Friday, April 29, 2011

Earl Grey Cupcakes

Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery

I'm a big tea drinker and Earl Grey is one of those I like. I don't usually add milk to my tea, but I remember a nice drink from NYDC (New York Dessert Cafe) in Singapore called Earl Grey Elephanccino which was ice Earl Grey with vanilla ice cream. So when I flip through this book given to me by Sylvia (who got married this week!!), I knew I had to make it, and I even made it twice in two weeks.It's good on its own but the icing in this case makes it just a touch better without being overly sweet.
Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery 
Ingredients (Makes 12 regular cupcakes) 
125ml milk at room temperature
4 Earl Grey teabags
110g unsalted butter, room temperature
225g sugar
2 large eggs
125g self raising flour or 125g plain flour mixed with 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder and slightly less than 1/4 teaspoon salt
120g plain flour, sifted

Vanilla buttercream (enough for 15-20 regular cupcakes)
110g unsalted butter, room temperature
60ml milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it just begin to come to a boil, Remove it from the heat and add the teabags, allowing it to soak for about 30 minutes, then discard the teabags.

    Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery

    Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and smooth, then add the eggs one at a time. Preheat the oven at 160°C.

    Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery
  3. Combine the flours in a separate bowl. Add one third of the flour, followed by one third of the infused milk to the butter mixture. Repeat until all the flour and milk have been added.

    Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery
  4. Spoon the mixture into a lined 12-cupcakes muffin tray, about two-third full in each cupcake. Bake it for about 25 minutes until they are slightly raised and golden brown. Let it cool in the tray for about 10 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

    Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery

    Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery
  5. For the icing, just beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and mix it in until the it is smooth and creamy. You can store this in an airtight container in the fridge for quite a while.

Singlish Swenglish Earl Grey Cupcakes from Primrose bakery

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pork Ribs Soup with Toufu and Szechuan Vegetable (zhacai)

Singlish Swenglish Pork ribs with Toufu and Sichuan Vegetable soup

Had a really good påskafton in Helsingborg with a fellow Singaporean, Denise and her family. Funnily enough, she found my blog and sent me a message and that's how we became friend. We even played mahjong and had a really good home-cooked dinner by her, felt so 幸福!Feel just like home in Singapore when my Dad would cook dinner and this soup is his creation. I know, it's not a new dish but the cooking method and the addition of dried shrimps and ginger is not something I've encountered at all when I buy this soup at food courts and I think it makes a world of difference. So here's my family recipe for you to try :)

Ingredients (Serves 2)
500g pork ribs, blanched in boiling water and drained.
A handful of dried shrimps, soaked for 5 minutes and drained
2-3 slices of ginger
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 block of toufu
1 head of Szechuan vegetable, sliced and soaked for about 30 minutes.
About two bowls of boiling water
1 large tomato (optional)

  1. In a dry pot, dry-fry the dried shrimps first until the moisture is gone before adding a tablespoon of oil to stir fry it until slightly fragrant.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry slightly before adding the boiling water and pork ribs and let it come to a boil before letting it simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the Szechuan vegetable and sliced toufu and let it simmer for another 10 minutes until you see 'holes' in the toufu. My sister likes to add some tomatoes too at this stage.
  4. Taste and season with salt before serving if necessary, it may depend on how salty the Szechuan vegetable is.

    Singlish Swenglish Sichuan Vegetable Toufu soup

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Raspberry Tart/ Hallon Tart

Singlish Swenglish Raspberry tart

Of all the berries, I think I like raspberry the best and I'm quite happy that they are starting to sell more raspberries now at the supermarket. I am looking forward when I can go pick it myself soon at a nearby farm. It has the combination of the right amount of sweetness and sourness and a fragrance that is unbeatable when combined with cream and chocolate. I took this recipe from my all time favourite baking site but this time I think the pastry can do with a little bit more sugar, but that's for my taste. Do try it and you will know the next time to adjust accordingly.

Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry):
175 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
113 grams unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
30 - 60 ml ice water

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  1. Use a food processor and blend the flour, salt and sugar together before adding the butter gradually until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the ice water in a slow steady stream until the dough just hold together. 
  2. Use a cling wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for about an hour
  3. Flour the working surface and roll out the dough to be about 28cm in diameter and transfer onto a piece of baking paper. Sprinkle the pastry with one table spoon of sugar first before arranging the raspberries on the pastry leaving a 4cm border all around.
  4. Fold the edges over the berries and brush the pastry edges with the 1 tablespoon of melted butter before sprinkling the remaining sugar over the berries and bake it at 205°C for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. 
  5. Leave to cool, sprinkle with some powdered sugar and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

    Raspberry tart Singlish Swenglish

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Banana Loaf from Hummingbird Bakery

Singlish Swenglish Banana Loaf from Hummingbird bakery recipe

The counter to the left of my blog shows me where the people who last viewed my blog comes from and I have seen a few from outside of Lund, from other parts of Sweden and I recently found out why after a whole hectic week of seminars - some of my classmates from other university on the same course have been catching up on my blogging! That's really encouraging and makes me want to catch up even more on my backlog because the food pictures I take always seems to be more than the number of blogs I manage to update. So here it comes, the first being a banana loaf from a recipe from Hummingbird Bakery. My equally-enthusiastic-about-cooking/food friend Sylvia sent it to me quite a while ago (in April 2010 in fact) and I never got around making it until recently, and I have made it a few times since. The difference about this banana loaf from the ones from Asia I would say will be the addition of ginger and cinnamon powder. It does give the cake a depth but not overpowering the original intention of banana cakes - to enjoy overripe bananas in a new way! My mother-in-law likes it because she says it's not too sweet.This can easily be baked in cupcakes form instead I think and definitely goes on my blog as a keeper.

Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf on a 23x13 inch loaf tin)
270g brown sugar
2 eggs
200g peeled bananas (about 2-3 medium size ones)
280g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
140g butter melted

  1. Beat the sugar and eggs together in a bowl until well mixed, then add in the mashed bananas. Preheat the oven at 170°C.
  2. Add in the baking powder, bicarbonate soda, ginger and cinnamon powder and flour to the mix until well incorporated.
  3. Mixed in the melted butter last and pour into a buttered loaf tin and try to smooth the top part as much as you can and bake for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.
  4. Let it cool slightly in the tin before taking it out and cool completely on a rack.
Singlish Swenglish Banana Loaf from Hummingbird bakery recipe

Saturday, April 9, 2011

3 bean salad plus wheatberries (mixed beans salad)

3 bean salad plus corn and wheat

This salad came about as I was thinking about what to make for our last Supper Club@Nöbbelövs. It's an initiative by us to have supper/dinner, partake of the Lord's supper and then watch a sermon on DVD which I brought from New Creation Church, where I was based back in Singapore. Sally, a wonderful lady had prepared a wonderful meal for us and I wanted to make a salad that's different from the normal Swedish ensemble of salad greens, peppers and tomatoes. I did a quick Google and found this three bean salad at Simply Recipes. I recently went bean-crazy and bought quite a few cans of beans without really having any idea what I would use them for but it's definitely suitable for this recipe and very simple too.


1 can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
1 can matvete/wheatberry, rinsed and drained
1/2 can corn
2 celery stalks, peeled and sliced finely
1/2 red onion, sliced finely
1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. In a large salad bowl, mix all the beans, wheatberries, celery, red onions and corn together.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper together, making sure the sugar has dissolved before pouring it into the salad mix.
  3. Add in the parsley last, mix well and cover and let it cool in the fridge before serving.

many beans salad

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚

Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚

Another dish inspired over dinner with Yaqian the other night (she's a really good cook), I tried to find good/doable recipes for this dish but only found a 'Boiled Beef Slices in a Fiery Sauce' and 'Fish with Chiles and Sichuan Pepper' in my book of 'Land of Plenty' from Fuchsia Dunlop and decided to combine them to make this 'Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce'. It didn't turn out to be as spicy as I wanted it so for the next version, a few more chiles will be added ;)

4-500g white-fleshed fish fillets
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, unpeeled
1 spring onion
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
4 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water

Base flavouring
6 dried Sichuan chili
a 1 inch piece fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
5 spring onions
3 tablespoons peanut or corn oil
1 tablespoon Sichuanese chili bean paste
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns

8-10 dried chiles
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/3 cup peanut or corn oil
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons chili bean paste
3 cups stock
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons potato flour mixed with 4 tablespoons cold water or 6 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons cold water

Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚

Spicy oil optional/(will try next time)
3/4 cup peanut or corn oil
1.5 tablespoons chili bean paste
30-60g dried red chiles
2 teaspoons whole Szechuan peppercorn (Heat the oil until it begins to smoke and add in the spices until all are crisp and fragrant without burning them. To be poured over the fish)

  1. Crush the ginger and spring onion for the marinade and cut the spring onion into 3/4 cm sections. Slice the fish at a shallow angle into 1/4 to 1/2 inch and place in a bowl with the rest of the marinade (except the cornstarch solution) while preparing other ingredients.
  2. For the base flavoring, peel the ginger and garlic and crush the spring onions with a cleaver blade. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over a high flame and turn down the heat when it is beginning to smoke and add the chili bean paste and stir fry until fragrant. Add in the ginger, garlic, spring onions, dried chili and Sichuan peppercorns and continue to stir fry until it all smells delicious. Transfer to a deep serving bowl/tray and lined it with lettuce leaves and beansprouts.

    Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚

    Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and 
Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚
  3. For the sauce, clean the wok and heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok until hot and add the dried chiles and Sichuan pepper corns and stir fry until they are fragrant and beginning to brown. Remove the spices out into a bowl leaving the oil in the wok.
    Chop the spices when they have cooled down to be sprinkled over the dish later.

    Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚
  4. With the oil still in the wok, add in the chili bean paste and stir fry until the oil is red and fragrant about 20-30 seconds. Add in the stock, dark soy sauce and season with salt to taste and bring to a boil.
  5. Discard the ginger and spring onion from the fish and add in the cornstarch mixture stirring it well to coat the fish slices.

    Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚
  6. When the sauce is boiling, drop in the fish slices and wait for the sauce to return to a boil and use a pair of chopsticks to gently separate the slices. Simmer for a minute or so until the fish is just cook and pour it over the deep serving bowl lined with vegetables.

    Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚
  7. Heat another 3-4 tablespoons of oil in the wok until smoking. Sprinkle the chopped spices over the fish dish and pour over the smoking oil and serve while it's still fizzing away :)

    Boiled Fish Slices in Fiery Chiles and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 水煮魚

Sunday, April 3, 2011

南湖船菜 Stir Fried Dehydrated Vegetable with Egg

南湖船菜 stir fry nan hu chuan cai with egg>

This is yet another of those brilliantly simple but absolutely delicious dish I 'stole' from a colleague of mine, Chef Yaqian who taught me the fried zucchini dish previously. And this time, she actually gave some of the dried vegetable (南湖船菜) to me which was quickly demolished in a few days. This is supposedly dehydrated caixin hearts (the middle and most tender part of the caixin) but it reconstitutes pretty fast to a nice natural green hue reminiscent of fresh green vegetables, but retains a taste a little similar to mei cai but much more delicate in flavor. I googled around 南湖船菜 (literally translated to South Lake's Boat Dishes) and Yaqian provided a link (for those who reads Chinese) that explains a bit more on this term. I think this has become a known brand name for this type of dehydrated vegetable and if anyone is coming from China to Lund, Sweden, remember to bring some for me! ;) 

Handful of 南湖船菜
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
salt/chicken stock granules to taste

  1. Reconstitute the vegetable with hot water, drain and set aside.
    南湖船菜 stir fry nan hu chuan cai with egg

  2. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt and add some cooking oil before pouring in the egg mix. Make a omelet until slight golden brown and cut it into smaller pieces with the spatula in the frying pan.

    南湖船菜 stir fry nan hu chuan cai with egg
  3. Pushing the omelet pieces to one side in the frying pan, add in the minced garlic and stir fry until fragrant before adding in the vegetable.

    南湖船菜 stir fry nan hu chuan cai with egg
  4. Mix well and add a little water if needed and season with salt/chicken stock granules to taste. Stir fry for just a minute longer and it's ready to serve, great with rice!

    South Lake Boat Vegetable