Saturday, December 27, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake

RICH! RICH! RICH! This is the only adjective that I can think of right now.  This is my first time baking and eating a flourless cake.  I baked this cake together with my cousin, Doreen when she came to visit me.  While she was whisking her soft fluffy orange cake, I was busy whipping this gorgeous little sweetie.  YES, we baked two cakes that morning.  You can image how my entire kitchen smelled like.

On a personal note, loved the cake a lot.  My son, who is never a cake lover was seen scampering back for a second slice.  As soon as the cake is out of the oven, the smell almost instantly wafted the entire kitchen and within seconds invaded the entire house.  Even cooling the cake for five minutes seemed too long a wait.  As soon as it was ready to be dug in, only then I remembered that I needed a photo shot.  So, this explains the rather messy and unorganised pictures. 

I particularly loved the texture of the cake.  The egg yolks and whites are separately whisked which gives the cake a slightly mousse-y consistency.  Be prepared, this cake is just goddamn smooth and moist.  It certainly has the melt-in-the-mouth effect but will turn a little denser after a day.  Having said that, it is still heavenly gracious!

I must credit this recipe to Christine of Christine's Recipes, whose cook book is currently selling like hot cakes within the Asian countries particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.  

(adapted from Christine's Recipes)


  • 250gm dark chocolate
  • 5 eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 120gm caster sugar
  • 150gm unsalted butter
  • 50gm ground almond (almond meal), optional
  • Icing sugar, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 170C (335F). Melt chocolate, butter and sugar in a bowl over a pot of hot water at low-medium heat. After melting all ingredients, remove from heat, stir thoroughly to combine.
  2. Mix in ground almonds. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. (Note: Make sure the mixture is not too hot, as you don't want the egg yolks cooked at this stage.)
  3. Beat egg whites with slow-speed electric mixer for 2 minutes. Then turn to high speed and beat until the egg whites become very stiff and peaked.
  4. Fold in a few spoons of egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the rest with small amount at a time for 3 times just until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not beat.
  5. Turn the mixture into a greased and floured 20cm round bakery tin. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Insert a needle to test the cake. If the needle comes out clean, it’s cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Claypot Chicken Rice

Please do not be deceived by the name of this dish.  Certainly, there's no claypot used to cook it. All the ingredients are dumped into one big magical pot......the rice cooker.  After thirty minutes, a nice savoury meal is on your table ready to pamper your rumbling tummy.

If you are looking for a quick and simple meal to prepare, this could be the one to consider.  Only three steps :

1. Marinate the chicken
2. Stir fry the marinated chicken
3. Dump everything into the rice cooker

THAT'S IT!  As easy as ABC!!  Though quick it is not entirely express as you may need to marinate the chicken pieces for at least half an hour and further cook the rice for another half an hour. 

Frankly, I don't really know much about the origination of this dish, all I know is you can find it in almost every food court in Malaysia and Singapore.  

I cooked this dish last week.  It was my second try dishing this out for my family.  Sadly, I ruined the rice on both occasions in that the rice came out mushy.  Not to be worry, it is not because of the recipe but merely my clumsiness by being kiasu adding too much water.  Anyway, here are three different rules of thumb when cooking rice :
  1. Double the water to rice, minus a few tablespoons. So, for 1 cup of rice, it would be 2 cups of water, minus 2-4 tablespoons. 
  2. Put the rice in the pot and add enough water so that the water level is about 1 inch above the rice.
  3. Fill pot with water so that the level of the water is one thumb knuckle above the level of the rice. 

Claypot Chicken Rice Recipe
(adapted from Ms I-Hua of The Chronicles of Ms I-Hua)

500 grams of boneless chicken [breast and/or leg pieces] (bite sizes)
3 cups of long grain rice
500 ml of water (or enough to cover the rice and up to the first line on your index finger –> as demonstrated)
2 lap cheong
6-7 dried Shiitake mushrooms
5  cm x 10 cm piece of salted fish (optional) + 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
Ingredients for the Marinade:
 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon ginger juice
1 teaspoon cornflour
2 tablespoon Shao Tsing wine (Chinese Rice Wine)
Pinch of salt
Drizzling Sauce (mix together):
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoon sesame oil

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients with the chicken and let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes, of course the longer the better, giving the marinate ingredients to permeate into the chicken pieces.
  2. Whilst the chicken is marinating, soak some dried Shiitake mushrooms in hot water, to rehydrate them. Slice the lap cheong (3mm slices) and set aside.
  3. Once the mushrooms have been plumped up by the hot water, drain and squeeze out the excess water. Slice the mushrooms and set aside.
  4. Slice the salted fish up into tiny pieces. In a small saucepan, heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and shallow fry the salted fish pieces. Add a teaspoon of sugar (if you like), to caramelise the salted fish. Set aside for garnishing later.
  5. In a rice cooker, cook the rice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A general rule is to cover the rice with water until the water reaches the first line of your index finger (from the top layer of the rice, not the bottom of the pot).