Friday, January 31, 2014

Purple sweet potato milk bun

I've been test-baking and test-kneading with a bread machine for some time. It's a new model and I'm trying it because Just Health is selling it. I must say it's a really good one for its size and price. It's not a bulky one, just a small one that makes a one pound loaf. But it's light and doesn't take up too much of your kitchen space. But the best thing I love about it, it bakes really good bread. Not just that, it also kneads very good dough. I have tried quite a number of bread machines and this is the best, so far. It has a very high speed for mixing and kneading, allowing me to bake super soft and fluffy bread in as short as 2.5-3hrs. Because of the high speed of kneading, it's allowing extra time for proofing, giving enough time for the yeast to act on the ingredients. In most of the other bread machines I've used (including Cadware or Zojirushi), slow kneading and mixing happens, the loaf tends to lack flavor, and have inferior crumb texture or keeping qualities. The bread recipe here is a high water ratio dough recipe, but the bread machine handles it very well. If you're to knead it by hand, it's quite a messy one, because it can be quite sticky.

There are quite a number of recipes that comes with the bread machine. But this is the basic recipe that I use a lot. I bake this every two to three days for my little one, who's now 15mth old.

Starter dough (pre-gelatinized dough) recipe adapted from Alex Goh's
100g bread flour
70g boiling water
Add boiling water into the bread flour. Combine, making sure each part of flour gets in touch with the water. Store in fridge for at least one hour or up to 24hours before use.

Main bread dough recipe:
300g bread flour
50g all purpose flour
50g oat flour
100g purple sweet potato, steam-cooked
120g milk (Puree cooked sweet potato with milk until achieve creamy consistency, let cool)
50g oil
3tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
2tbsp soy powder
1tbsp yeast

1.Add all the ingredients into the bread machine in this order: sweet potato puree milk mix, oil, brown sugar, pinch of salt, bread flour, oat flour, soy powder and the pre-prepared starter dough in little pieces. Lastly, make a little well in the flour and place in the yeast.
2. Turn on the bread-kneading and proofing mode and let the bread machine does it work.
3. After the first proof, bring the dough out, punch it down and let rest for 10min.
4. After resting, shape into 100g round bun shape. Brush the top of bun with water and deco with rolled oat or black sesame seeds.
5. Proof for another 45min to 1hr until the dough doubles in size.
6. Bake at 170deg C for about 20min.

Carrot and flax wholemeal bun

Starter dough (pre-gelatinized starter dough)
100g bread flour
70g boiling water

Add boiling water into bread flour. Combine, making sure water touches each part of the flour. Store in fridge for at least one hour or up till 24hours before using.

250g bread flour
50g wholemeal bread flour
100g low protein flour
2tbsp carrot powder
2tbsp golden flaxseed
80g milk
180g water
1tbsp instant active yeast
2tbsp molasses sugar
60g vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil)

1. Prepare bread dough by kneading all ingredients, including the pre-prepared starter dough, together until window pane stage.
2. Proof dough until double in size.
3. When dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide into 100g portion. Allow to rest for 5-10min before shaping into round bun.
4. Proof for another 45min to an hour until bread dough has at least 1.5x in size.
5. Bake at 170deg C for about 18-25min.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sesame hup toh soh 核桃酥 (Chinese walnut cookies)

I've always been a big fan of crumbly walnut cookies (or more commonly known as hup toh soh 核桃酥 in Chinese) since young. CNY is here in 4 days, I have only got two tubs of cookies done, and guess what, I'm still browsing through the blogs and contemplating on what else I should bake. Two weeks ago, a client of mine has told me she wants two tubs of whatever cookies I'm baking for myself. Because of her, I cannot not bake my cookies ;p and it gotta be something not normal! Came across this here, so I decided I should give this a go.
For all my home-baked stuffs, be it cookies or bread, I've always used organic ingredients. It's the same for this cookie, I use organic walnuts. I find that the seeds or nuts are much fresher and sweeter, and that they don't have that rancid taste.
It's my first time baking walnut cookies and I'm very impressed with it. It's easy (I molded the cookies in my bedroom, cos the others are out and my little baby boy is sound asleep) and it's very moorish. I let my sis in law tried it, she said, oh this cookies, you'll always want another one after your first one. Great!
I doubled up this recipe so that I can have extra for my 'client'. I also made some adaptation to the original recipe, like usual, I bake with molasses sugar (replacing castor sugar) and I mistakenly scooped in some black sesame powder (don't ask me how that happened), which turned out fine, and I cut the oil down by 20g (meaning 130g oil used), and it's grapeseed oil that I used.
Recipe adapted from Singapore Shiok!
  • 50g organic walnut, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
  • 250g all purpose flour, unbleached with about 1tbsp black sesame powder
  • 1tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 60g molasses sugar (oh, I also cut this down from 80g original recipe)
  • 1tsp baking powder, natural
  • 1tsp baking soda, natural
  • pinch of salt
  • 130ml organic grapeseed oil
  • 1 beaten egg with about 1tbsp water
  1. Lightly toast walnut, remove the skin (I remove them cos I was worried it may render a bitter taste to the cookies, let me know if that's needed) and coarsely grind with a blender (I used my baby's food babybullet cos it's small and I don't like the hassle of washing a big blender bowl).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt with molasses sugar. Add in ground walnut. Mix in vanilla extract.
  3. Drizzle in grapeseed oil. Mix with your hands until a smooth dough forms (no need to knead).
  4. Preheat oven to 170deg C.
  5. Shape dough into marble size balls. Press down centre with a chopstick, or your finger.
  6. Glaze cookies with egg glaze.
  7. Bake cookies for about 12-15min.
While I was blog-hopping looking for inspirations for my CNY bakes, I learnt that one of my 'friend' from a blog I followed lots has lost a very close one due to road mishap. Again, deepest condolence to her. For me, and rest of us, let this CNY serves as a reminder for us to always treasure our loved ones and our family.

I'm linking this post to Bake Along event, Chinese New Year cookies for the month of Jan 2014, organized by  Frozen Wing, Bake for Happy Kids and  Kitchen Flavours.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Strawberry and mango oat cookies

I just had this published, catered specially for moms who are committed to providing the best nutritional start for their little bubs. It consists of healthy delicious recipes suitable for those 10mths onwards till about 6 year old. They are all tried-and-tested recipes and greatly enjoyed by my little fella and my lovely other half. Due to this, the publishing work and selling and meeting the orders, I'm soooo overdue in terms of my CNY cookies baking. We are about 4 days away from CNY and I haven't gone any ready yet. The only one I baked was all gulfed down by my lovely other half. I even have orders to meet. OMG!!!

For sale at RM15 each. Please email to order.
So today, a lovely Saturday morning, I kicked my butt to make sure I start baking. It got to start. Or else, it will not be done. I have been thinking of baking CNY cookies that are different, not the typical ones that are found outside, and it gotta be something that my son can eats, means it's not too complicated in terms of its ingredients, uses pure stuffs, less sugar. So I baked these, this recipe is a recipe featured in the recipe book, but instead of cranberry, I used dehydrator-dried mango and strawberry. I also put in 2tbsp of oat flour to make up the total flour used.

I'm posting this out cos a friend insists that I show step-by-step photo when I bake. She told me, I dunno what you meant by 'soft and fluffy' for butter. Okay, I guess she's right. So here are some pictorial instructions and tips on baking cookies.

I only needed 2tbsp of oat flour, so I just grind 2tbsp of whole rolled oat using my baby bullet blender.

Note on butter:
1. Please use PURE UNSALTED BUTTER. Not solid vegetable fat. Solid vegetable fat does not hold the shape of the cookies well. Also, salt and additives are usually added into these solid vegetable fat. They tend to alter the taste and texture of the final product.
2. Chop the butter prior to beating them till 'soft and fluffy'. There is no need to melt the butter for this recipe. Just let the chopped butter sits in room temperature (about 20-27degC) for about 15-30min.

Soft and fluffy!
Add in chopped fruits. The original recipe uses chopped cranberries. This time, I used dried mango and strawberry that I made using my dehydrator.

Add in flour and oat flour. Combine till the dough resembles the texture of breadcrumb. Take note. There is no need to melt the butter at this stage too.

Spread the 'breadcrumb' dough on a piece of cling film. Wrap them into a ball. This is to make sure every single part of the dough is infused with the butter. Now you may use the heat from your palm to slightly melt the butter so that it fuse-in with the flour. Again, no need to go overboard. I kept on warning to not melt the butter, cos if you do so, your dough will not be pliable to shape with cookie cutter later on. It would be too soft. If it does become too soft, probably due to your room temperature or your body warmth, place the dough in fridge for about 20-30min and try again.

Add another piece of cling film on top. Roll with a rolling pin or just use anything that can roll to roll the dough to about 0.5cm thickness, or thinner, your choice. Cut the cookies with your desired choice of cookie cutter. I use a strawberry shape in this case to match the content :p

If your dough is very crumbly, your butter may have not been infused thoroughly. Try re-wrap the dough into a ball and repeat the step from above.

I made one panda shape to return credits to this recipe :)

Tada! My strawberry and mango oat cookies for CNY!

I have not shared the recipe of this shortbread cookies here. The recipe is featured in the book: Your Child's Brain Food Meal Plan. To order, please email
But you may find many other recipes for cookies in my blog here. Enjoy surfing!

Please let me know if I have missed out any details in this pictorial instructions on baking cookies.

Making baby fruit snacks with dehydrator

Commercial 'baby' snacks are junk food in disguise. Read this if you're one of those moms who buy 'baby' snacks for your little one. I agree a lot with Christine Haskell. Many mommies buy puffs, drops, cookies labeled as 'baby' snack because they are convenient, less messy and they last long (definitely longer than a fresh banana). But unfortunately, they are not healthy. Quoted from Christine's blog, 'Take "puffs" for example. Out of three brands of puffs I've looked at, the sugar varies between 0.5 to 2 grams of sugar per serving, with very little nutritional value. In babies (over 6 months at least) who have limited tummy room, every single thing that goes in their mouth needs to be packed with nutrition, especially since anything other than their formula or breast milk (which is still the bulk of their diet) displaces the nutritionally-packed liquid food. Hence, nutrition? Super important'.
Instead of spending money on buying baby puffs or snacks that's loaded with sugar and stuffs to make them last longer, I invested in a dehydrator. I fell in love with it the first time I used it, and this post was longggg overdue!! I should have bought it way earlier. I bought the dehydrator when the little fella turned 1. So what was he snacking on prior to that? I gave him steamed carrots, roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, banana, cooked rice, cooked pasta, baked him muffin, cakes and bread. But these doesn't last long. The dehydrated fruit or veg snacks last for at least 1-2 weeks if dehydrated well and kept in an air-tight container. Actually, I don't just dehydrate the fruit or veg for the baby, I eat them myself (non-stop) as snacks, but it's ok, dehydrated tomato makes healthy snacks :p. I have also been using dehydrated fruit in baking.
Just Health Sandakan sells this fruit dehydrator. It's a premium grade dehydrator with FDA-approved materials for its food trays. Send an email to if you wish to find out more about the dehydrator. I also arrange for group buy for moms keen to purchase this dehydrator at a cheaper rate. Your may refer to this for further info on this dehydrator.

Took me 5hours for them to get to the right texture.

The baby's snacks this morning

This would make great gift for my MIL.
I've chopped these up and added them into my ...
Strawberry and  mango oat cookies

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Easy salmon fish pie (he wants to self-feed now)

The lil' fella insists that he feeds himself (as in using his own effort to put the food into his mouth and he just turned 14mo) so I tend to make his food less runny now. This is an easy salmon fish pie I've always prep for him. It's easy and delicious. Also bursting with lots of good nutrition.

*1 medium sweet potato (or potato), peeled and chopped
*1 salmon fillet, marinated with chopped garlic, toasted sesame oil and liquid amino
*chopped up broccoli head, after blanched in hot water for few min.
*grated cheddar cheese

1. Steam sweet potato till soft to mash.
2. Steam-cook salmon.
3. Mash both with 1tbsp of flaxseed oil and dash of milk.
4. Top with grated cheddar cheese.
5. Place in oven and bake till cheese melts (about 5min).

Very soft and fluffy banana and plum bread

Such a great recipe! Here's a recipe for a not-so-typical dense banana cake. It's soft and fluffy and spring back when pressed down.

Recipe adapted from Wen's delight

*3 eggs (at room temp)
*80-100g molasses sugar (original was 150g)
*3 ripe banana (cut into small pieces or mashed) and one ripe plums (chopped into small pieces)
*150g top Flour (or plain flour/superlite flour/cake flour)
*1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/4 tsp baking soda
*80g grapeseed oil (or virgin coconut oil)
*1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

  1. Preheat oven to 160deg C. Grease a bread tin.
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder and soda together. Set aside.
  3. Whisk eggs till stiff/ ribbon stage. Whisk in eggs, banana and plums and molasses.
  4. Fold in flour and mix well with spatula.
  5. Add in oil and mix well.
  6. Bake for 25min, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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