8'' cake tin with a removable base] with parchment paper, grease the sides with butter and set aside.
  2. Separate egg yolks from whites when the eggs are still cold. Set aside to bring to room temperature.
  3. Place chocolate, sugar, butter, honey in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir frequently till the ingredients melted. Let cool. [I only let it coll till "warm" to touch]
  4. Transfer to a large bowl. With a manual whisk beat in egg yolks and ground almonds, then stir in the milk. (Just a few stir should get everything incorporated. The mixture will be rather thick at this stage.) [my mixture was rather thick but the bits of almonds were really obvious, i recommend sifting the almonds before hand for a smoother texture]
  5. In a clean, dry, grease free mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff. [I whipped them in my KA mixer on speed 4 for about 7 min which got it a little over-whipped, maybe a shorter time is better or a pinch of cream of tar tar should make it more stable]With a spatula, Fold In the beaten egg whites in 3 separate additions, into the cake mixture. (Ensure all the whites are fully incorporate into the cake mixture after every addition.)
  6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan (the final batter will be less thick). Give the pan several sharp taps on a work top to bring up any air bubbles that may be trapped in the batter.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 35-40mins, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. [I will try to keep the temp as consistent as possible and see if it still it turn "black" on top. I baked it for about 40 min. The skewer wasn't really clean when i inserted it was still "cooked" when i sliced to eat it.]
  8. Remove from oven, let cool in the pan for about 1omins. Run a thin-bladed knife along the sides of the pan, unmold and cool right-side up. [Not sure about the importance of cooling it right side up but i'll test it out the next time round]
  9. Dust with cocoa powder before serving. Alternatively, if desired, spread with chocolate ganache. To make chocolate ganache: bring the heavy cream to a boil, remove from heat and add in chopped chocolate. Stir till chocolate is melted. Let cool for a few mins and spread over the cake. [I didn't even carry on till this point]

Recipe source: Gorgeous Cake by Annie Bell

Those who gave the recipe a shot, do let me know how things go! =)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bûche de Noël

"Bûche de Noël ("Yule log") is a traditional dessert served during the Christmas holidays in France, Belgium, Quebec, Lebanon and several other christian-populated francophone countries. As the name indicates, the cake is generally prepared, presented, and garnished so as to look like a log ready for the fire. The traditional bûche is made from a Génoise or other sponge cake, generally baked in a large, shallow jelly roll pan, frosted, rolled to form a cylinder, and frosted again on the outside. The most common combination is a basic yellow sponge cake, frosted and filled with chocolate buttercream, however, many variations on the traditional recipe exist, possibly including chocolate cakes, ganache and espresso or otherwise-flavored frostings and fillings. Bûches are often served with a portion of one end of the cake cut off and set on top of the cake to resemble a chopped off branch, and bark-like texture is often produced in the buttercream for further realism. These cakes are often decorated with powdered sugar to resemble snow, tree branches, fresh berries, and mushrooms made of meringue." -wikipedia

It's December! and Christmas is only 17 days away =) It's a time where we remind ourselves how Jesus came onto Earth to fulfil his mission. Christmas is so overly commercialised now we often forget the real meaning behind Christmas.
Many desserts/pastries are often associated with Christmas, among those are decorated sugar cookies and of course, the log cake.

I've been attempting to perfect my swiss rolls yet, they only came out un-cracked twice out of the 5-6 times =X This time, I was surprised to see that my swiss roll actually didn't crack! (even though i thought it did)
This time i used the pear swiss roll recipe from aunty yochana =)

all rolled up!

anti-clockwise from bottom left: covered in chocolate frosting; ends decorated with piped buttercream; sprinkled with snow powder; decorated with ornaments

i used 'snow powder' to dust the log cake, giving it a snowy feeling. I was told that icing sugar don't work too well was it may dissolve in the chocolate frosting. Snow powder doesn't and will not and just tastes sweet.

A bonus in doing a log cake is, you get additional flavours from the frosting, you don't have to worry if your swiss roll cracks (you're gonna cover them up with frosting anyway) and you can all decorate the swiss roll together as a family which would be a fun activity =)

happy holidays!


stacked macarons
This is my third attempt at macarons using the italian meringue method. The previous 2 were a flop! but the second attempt was better than the first of course..

1st attempt (added liquid purple colouring):
-the batter spread quite abit
-and i knew almost immediately that batter was highly overmixed (based on my attemps using the french meringue method
-and WAS a flop..cracking and failing to dry even after an HOUR
-NO FEET! =((
2nd attempt (added liquid pink colouring):
-batter didn't spread out as much as the first time
-STILL overmixed..the batter took a LONG time to dry out. I had a few trays and deliberately left one tray to dry for A FEW HOURS!
-although that tray was finally dry, it still cracked
-this time, it struggled to form feet, but those cute tiny feet disappeared towards the end of baking *sad*
-nvm! i'm one step closer
in the oven with feet that disappeared after it was taken out

I started wondering if the liquid colouring was the culprit as i have read elsewhere to use powdered food colouring and not liquid. I verified my fears when i came across a blog stating that liquid colouring changes the structure/texture/whatever of the batter.
So, as much as i struggled through wanting to make pink/purple (pretty coloured) macarons, i decided finally to go ahead with the original,plain ones. following the recipe to the T.

3rd attempt:
-i purposely folded less
-the first tray turned out kinda "underfolded" they had peaks which wouldnt settle
-the subsequent trays were better
-they formed feet! yay!
-BUT, they were tiny and uneven i.e. kinda lopsided

right side up with a small tiny peak which didn't settle back completely

filling it up with chocolate ganache
playing with different piped shapes

more importantly, they didn't have the air pockets that appeared in those done with the french meringue method. though, the french meringue method had much much higher feet.

french meringue method with much higher feet

Saturday, December 6, 2008

cartoon cake

I guess the title is pretty self-explanatory. This cake attempt was decided on quite a rush (which usually isn't my style). Normally, i'd plan carefully what I want to bake and then do my research on the internet and prep myself for the battle! muahaha!

So, this baking attempt came about as my younger sis was thinking of baking a little something for her friend's birthday and asked if i could "teach" her to do it. I obviously jumped at the chance and said YES! why not? So i began giving her ideas and asked what would she like and we finally decided on making a cArToOn CaKe.

It is actually just a sponge cake, filled with any filling of your choice (we chose cookies 'n' cream) and iced with yummy italian meringue buttercream. I learnt to do this cartoon cake at a baking workshop from Anna Chan. A very very nice, friendly and patient lady. Come to think about it, it seems like it's a good few months back that I attended the class and had never attempt to re-create what i did in class at home. So i thought it'd be the perfect chance for me to try it out at home =D

In class, we did a chocolate sponge but my sister requested for a strawberry one instead. I haven't done a strawberry sponge before. However, I recalled reading someone from another blog attemped a strawberry swiss roll using strawberry emulco. So i went ahead and added some strawberry emulco. As usual, my oven temp rose and fell ( i used a oven thermometer to increase temp accuracy). I was so afraid the cake would come out like crap. Luckily, it LOOKED fine. So we went ahead, prepared the whipped cream and smashed up some oreo cookies. After which, I attempted the italian meringue buttercream and was glad I finally made it! (though it was a little too sweet, perhaps due to the vanilla)

I was so excited, I totally forgot about doing about the "cartoon pictures" first before torting anf filling the cake. I dived straight into torting and filling the cake and realised just before i wanted to iced the cake that i havent done the pictures! so, i got my sis to put away the filled cakes and started with the picutres. It was alot of fun mixing up the colours, (but a TORTURE to do red) and ended up with bloodyyyy red hands. heh. I used almost half of the newly bought icing to get the nice birght red. *heartache*

In any case, the picture went alright and we started to ice the cakes. Now, THIS is the difficult part - icing a cake. I recalled how torturous i found this section in class and this time, i STILL found it difficult. However, I think, i THINK, i might have caught a teeny weent bit of the technique. Though the frosting still looks hideous. =X My piping skills kinda rusted and the piped shells were wayyyyy uglier than those i did in class. =(

Nevertheless, I am glad i braved myself for this attempt (thanks to my sis hehe) and i am pretty satisfied with the way the picture turned out =) was 11 plus plus in the night when we finished doing up the cakes and too full and tired to have a slice. Will update on the taste soon!

Here's a comparison of what i did in class and today:

In class...


my sister's attempt..

*she did the picture on her own, I just demonstrated how it should be done. I helped her a little with icing the cake though she did most herself. I am very proud of her =D A nicer first attempt than mine!

Don't you think her hello kitty looks much better than my patrick? =p

note to self:

1. piping tip for shells too large!

2. remember to finish buttercream picture first! in an air-conditioned environment if not, buttercream will "melt"

4.stop machine to scrape splashed sugar syrup.


patrick - last shot before being mutilated

Some things about how the cake tasted...
1. it was moist! yes..!
i guess brushing with syrup/water/juice/whatever liquid stuff really helps. =)

*note: i tried baking a choc sponge-mousse cake for D sometime back and the cake turned out REALLY dry and yucky. can't be lazy with the liquid brushing.

2. I think i can afford more cookies n cream filling. it felt a little miserable. The cake was pretty
tall with 3 layers.

3. The layer of frosting was quite thin. I dont know whether to be happy/sad. I had a hard time
trying to cover it up as i was frosting. The frosting was so thin, i could almost see through the
cake layer beneath. i really should brush up on my frosting skills!

My mummy tried the cake and said it was really nice! She liked the buttercream too..=D Not too oily and not overly sweet. I felt the same. Thank goodness for this buttercream recipe, it tastes soooo much better than the simple buttercream i tried doing for my cupcakes last time. hee.

one last thing! My mum asked if i could do a cake for my grandma's week..I agreed immediately! But now..I'm wondering if i'd really wanna go through all that work again..hmmmm...

we shall see..


My very first baking attempt was back in primary school (p6 to be exact) when I decided to try baking some cookies for a fund raising fun fair. I have since baked a little here and there along the way. It wasn't until after my jc days that I started baking more and more frequently and found myself "obsessed". I also found it a pity that I don't note/record down my various baking attempts. Therefore, have been toying with the idea of setting up this blog for a longgggg time.

It was with my deliberation and hesitation that I finally decided to set up this blog. For one sole purpose - to keep a diary of my bakes. They may not be fantastic, may not be the yummiest pastries in the universe, but they reflect how much joy I had in baking each and every one of them.

I have picked up many skills and gain much baking knowledge via the internet. I was always elated to have found websites and blogs giving detailed instructions of recipes and baking techniques. For so long, I've been relying on these information to improve on my baking skills and wouldn't have dared venture out into baking without these websites/people.

I hope through this little online journal, I am able to pen down memories of my baking journey and that I may look back one day and see how much I have learnt and also to remind myself not to repeat certain mistakes.

To anyone out there who happen to chance upon this blog, enjoy!
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