Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hot Cross Bun 十字包


'Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!' 

This familiar nursery rhyme is about a kind of spicy fruity sweet bun, baked to deep brown color and marked with symbolic white cross on top. These buns are traditionally served at breakfast on Good Friday morning, with the cross signifies the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ.  

In the past, the English believe that hanging hot cross bun in the house could offer protection from bad luck, and some said that hot cross bun made on Good Friday itself never get moldy. Well, I never get a chance to test that theory as those buns vanished within a day or two.

Even if you are not celebrating Good Friday, these are delicious buns and easy to make. So what are you waiting for? Let's bake some bread together!

Hot Cross Bun
Makes 8

Main Dough
  • 80ml milk
  • 20g butter
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 30g sugar
  • 200g bread flour
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 60g mixed dried fruit
  • 25g egg
  • 8 tsp plain flour
  • 4 tsp caster sugar
  • enough water to form a roux

Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together (except mixed fruit) and form a dough.
  2. Add in mixed fruit and mix well.
  3. Let it proof for 1.5 hours.
  4. Divide into 8 equal portions, roll round.
  5. Let it proof for another 1 hour.
  6. Mix the ingredients for toppings together and pipe onto the dough.
  7. Bake at preheated oven at 190C for 17mins.


  • 80毫升牛奶
  • 20克牛油
  • 1/3茶匙香草精
  • 3/4小匙即食酵母粉
  • 30克糖
  • 200克面包粉
  • 1/3茶匙盐
  • 1/4茶匙五香粉
  • 60克混合果干
  • 25克蛋


  • 8茶匙面粉
  • 4茶匙砂糖
  • 足够的水以形成糊


  1. 所有材料混合在一起(除了混合果干),形成一个面团。
  2. 添加混合果干拌匀。
  3. 让它发酵1.5小时。
  4. 分成8等份,滚圆。
  5. 让它发酵1小时。
  6. 混合外陷材料, 放入裱花袋挤在面团上形成十字型。
  7. 在预热烤箱以190℃烤17分钟。

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Copycat Dunkin Donut Choc Pudding Donut 浓情巧克力甜甜圈

I was a fan of Dunkin Donut, my favorite was a type of filled donut called choc pudding. The donut was coated with icing sugar and filled with overflowing chocolate. Once biten down, chocolate oozes out from the inside. I always ended up messy but I didn't care. It was almost like a chocolate lava cake disguising itself as a donut, so much chocolate and ultimately satisfying. I was always amazed at how much chocolate that get stuffed inside. However, not anymore during these recent years! They had probably changed their recipe, now I need to finish half of the donut to find the chocolate inside. So what to do when the craving strikes? Make it yourself!

The addition of potato in the bun makes it incredibly soft, just take a look at the texture of the donut, how fluffy it is! All right, forget the bun, I know your eyes are all set on the chocolate lava.

There can be many other variations too!

Have fun decorating your donut, and enjoy!

Copycat Dunkin Donut Chocolate Pudding Donut
Makes 8

  • 160g semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 200g bread flour
  • 15g milk powder
  • 3/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 25g sugar
  • 90g potato, thinly sliced , steamed for 15 minutes and mashed
  • 41g water
  • 24g egg
  • 35g butter
  • a pinch salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all the dough ingredients and knead until smooth.
  2. Let the dough proof for 1.5 hours or until double in size.
  3. Roll out the dough and cut the dough with a round cutter.
  4. Let the dough proof for another 15 -30 minutes.
  5. In a pot, heat up enough oil and deep fry the donut until golden brown.
  6. In a shallow pan or a double boiler, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  7. Using a long thin stick or a straw, poke a hole from one end. Move the straw left and right to create a hole inside the donut.
  8. Using a pointed piping tip, pipe in the chocolate.

  9. Dust icing sugar on top of the donut (or you can dust it earlier before piping in the chocolate).
Tips: I used Hershey semi-sweet chocolate chips. Once melted the chocolate doesn't get harden as long as it is left at room temperature of around 29C

  • 160克半甜巧克力豆
  • 适量糖粉
  • 200克面粉
  • 15克奶粉
  • 3/4小匙即食酵母粉
  • 25克糖
  • 90克马铃薯,切成薄片,蒸15分钟,捣碎
  • 41克水
  • 24克蛋,打散
  • 35克黄油(牛油)
  • 少许盐
  1. 混合所有面团成分和揉至光滑。
  2. 让面团发酵1.5小时或直到两倍大。
  3. 用圆型模型切出面团。
  4. 让面团发酵15-30分钟。
  5. 在一个锅里,加热足够的油,油炸甜甜圈至金黄色。
  6. 用浅盘,煮融半甜巧克力片。
  7. 使用长吸管,从一端戳一个洞。向左右移动,在甜甜圈里面创建一个洞。
  8. 使用尖头的裱花头,挤入巧克力。
  9. 在甜甜圈的顶部撒上糖霜(也可以在挤入巧克力之前撒上)。
温馨提示:我用Hershey 半甜巧克力豆。一旦融化,只要巧克力是保存在29C左右的室温下,不会变硬

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Open Face Flower Pineapple Tart 花形黄梨塔

Open Face Flower Pineapple Tart 花形黄梨塔

There are a few types of pineapple tarts. From the appearance, there are those enclosed type, rolled up type and opened type; texture-wise, there are those melt in the mouth type, milky type, and those with slight crunch. Which type do you love most? 

For me, the enclosed melt in the mouth type. However, for variety and also aesthetic purpose (I love those flower shapes!), I have made these open faced flower shape pineapple tart. The texture of these cookies are rather crumbly. There are only 3 ingredients used for the base cookies, i.e. flour , butter and egg, rendering the quality of the butter into the limelight. If you think your butter is not fragrant enough, you may add a few drops of vanilla essence to bring the taste up a notch.

Open Face Pineapple Tarts
Make around 37 tarts

  • 160g flour
  • 96g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 150g pineapple filling
Cooking Directions
  1. Divide the pineapple filling to 37 portions, 4g each and roll round. Set aside.
  2. Rub butter and flour until sandy.
  3. Add in egg and mix well.
  4. Roll the dough into 5mm thickness. Use a fluted cookie cutter to cut out the dough.
  5. Place the pineapple ball on top.
  6. Bake at preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes.
  • 160克面粉
  • 96克黄油
  • 鸡蛋1个
  • 150克菠萝馅
  1. 将菠萝馅分成37份,每份4克,撮圆。
  2. 黄油和面粉用手撮至沙粒状。
  3. 加入鸡蛋,拌均。
  4. 面团擀成厚度5mm。使用模型印出喜爱形状。
  5. 将菠萝球放在洞口上面,轻轻压下。
  6. 在已预热烤箱中180℃烤15-20分钟。

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cashew Nut Cookies 腰果曲奇

Cashew Nut Cookies 腰果曲奇

When I was small, my mom used to make cashew nut cookies during Chinese New Year. I helped out once in a while and I remember myself being the 'fast-handed' one (fast-handed in both making and eating the cookies). Topping the cookies with cashew nut was both the most fun and the easiest part. Crowning those 'bald' cookies kind of gives you a sense of achievement, well, at least to a child. Now? I think popping in those cookies in the mouth is the most fun part!

Those cookies are nutty, fragrant and baked to a nice golden hue. In contrast with my melt in the mouth pineapple cookies, these are for people who are looking for tasty crunch!

Cashew Nut Cookies

  • 100g butter
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla essence
  • 180g flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 100g cashew nut, blended and toasted
  • 70g cashew nut, halved
  • 1 egg yolk for egg wash
Cooking Directions
  1. Cream butter and sugar together
  2. Add yolk and vanilla essence, mix well.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, cashew nut (blended) and mix well.
  4. Roll the dough into 3mm thickness.
  5. Cut the dough using your choice of cookie cutter, egg wash the cookie, then top with a halved cashew nut (gently press down) and egg wash again on the cashew nut.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 150C for 15-20 minutes.
  • 100克黄油(牛油)
  • 60克糖粉
  • 1粒蛋黄
  • 1/3茶匙香草精
  • 180克面粉
  • 1/8茶匙发粉
  • 100克腰果,搅碎和烤香
  • 70克腰果,每粒掰开成两半
  • 1粒蛋黄(用来刷蛋液在饼干上)
  1. 黄油和糖打发
  2. 加入蛋黄和香草精拌匀。
  3. 加入面粉,发粉,腰果(搅碎和烤香)拌匀。
  4. 面团擀成厚度3mm。
  5. 用饼干模型印出饼干,刷蛋液,放半颗腰果(轻轻按下)在上面,然后再刷一层蛋液。
  6. 在已经预热烤箱中以150℃烤15-20分钟。

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Japanese Char Siew 日式叉烧

Japanese Char Siew 日式叉烧

Does a bowl of Japanese ramen without Char Siew sounds incomplete to you? Pork belly, rolled up and tied with cooking twine to preserve the juiciness of meat, cooked for many hours in the boozy gravy so that it can absorb the taste right into every inch of the meat, thinly sliced and laid on top of a bowl of piping hot ramen. Great! Now we are talking...

The delicious char siew and the soft boiled ramen egg brings a package of instant ramen to a totally different level, just like a restaurant-bought one (of course, you gotta choose a good quality instant ramen too). Although the preparation time is short, it took many hours for the char siew to be cooked, so please make more, freeze them, and stock up more instant ramen at home. 

Recipe adapted from Seriouseat

Japanese Char Siew

  • 1kg pork belly
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sake (substitute: sherry)
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 stalks spring onions, cut into 1 inch length
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch ginger, sliced
  • 1 shallot cut half
Cooking Directions
  1. Lay pork belly flat with skin facing down, roll up and secure with cooking twines. Tie cooking twine at a 2cm length interval.
  2. Combine ingredients (A) in a pot and heat up until boiling, add in pork belly.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid left slightly ajar, heat with gentle heat and cook for 4 hours. If you have a thermometer, test that the temperature of the sauce should be around 80C - 90C (the sauce shouldn't be boiling, or else the meat can get dry and tough).
  4. Turn the pork occasionally.
  5. To serve, slice the pork thinly.
1)I find it easier to slice the pork if it had been refrigerated for 1-2 hours.
2) As the cooking time is long, you can make more and keep the rest in the freezer. There is no need to thinly slice those that you plan to keep in freezer, just divide to 2-3 portions and keep together with the sauce. To reheat, defrost the char siew, reheat with gentle heat together with the sauce before slicing. Otherwise, you can also slice the meat and reheat in the noodle soup.

  • 1公斤三层肉
  • 1/2杯酱油
  • 1杯清酒(代替:雪利酒)
  • 1杯日本料酒 mirin (米琳)
  • 1/2杯黄糖 (白糖也可以)
  • 6条青葱,切成1寸长
  • 6瓣大蒜
  • 2英寸的生姜,切成片
  • 1粒葱头切半

  1. 五花肉持平皮肤朝下,卷起,用烹饪绳缠绕固定。每间隔2公分长绑条绳。
  2. 在一个锅里结合材料(A),加热至沸腾,再加入五花肉。
  3. 锅盖上盖子,盖子微开,用文火煮,煮4小时。如果你有一个温度计,测试酱汁的温度应保持在80℃ - 90℃(酱汁不应沸腾,不然肉会变得干燥)。
  4. 不时翻转猪肉。
  5. 要吃的时候,将猪肉切薄片。
2)因为要煮很久,可以一次做多些放入冰冻。冰冻的不须切薄片, 只要把叉烧分成两三份,连同一些浆汁一起冰冻就可以了。要吃时早前解冻,连同浆汁以低温加热。否则,也可以将叉烧切薄片放入面汤里加热。

Ramen Soft Boil Egg

Ramen Soft Boil Egg

Ever staring at an egg cutting into half, watching the liquid yolk wobbling within the soft white, and just can't wait to gobble up the whole thing in one bite?

This soft boil egg is perfect for ramen together with few slices of Japanese char siew, for side dish, supper, or... whatever comes to your mind.

Recipe adapted from Just One Cookbook

Ramen Soft Boil Egg

  • 4 eggs (AA grade, around 57g-60g shell inclusive)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 3/4 cup water
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix ingredients (A) together in a ziplock bag.
  2. In a pot, bring enough water to boil, lower the heat until the water is not bubbling and gently put in the eggs.
  3. Increase the heat slightly, set a timer for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. The heat should be enough for the water to sizzle gently (but not bouncing the eggs around).
  4. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water.
  5. Once the timer is up, remove the eggs from hot water and place them into the ice water.
  6. Once the eggs had cooled to the touch, peel the shell and place it in the ziplock bag together with the sauce.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Shift the position of the egg once in the while to ensure even coating of the sauce.
1) To serve, remove the eggs from the fridge 1 hour before serving and soak the whole ziplock bag in a bowl of water of body temperature (be careful not to let the water sip in to the bag). By doing so, the eggs won't be cold when served.
2) The egg looks nicer by cutting it using a dental floss

  • 4个鸡蛋(AA级,各57克-60克)

  • 4汤匙酱油
  • 4汤匙料酒
  • 3/4杯水

  1. 混合成分(A)一起在自封袋。
  2. 在一个锅里,把足够的水烧开,降低温度,直到水不起泡,轻轻放入鸡蛋。
  3. 增加温度,设置一个计时器6分钟和30秒。热度应该足以使水微微起气泡(但不使蛋蹦跳)。
  4. 同时,准备一碗冰水。
  5. 一旦定时器已到,从热水中取出鸡蛋,并将它们放入冰水。
  6. 一旦鸡蛋冷却,剥离外壳,并将其连同酱汁放置在自封袋。
  7. 冷藏至少5小时。在同时转移蛋的位置一次,以确保均匀的涂层的酱。

1)要吃的前一个小时,将蛋从冰箱取出,把整个自封袋放在和体温同温的水里,不时换水 (小心别让水渗入袋里),这样吃的时候蛋就不会冷冰冰的。

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pretzel Dogs

Copycat Auntie Annie's Pretzel Dogs

I love sausages but due to health concerns I always refrain myself from buying them. Processed food isn't at the top of my food choice, well, at least most of the time. However, whenever I see those mini pretzel dogs from Auntie Annie's, that is the time I let my guards off and... succumb to the temptation. After all, those are tiny, and they can be shared. 

The distinctive aroma of pretzel while they are baking is both enticing and irresistible. It made it almost impossible not to grab one or two while you are pulling them out of oven. When freshly baked, they are a little bit crunchy, and a little bit chewy, but still retain a fluffy texture. Pretzel is something best eat warm and fresh. It doesn't keep well as it will get hard and dry. However, with the smell and taste so good, I bet it will be gobbled up in a blink of an eye. 


See... they are gone!

Pretzel Dogs
Make 6 standard size pretzel dogs / 18 mini pretzel dogs


  • 5.5 oz water
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 280g all purpose flour
  • 27g butter, unsalted
Baking soda solution
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
Egg wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 6 sausages, each cut into 3
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the ingredients for dough together, knead well.
  2. Let the dough proof for one hour or until double in size.
  3. In a pot, boil 2 cups of water, add baking soda, set aside.
  4. Prepare the egg wash by mixing one yolk with one tbsp of water.
  5. Divide the dough to 18 portions.
  6. Roll each portion of dough long, wrap the dough around the sausage and tuck the end in.
  7. While the soda water still boiling hot, gently put the pretzel dog in the water. Let it stand for 30 seconds and then remove it from water with a fork. Place the pretzel dog on a baking sheet. Reheat the water if it has cooled down.
  8. Brush pretzel dog with egg wash.
  9. Bake in preheated oven at 220C for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  10. Brush melted butter over pretzel dog while still hot.


  • 5.5oz水
  • 1/2汤匙白糖
  • 1/2 - 1茶匙盐
  • 3/4小匙即食酵母粉
  • 280克面粉
  • 27克奶油,无盐

  • 2杯水
  • 2汤匙小苏打

  • 1颗蛋黄
  • 1汤匙水

  • 1汤匙黄油(牛油),融化
  • 6条香肠,每条剪成3段

  1. 混合主面团材料,揉好。
  2. 让面团发酵一小时,或直到两倍大。
  3. 取一个锅,煮沸2杯水,加入小苏打。备用。
  4. 准备蛋液-1颗蛋黄与水1汤匙一起打散。
  5. 将面团分成18份。
  6. 将一份揉长,环绕香肠,收口。
  7. 乘水还滚烫,轻轻把面团放在水中,让它静置30秒,然后从水中用叉子将其拿出,放在烤盘。如果水已经冷却下来,再加热水。
  8. 刷蛋液。
  9. 在预热好的烤箱以220℃,烤20分钟至金黄色。
  10. 趁热刷上融化的黄油。