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29 April 2012

Banana Cake ... another version

29 Apr 2012

I've not eaten banana for a while. I went to MBG Fruit and bought a bundle of Berangan Banana and had them for breakfast. After 2 days, there were still half of the bundle left and I thought it to myself, I shall use them to make banana cake.

Previously, I've tried the Banana Cake by Amy Beh and the cake was lovely.

Hubby's 5th Auntie has shared with me her recipe of Banana Cake when we visited her some time ago. I still have the piece of paper where I copied the recipe from her. It's a treasure piece of paper which I've filed in my baking file and now I'm sharing it in this blog  It is also just in case, I lose that piece of recipe paper. She used to be a Home Science teacher and she bakes and cooks very well.

The difference between these 2 recipes are Amy Beh's recipe uses lemon and separate egg white and egg yolks. Whereas this recipe uses cinnamon and raisins.

It was so stressful preparing for Jared's mid term exam. In between revision with him today, I took a break (and of course, he loved the idea) and decided to bake banana cake using her recipe for this time round.

My Auntie's recipe was in ounce and I converted them to grams. Check this out:
  1. Mix two Grade A eggs with 120 ml corn oil.
  2. Add 60 grams of Castor sugar and 60 grams of brown sugar
  3. Use hand whisk to mix them together.
  4. Sift together
    • 140 grams of plain flour
    • 3/4 tsp of baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  5.  Add 60 grams of raisins into sifted flours (item 4 above). If raisins are dry, soak them in hot water for a short while. If raisin are big, cut them into halves.
  6. Mash 120 grams (4 small or 2 big) of banana
  7. Mix all ingredients together.
  8. Add 1 tsp of vanilla essence and 1 tbsp of milk. Mix till soft consistency.
  9. Pour batter into greased cake tin and bake at 170ºC for 45 minutes or until cake is cooked.
The recipe mentioned to bake at 180C but my banana cake turned out over-baked on top of the cake.
Picture of the half loaf banana cake, after our afternoon tea.
We had the cake for afternoon tea today. I was so pleased to see my family enjoying my warm, freshly baked banana cake.

The taste of the cake was good ... the sweet taste of Berangan bananas goes very well with the cinnamon and vanilla essence.

22 April 2012

My Little Herbs Garden

22 Apr 2012

Every week, during my groceries shopping at TTDI Market, there will be a list of herbs and spices that I need to buy. Be it for Chinese dish cooking, pasta, pizza, I would spend quite a bit in buying herbs and spices for cooking.

When I visited Bayan Indah for an unforgettable Culinary Experience with Rohani Jelani at Bayan Indah, I admire her garden. During the cooking workshop, she would ran down to her garden and pluck whatever herbs she need.

Then, when I visited Audrey's new home at Desa Parkcity, she grown her own garden too.

I used to dream to have my own herbs garden when we move to our new house. Our architect had actually planned for a herbs garden in the new house. We also shared that plan with potential buyers and they did think it was a good idea.

Now that we've decided not to move in to the new house, initially, I thought, there goes my dream of having my very own herbs garden. While beautifying our little garden for Chinese New Year, I realised I can have a mini herbs garden in our current house instead. I'm just going to make do with what I have as I'm living today and appreciate what I have today. I wrote down the list of herbs that we usually buy. The list has been in my To Do list for a few months.

Last week, Fei Yin and I were talking about having our own herbs garden. We shared our thoughts and plan. The next weekend, she and her Hubby went to Sg Buloh nursery and got it done. That was fast!

I finished my weekly errands yesterday. We also had a very good steamboat dinner at home, with a few close relatives. I told Hubby that I needed him to take me to Sg Buloh nursery as I would like to get this dream of having herbs garden materialise.

Today, after breakfast, we drove to Sg Buloh nursery. There were lots of nurseries at Sg Buloh. Fei Yin recommended me to go to those near Sg Buloh Hospital as the plants there are cheaper.

Our first stop was at Lam Garden. I bought 4 plants from this nursery and the rest from other nurseries within walking distance.
Chili Padi for RM5
Chinese Chives (RM5) and Kafir Leaves (RM5)
Coriander (RM7.50)
Sweet Basil (RM7.50)
Thyme (RM7.50) and Rosemary (RM7.50)
I was afraid that I would confuse and mixed up the many plants that I bought, so I bought these little signs from the Nursery at RM1 each.

Oregano (RM7.50), Parsley (RM8.0) and Tarragon (RM7.50)
Oh No! The nursery has spelt "Tarragon" as "Terragon". Or is there any herb called Terragon?

I bought this white fence too for RM15. Just like what Giuliana Rancic said "This white fence is to die for".

I just love this ... white fence and herbs plants! It only costs me RM87 (exclude own pots) to set this up. My dreams came through, we made it happen on this beautiful Sunday. 

I hope my herbs garden will grow well and healthy. I still need to get a few more plants to complete my herbs garden ...
  1. Curry leaves
  2. Pandan leaves
  3. Red Chili
  4. Spring Onion
  5. Mint
  6. Lime
I'll be heading for a pampering session ... massage and facial in the afternoon. My sister invited us to her house for home cook dinner tonight and tiramisu cake for dessert. What a wonderful weekend! I thank God for everything.

Lam Garden Sdn. Bhd

Lot 1680 Jalan Phase 2
Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh
Sungai Buloh
47000 Selangor
+60 (0)3 7846-9008

Orange Marble Chiffon

19 Apr 2012

Had a bad day at work. Things are not moving as smoothly as I wish. I'm learning not to be a perfectionist Virgo. Then, where do we stop? I still wish to maintain the good value and attributes of a good Accountant. Never mind, tomorrow will be a better day.

Since I was feeling down, I browsed through baking site and saw Kuali's Fluffy Cakes on it's Facebook and The Star Online. I'm attracted to its Orange Marble Chiffon cake cause I always like the perfect match of orange and chocolate.

After work and dinner, in between of America Idol's show on Astro, I tried for the very first time to bake chiffon cake.

The chiffon cake did not turn up well and not so pretty. But, Hubby and Jared love the cake as it is light and airy.
I tried the last small slice of the cake, had it for tea with a cup of coffee. It was pretty good actually. The cake was light and airy and I particularly love the tangy smell and taste from orange that goes so well with the marble, chocolate part of the cake.

16 April 2012

Scones for tea?

14 Apr 2012
I don't know why but I always associate scones with Cameron Highlands. I like the idea of sitting by cafe in tea plantation, under cool weather and have scones with a cup of good English tea.

I've tried baking scones several time. It is something very easy to bake. The other funny thing is a few of my friends will think of scones when they see me. Serena asked "When are we going to your house for scones?". Verna said "I miss your scones".

Last Saturday, I felt like baking scones for tea. Hubby likes to google recipes from and that virus has spread to me. I've tried this World's Best Scones from and my friends like them.

Christina wanted to learn scones from me and asked me to wait for her. Unfortunately, it was a massive jam around Kelana Jaya area and she couldn't make it in between her son's English speech class.
I made 8 scones from the recipe and had them for tea. Hubby ate 2 and I packed 3 scones for Christina as we met up for dinner the same day. Father dropped by my house the same evening and I gave 2 scones to my Father. He must have smelled the scones from wherever he was. Moch ate the final scone and I didn't have any! Only managed to have a bite from Hubby's one.

I am happy when my cakes, cookies, scones, etc disappear fast. I will surely bake them again ... very soon.

I am sharing here the recipe from as sharing makes me happy.
220 g (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
15 g (4 tsp) baking powder
50 g (1/4 cup) white sugar
0.8 g (1/8 tsp) salt
70 g (5 tbsp) unsalted butter
70 g (1/2 cup) dried currants or raisins

120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
60 g (1/4 cup) sour cream
1 egg
15 ml (1 tbsp) milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or rubbing between your fingers until it is in pea sized lumps. Stir in the currants.
  4. Mix together 1/2 cup milk and sour cream in a measuring cup.
  5. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients and stir gently until well blended. Do not overwork the dough as it will result in terrible scones.
  6. With floured hands, pat scone dough into balls 2 to 3 inches across, depending on what size you want. Place onto a greased baking sheet, and flatten lightly. Let the scones barely touch each other.
  7. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk.
  8. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash. Let them rest for about 10 minutes.
  9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are golden brown, not deep brown.
  10. Serve the scones warm with butter, cream and jam.
You can make varieties of scones by replacing raisins with strawberry or any types of berries or even have it plain without any raisin or berries.

08 April 2012

A Super Hero and Meaningful Birthday Bash

7 Apr 12

I still remember how disappointed my friend, Jo was with what happened to her son's Athan's 4th birthday.

She ordered a birthday cake from a famous cake designer and paid so much for it but get disappointed as the cake did not turn out the way she wanted it to be. She wished she could bake and she felt even worst after reading my post on Jaden's birthday wishes came true ... Chocolate Cake in Layers.

Time flies, it's been a year. In mid Mar 12, Jo dropped me a message on Facebook inviting us to Athan's 5th Birthday party at Kidzsport & Gym, Empire Subang Shopping Mall.

Two weeks later, Jo wanted to order 40 cupcakes from me. No, no, no, I don't take order for birthday cake. It is too stressful! I told her that I make nice cakes but not pretty cakes. Jo told me that she ordered a separate birthday cake and wanted my cupcakes as she knows I used good quality ingredients for my cakes.

I wanted to grant Jo's wish as she is my dear friend, especially after the bad experience from her son's last year birthday.

The birthday party was on Saturday afternoon, I planned to bake a batch of butter cupcakes on Thursday evening, another batch of mocha cupcakes on Friday evening and the icing frosting on Saturday morning. I like cakes to be eaten fresh.

Jo told me that she invited some kids from Children Home to join in the birthday party. I was so proud of her and told her that I would love to contribute my cupcakes.

I wasn't well in the early week and it got worse on Thurday. I felt chill inside my body and lost my voice. After work, I went to see doctor and had a good sleep after the medication. I was not fit to make the first batch of cupcakes that planned for Thursday evening. Hubby offered to make them but I wasn't certain about the idea, although he's my "Baking Guru". Luckily, I felt better after the good sleep on Thursday and Friday morning.

The next day, with the help of Moch, I baked a batch of butter cupcakes after my sleep and lunch. When I woke up from my afternoon sleep, I baked another batch of mocha cupcakes.

19 butter cupcakes (in green liner) and 29 mocha cupcakes (in red liner)
On Saturday, after Jaden's music class, we went home to pick up Moch and those cupcakes and I had my sister (with her youngest son) to help me out. We parked our car at Basement 2 and had to walk 5 floors up to the 2nd Floor of Empire Shopping Mall. It wasn't easy especially with so many people looking at those cupcakes.

The theme for the birthday party was "Super Hero Squad". Jo engaged a graphic designer to design this welcome poster and all the others cute decorative stuff.

Mineral water and Kit Kat wrapped in "Super Hero Squad" label.

Jo also ordered this "Super Hero Squad" cover for my cupcakes.
The cupcakes stand

This boxing ring marble cake was ordered from Just Heavenly. Jo ordered the Real Steel's robot figures Twin Cities, Zeus and Atom from Amazon as she could not find them here.

Athan was happy to see his favourite Reel Steel robot figures on his birthday cake.

Birthday table set up by the Candy company. This is so, so cool!

Decorative balloons
You can imagine the kind of thought and details involved in planning this birthday party.

Jo also engaged a professional photographer and ordered food catering, chocolate fountain, roast lamb, sushi, etc for the party.
Athan dancing to pop song before the party games started.

Kids had fun in the play room.

Jo personally prepared this bento set lunch for the kids ... fried rice, sandwiches, fruit and jelly with vitagen/yakult drink.
Magic show that brought so much fun and laughter to the kids.
inclusive of Jaden.
Jaden and Eu Thing checking out the party pack.
Finally, everyone gathered together for Birthday song and cake cutting celebration.
Jo and her happy family
Birthday boy, Athan with his "Real Steel" cake.
I was so happy to see this boy from the Children Home enjoying my cupcakes.
Jaden and Eu Thing had fun at the Kidzsport and did not want to go home. The party ended at 3.30pm but we only left Kidzsport at 5pm.

It was a good catch up with Jo and her husband while we packed up to give way for the next birthday party at Kidzsport.
Thank you note found in the party pack.
Thank you Jo for having us at such a wonderful and meaningful birthday bash. I admire you for your thoughts of having the kids from Children Home over to join in the fun at Athan's birthday bash. I am truly honoured to being part of it.

As Hubby said "In today's stressful lives, when some things go wrong, take a moment to be thankful for the many more things that are still going right".