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Hi! Thanks for visiting my humble blog :) My name is Alice. I'm a mother of two, a girl and a boy, married to just one man LOL! I love food, I love cooking, I love baking, and it has been growing even stronger with my ultimate love for my family - they're my best customers :) This blog is my e-recipe book, a means of sharing and learning one another. To connect, I'm just an email away: ilove.icook.ibake@gmail.com... Have a great day!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Economical Lapis Surabaya (Less Eggs)

Lapis surabaya (Spiku) is an Indonesian origin delicious cake mostly popular during festive season, especially Chinese New Year, besides thousand layers cake (lapis legit). It's basically a 3 layered sponge cake with filling of your choice, either cream or jam. Aside from that, this cake is commonly used as cake base for decorated wedding or birthday cake, too
This cake is infamous for the use of high number of egg yolks, talking about cholesterol, my friends! :)
I usually make this yummy, soft, rich and moist cake only around Chinese New Year time, I think it's alright to indulge once a year, isn't it :)
My two favourite lapis surabaya recipes I always use can be viewed HERE and HERE
Both use 30 egg yolks in 1 recipe, giving me headache each time on what to do with the egg whites, especially when I have quite a number of friends ordering this cake, I think I can soak myself in the egg whites after that LOL

Now, this version of lapis Surabaya cake has been around for quite some time among Indonesian bakers. It's the economical version of the cake where less eggs are used, only 10 eggs to be exact, 1/3 of the original version
It's basically a 3 layered sponge cake with filling of your choice, either cream or jam
Taste wise, it's light, airy, soft and fluffy. Sweetness is just nice to my liking. Yum!
While the original version of lapis Surabaya gives a soft, rich and super moist cake, the economical version is light, airy, soft and fluffy, not as moist but it's not dry either, perfect. Sweetness is just nice to my liking. Yum!

I have 2 recipes I'd like to try and this is the first one, and I'm very happy with the result :)

In terms of being soft and fluffy, this cake gets 5 stars! It's so soft that I had to be extra careful when inverting and transferring it to the cooling rack. However I still got some dents on some parts. See the first picture below, there is a few dents at the top of the cake

What disturbed me a little was both recipes use emulsifier. Somehow I don't really fancy putting it in my bakes. After doing some googling and reading, I learnt that it can be substituted with letichin, and natural letichin can be found in egg yolks, and/or condensed milk, yoghurt or mayonnaise
So I just went with my gut, omitted the emulsifier and added plain low fat yoghurt in the batter. And hurray, I still got a really nice cake :)
Another thing was, the butter this recipe used. It uses 3 types of butter - Hollman butter, room butter and margarine
I never see Hollman butter here in Singapore, nor using it. Btw it looks like this:
Room butter, that's how Indonesians call it, is actually Dutch butter, creamier type of butter. I think I saw this butter before in Singapore, but I never use it in any of my bake. This is how it looks like:
Well, to simplify everything, I just used SCS butter to make this cake :)
Here's the recipe...
Original recipe is from a famous chef in Indonesia named Yongki Gunawan. I saw his recipe HERE
What you need:
10 egg yolks
5 egg whites
10g emulsifier (I omitted)
150g caster sugar
100g plain flour
1 tbsp full cream milk powder
1 tbsp corn flour
50g Hollman butter
50g room butter
50g margarine
(to replace the 3 butters, I used 150g SCS salted butter)
1 tbsp sweet condensed milk
1 tbsp plain low fat yoghurt
1 tbsp chocolate paste
  1. Preheat oven at 175degC. Grease and line 3pcs of  22x10x4cm pans (or you can use lapis surabay cake pan like what I did to save the trouble)
  2. Melt butter in microwave, add in condensed milk and mix well
  3. In a bowl, beat in high speed eggs and sugar til thick, fluffy and expand triple the size
  4. Lower the speed and add in yoghurt, sifted both flours and milk powder
  5. Add in about 1/4 of the batter to the melted butter and mix well
  6. Pour in the mixture into the remaining batter and fold in gently
  7. Take 1/3 of the batter and mix in chocolate paste
  8. Pour the chocolate batter in 1 of the pan while dividing the yellow batter in 2 pans evenly
  9. Tap all the pans gently before putting in the oven to release the trapped air bubbles
  10. Bake for 20-25mins or til skewer test comes out clean
  11. Remove from oven immediately invert to cooling rack. Invert back 1 of the yellow cake (this is for the top layer). Let cool
  12. Spread jam on the inverted yellow cake, top with chocolate cake, and spread jam on it, top with the yellow cake meant for the top part of this layered cake
  13. Ready to cut and serve. Keep in the airtight container


I will try the other recipe of this economical version of the cake, and do some comparison

Having tried the economical version, it will not stop me baking the cholesterol laden version, cos even though both are nice, but one can't replace the other, it's just different, even though they look the same. So yes, I will still make the 30 yolks cake for this coming Chinese New Year :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bake Along #73 Strawberry Mille-Feuille

Today I baked a French dessert with a name I do not even know how to pronounce LOL
I've eaten this before somewhere but this was the first time I prepared it in my own kitchen

Looking at the name, the impression I got was this dessert could be such a pain to prepare. But I was wrong, this is considerably simple. And it's yummy, too. Light and refreshing, a combination of sweet from the cream pastry, and tart from the strawberries, with a slight saltiness from the puff. Love it :)

First, I prepared the pastry cream filling. Recipe as follows..
What you need:
600ml fresh milk OR 200g sweet condensed milk mixed with water to reach 600ml
2 egg yolks
30g corn flour and 20g plain flour
enough sugar (only when fresh milk is used, I used 8 heaped tbsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter
  1. Mix all ingredients except butter til smooth and even (if necessary, sift)
  2. Cook til bubbling. Add in butter and stir til glossy
  3. Let cool by covering it with cling wrap. Let the wrap touches the surface of the pastry cream with no space in between - to avoid the surface getting dry

I used store bought puff pastry, rolled it up to make it thin about 5mm, and cut into rectangles
Arrange on a lined baking tray, poke holes with fork
Cover with baking paper and another baking tray, then bake in preheated oven of 180degC for 15mins
Remove the baking tray and paper and bake again for another 15mins. Let cool
Assemble by placing 1 puff on a serving plate, spread pastry cream on top and arrange strawberry slices over it. Top with another puff, spread pastry cream and arrange strawberry slices, top with another puff. Before serving, dust some icing sugar over it
Typically mille-feuille comes with pastry cream which has a slightly runny consistency
Mine was thicker than it's supposed to be, as I prefer it that way LOL


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ABC January 2015 Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

One of my New Year resolution is trying my best not to miss out any event I have decided to join previously as I didn't do a good job last year - keep my fingers and toes crossed :)
Avid Bakers Challenge (ABC) hosted by Hanaa's Kitchen is one event I have been absent for longest time, hence my participation in the first month of 2015 :)
Furthermore, this month's bake is one of my favourite :P
So, here it is...

Double chocolate banana muffins - who can say no? Oh, I know a friend who doesn't like anything with banana, but it's like one in a million, I guess? LOL

 Chocolaty, soft and moist muffin with melted chocolate chips and tiny chunks of banana in every bite. Am I making you drool now? :)
This year, we will be baking using recipes taken from Scientifically Sweet, a blog by Christina Marsigliese. I never heard about her before, I never tried any recipe from her blog before, but this recipe is a good one to convince me that this is gonna be a year long yummilicious  stuff I'm gonna bake :)

You may view the recipe HERE
I made some changes as follow..
  • I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour
  • I replaced sour cream with low fat plain yoghurt
  • I chose brown sugar than granulated sugar
  • And lastly, I used rice bran oil instead of canola

Chocolate and banana lovers, you MUST try this :)
This post is for Avid Baker's Challenge January 2015, a baking event hosted by Hanaa from Hanaa's Kitchen 

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Xmas 2014 & New Year 2015

Hi everyone!
OMG, I finally blog again! :)

As some of you know, my mum lost her battle with cancer and passed away after some complications in early November - without regaining her consciousness after spending a week in ICU
She has been fighting for 5 years, we always wished for the best but we have to surrender to God's will
I, my sister and brother were devastated. We're always very close to each other and constantly in touch. She's just 67 years and we still have so many plans ahead
I felt like my whole world came crushing down, I felt like doing nothing but crying and mourning for her passing. Last Christmas, was one tough time to go through, as we're usually together celebrating
This is really the darkest time in my entire life. Something that I usually only watched in the movie happened to me, it took a while for me to accept it

I am thankful to have my big family member so close together, strengthening each other. I also appreciate and feel so thankful for many support I got from many of you - you know who you are :) Emails, messages, sms-es, calls, and even your presence. Thank you!

I am glad now I can write about this and share with you all without making my face soaking wet in tears, even though my eyes is now still full of tears. Just like the saying, only time can heal - which I started to find the truth in it
I believe my mum is now in heaven, happy and pain free. And I know she wouldn't want me to let myself drown in sorrow for long

I have been have actually started cooking and doing some baking too since the last couple of days in the month of December to welcome New Year, but I still don't find the mood to blog. I tried but each time my fingers and mind just froze
Until today, I really kicked my butt and told myself to better start now. It's New Year after all :)

Okay, just to share the food I enjoyed on Xmas day in my sis' place. Her DH was the chef of the day and I brought tiramisu and chocolate pudding for dessert
I made a mistake on making the tiramisu this time. I froze the mascarpone cheese, it ended up giving me grainy cream in the dessert eeewww... But aside from that, the taste is as great. Luckily my sis and her DH didn't find it disturbing while I grumbled in every bite I took LOL

Here is the yummy spread... Shrimp & smoked salmon bruschetta, meatballs, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts and pineapple, homemade egg and tomato noodles and blanched greens. Fresh watermelon juice and other tetra pack juices for the drink. Of course we have beers and coffee (not in the picture) LOL

The picture below is the more complete version, see the chicken bitterballen (bottom centre).. yum yum..

Chocolate, authentic Dutch meringue, candy canes and Port :)

We were so stuffed that day we couldn't finish it and I brought back some home :P
Thanks to the chef for feeding us well :)
We had some gift exchange too that day :)
Such a great time we had :)
Coming to New Year, this was what I cooked on the eve at home..

Super easy roasted chicken I ever made on Xmas two years ago.
You may view HERE for the recipe
This time I was really happy with the result, how it looked like. Believe me, do not skip the pan searing part. I skipped that last time, and it didn't look pretty :)
My family liked it so much it's only left bones in no time. My kids enjoyed eating the crisp and tasty skin we were left with naked bird after they tore the skin apart and munch them LOL
Another thing I made was this...
Somehow I felt quite guilty for not baking anything for Xmas, so I baked this simple yet yummy swiss roll and covered them in chocolate buttercream to resemble log cake. Just a simple one, but it's really loved by the whole family :)

Below is the picture taken the next morning...

This delicious cake used recipe from Anncoo Journal
Here's the recipe...
What you need:
70g cake flour
20g sugar
4 egg yolks
30g oil (I used rice bran)
30g fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
50g caster sugar
  1. Prepare baking tray (I used 10"x 12"), line and grease. Preheat oven to 170degC
  2. In a bowl, mix egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar, oil, milk and mix well with hand whisk
  3. Add in sifted flour, mix again
  4. Beat egg whites til foamy, add sugar gradually and mix til smooth peak form
  5. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into egg yolk mixture and fold in the remaining egg whites
  6. Pour on the tray and level the surface, gently knock on the tray and bake for 15mins
  7. Turn cooled cake on a plastic sheet. Peel of baking sheet and invert so skin facing up. Trim one end 45deg and the other end too
  8. Spread filling (I used Nutella) and roll (place a tea towel underneath to prevent plastic sheet slip)
  9. Wrap with cling wrap and chill for one hour
I used recipe from Brown Eyed Baker for the chocolate buttercream:
What you need:
227g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar (original recipe 2 1/2 cup which I find is way too sweet to my liking)
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g semi sweet chocolate chips / chopped dark chocolate
  1. Beat butter with mixer on medium high speed for about 5mins, scrape the bowl once or twice
  2. Lower the speed to low and add in icing sugar, mix well
  3. Increase speed to medium high and add in vanilla extract, mix well
  4. Add in melted chocolate and beat about 2mins til light and fluffy
The buttercream tastes nice but I don't really find the colour dark enough and texture was a little too runny (I guess it's because I reduced lots of the icing sugar) but it's still manageable
Perhaps I should have added some cocoa powder for the colour and texture, let me try next time :)
After taking photo of the swiss roll the next morning, it's gone during breakfast time LOL
So, that's what I had during the festive season last December
My first Xmas and New Year without my mum around, but I'm sure she's watching over us celebrating from up there with a big smile...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Easy Avocado Banana Coffee Pudding

A month hiatus after a couple of weeks rough thunderstorm in my life, I guess it's time for me to live
It's gonna be different from now on, and nobody say it's going to be easy
There are still more days of sorrow than joy and more nights of tears than peaceful sleep
But I have to gather my strength and learn to live with it, one day at a time
Okay, let's start with this
Still not in the mood for something complicated so here's one easy delicious dessert, not to forget considerably healthy

What you need:
1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium (or 1 extra large) over ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
25g packed light brown sugar
60ml fresh milk
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp agar agar powder
  1. Mix milk, espresso powder, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt and agar agar powder in a mug and stir well til all dissolved
  2. Using Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender's blender attachment add in avocado, banana, and coffee mixture and blend til smooth (I used speed 2)
  3. Transfer to a small pot and bring to boil, stir continuously
  4. Transfer to ramekins and chill in the fridge

I kept them in the fridge overnight for maximum result which a good decision
I enjoyed this soft pudding so much. Try it and hope you enjoy it as much as I do :) 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Indonesian Basic White Condiment Paste

Indonesian dishes are well known for the usage of rich herbs and spices which contribute to the distinctive fragrance and taste. Mostly, they're grinded together into paste form and cooked with any kind of meat of your choice, fish or others such as egg, tempeh or vegetables
One thing is, it can be quite a hassle to prepare. We're talking about lots of chopping here, that is a hassle to me :)
Preparing the basic paste in advance is proven to be really helpful in cutting short the tedious process. Just take it out from the freezer, thaw and cook accordingly
Many Indonesians do that. Including me. We all have our own version of recipes, adjusted to our liking. And here's my version :)
For 4 servings (each serving can be used for cooking 1 whole chicken or 2 large fish)
What you need: 
300g shallots
120g garlic
120g candlenut
30g coriander seeds
2 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
240ml water
120ml canola oil
6 pcs Indonesian bay leaves
6 pcs kaffir lime leaves
3 stalks of lemongrass
1 thumb size of old ginger root
1 thumbs size of blue ginger
  1. Peel and cut shallots and garlic (shed the tears away, ladies! I cried so much during this step LOL). Grind together using Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender’s XL chopper attachment
  2. Chop candlenut into small piece. Peel both ginger and pound lightly. Also lightly pound lemongrass
  3. Heat wok and dry fry candlenut, remove from heat. Dry fry coriander seeds, remove from heat. Grind them together using Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender’s XL chopper attachment
  4. In a blender, grind together shallots mixture and candlenut mixture, salt, sugar, pepper, water til forms smooth paste. I used Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender's blender attachment speed 4
  5. Transfer to a wok and cook for a few mins til hot
  6. Add in oil, both leaves, lemongrass, both ginger
  7. Let cook over medium low fire until fragrant and well cooked, stir occasionally
  8. Let cool, discard leaves and roots, and divide into 4 airtight containers or glass jars
  9. Keep in the fridge for a week or two or in the freezer for a few months

Dry fry coriander seeds
Chop and dry fry candlenuts
Cut garlic and shallots
Bosch MaxoMixx Hand Blender’s XL chopper attachment
Grind mixture of candlenuts and coriander seeds
Now is the garlic and shallots' turn
Using blender attachment, blend both candlenut mixture and garlic mixture with water
Smooth paste is formed
Cooking the paste with other ingredients
Now that the paste is ready, time to cook a dish :)
This time I cooked turmeric grilled chicken using the paste
I grinded a thumb size of turmeric (or you may use 1 tsp of ground turmeric) and mix in to the paste, and I got a yellow paste

And this is how I prepared the grilled chicken:

1. Rinse well a whole free range chicken and into 8 parts. Rub all over with salt and juice of a large lime. Set aside for a few minutes, do not rinse. In a wok, mix in chicken parts with yellow paste and water (I used about 1 1/2 cup)
I included the leaves and roots used beforehand to make the paste


2. Let boil and then cover, simmer over low fire til the water reduced in quantity and thickened

3. Grill until browned. Brush the chicken all over with the remaining yellow paste during grilling

Here it is :)

The yellow paste

 Yummy yummy succulent chicken. You may deep fry too, but I prefer grilling them. I find it's more flavourful

You may use the white paste as it is, or turn it into yellow paste like I did, or adding chilli to turn into red paste. Very versatile, I must say :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Snacks

So not in the mood for cooking, baking, blogging or even anything at all
I am actually having a very stressful time right now
But promised my kids to make something for Halloween, so here they are

Bread with 'mud' and 'worms' done solely by Abby

Hotdog bun with 'bloody finger'

Chocolate cake topped with 'soil' and 'worms'  decorated by both Abby and Ian

Sorry for the pictures quality, all taken using my mobile phone only with slight editing


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