I am so sorry for my absence here!
It’s been like what… 3 weeks since I last blogged here?
The absence was mainly due to work and also because I’ve been preparing for the MOVE!
Some of you might have known that I had shifted to my new domain http://www.foodiebaker.com but shifted back due to lots of problems with the html, script, css and I-don’t-know-what. Shall not go into details of the horrible times I’ve been through…
But… it’s all solved! I’ve found a really cool website designer and she re-designed the blog and did up all the behind-the-scenes. And here’s a preview:
I would say it’s about 80% ready as I still need to update the recipes page and my designer is going to help me do up a nice conversion table ;) But I am ready to blog there!
And, to make up for the absence, I’ve blogged about a new recipe! Here’s what it looks like:
I really hope to see you all there in the new platform and I’ll be visiting you all real soon!
Go there now! :D
We are reaching the end of June! Half of 2013 is going to be gone soon, how is everyone’s year so far? Last week Singapore was hit by a severe haze problem and I’m glad that the haze has cleared up pretty much now. Now I just hope the haze would clear up in other affected places…
Nevertheless, I am also really looking forward towards the later half of the year as all my holiday plans are then and there are so many fun holidays coming up, like Mid-Autumn Festival, Christmas… not to mention I’m going to be hosting the Aspiring Bakers in August (Theme: Choux) and in December (Theme: Alcohol)! I am going to start planning what to cook/bake for these themes, and I hope you guys would join me in the fun too!
But first let me come back to today’s bake, a Home Baker’s bake, chosen by Maria from Box of Stolen Socks this time round. She takes really nice photos of her bakes, so do check them out!
The original bake is supposed to be a cranberry-pecan studded cake, but from the title, I guess you all can tell what happened to the cranberries and the pecans. The substitution is mainly because pecans and cranberries are pretty expensive here, and almonds and raisins are cheaper alternatives. To prevent the raisins from absorbing the moisture in the cake, I soaked them in hot water until they became plump and juicy. The orange concentrate was also replaced with orange juice, purely because I couldn’t be bothered to get a bottle of concentrate just for this bake – I just want to save some money… haha!
It’s a very simple and light butter cake, with the streusel topping (very similar to the topping on my polo buns) making a crunchy crust, perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!
And here’s how to bake the cake!
1) Measure brown sugar and butter together.
2) Cream till light and fluffy and beat in the egg.
3) Sift and stir in 1/2 of the flour mixture.
4) Stir in some orange juice.
5) Sift and stir in remaining flour mixture.
6) Stir in some soaked and drained raisins.
7) Transfer the batter to a lined tin.
8) Sprinkle almond flakes all over.
9) Make the streusel topping.
10) As the butter had softened, the streusel wasn’t perfect…
11) Sprinkle the streusel all over the almond flakes.
12) Then bake until the cake is done!
Let cool, slice and serve!
I’m submitting this cake to The Home Bakers – do check out here for other Home Bakers’ attempt!
adapted from Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas
Notes: I made only 1/2 of the recipe and baked it in a tin instead of a pie pan as I was worried about seepage of the batter. You can substitute the almonds and raisins with other nuts and fruits that you like.
55 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
100 grams brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
1 large egg, at room temperature
125 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt (1/4 teaspoon coarse salt)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup raisins, soaked and drained
Small handful almond flakes
60 grams all-purpose flour (1/2 cup)
55 grams cold, unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
55 grams caster sugar (1/4 cup)
 I soaked the raisins in hot water and drained them when the water has dropped to room temperature. You can also choose to soak it in rum overnight to make a more “adult” cake.
 I baked the cake for about 15 – 20 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius.
Taichung train station (台中車站) – built during the Japanese occupation period
Back to update a very short travelogue! The last city that we visited in Taiwan is Taichung, located in the western part of the country. It is the 3rd largest city after Taipei and Kaohsiung.
We spent a day in the main city itself and spend the other day visiting a theme park near Taichung. There are actually quite a few tourist attractions but unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury of time to visit them all!
Luce Memorial Chapel (路思義教堂) in Tunghai University (東海大學)
Our first stop while we were in the city was the Luce Memorial Chapel. This beautiful chapel sits within the campus of Tunghai Univeristy, and was named in honour of the Reverend Henry W. Luce, an American missionary in China in the late 19th century. As it was the summer holidays for school during the time we were there, there weren’t a lot of people around.
I really love how the diamond tiles studded throughout the whole chapel, very pretty! However, the weather was so sunny and hot that we couldn’t bear staying there too long.
Address: No.181, Sec. 3, Taichung Port Rd., Xitun Dist., Taichung City 407 (台中市西屯區台中港路三段181號)
After lazing around in the school compound for a while (there’s really nothing much to do there besides visiting the chapel), we headed over to Taichung park, and while we were on our way there, we saw a tree filled with squirrels! There were also some locals feeding the squirrels and they were really nice to give us some of the nuts to feed the squirrels as well.
Taichung Park Pavilion (湖心亭)
Taichung Park (台中公園) is the most honoured park in Taichung. Also known as Zhongshan Park (中山公園), this is a park popular for families. We didn’t rent a boat to row as it was starting to rain – crazy weather I know, hot in the morning then rain in the afternoon…
Do you know that Zhongshan is actually a common name for Chinese parks? These parks are built in honour of Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan / 孫中山), a Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of Republic of China.
Duck sitting in the rain
No. 37-1, Gōngyuán Rd, Zhong District Taichung City, Taiwan (台中市中區公園路65-1號)
Bus Route 1: 63、100、102、104、106、147 (alight at Zhongzheng Road)
Bus Route 2: 1、6、21、29、31、61 (alight at Zhongshan Park)
And that’s all! Sorry that this is such a short post, but the next post will be about a place very fun and exciting, promise! Till then!
Just a quick (and belated) update!
Vee from The Life of a Eating Monster
Sam from What Will I Cook Today
Thank you, dear ladies, for passing me this award! Thank you so much for your continuous support :D
1) What is your favorite dish to eat, and your favorite dish to make?
The first dish that came to my mind is rosti. I’m a huge lover of potatoes, and rosti is surprisingly a pretty easy dish to make!
2) What are your favorite restaurants?
Unfortunately I don’t have a favourite restaurant as I don’t frequent restaurants often. I’m more in love with local street food and hawker food. One of them is the hokkien mee that an old couple sells near my house.
3) What is a food/dish that you think EVERYONE should try at least once in their lives?
Braised pork intestines! Sorry to gross you out, but I really love braised pork innards, definitely something I will want to try making in the future!
4) What do you do in your spare time?
Haha most of the time I’ll be busy baking/cooking!
5) What are your dreams?
No concrete dreams thus far, though a lot of my friends kept telling me I should start up a cafe. I don’t have the confidence to do so though! I just want to be happy in life!
6) What made you start baking/cooking?
You can read all about it here ;)
7) What is your job in real life, and would you want to change that?
I am currently working as an auditor, though I think I will want a slower-pace job in the future so I have more time to bake/cook.
8) What is the biggest failure that has happened in your kitchen? And the biggest success?
Biggest failure – probably macarons and chiffon cakes. I still fail macarons every now and then (urghh), I wish I can get them right soon!
Biggest success – most of them fall under the “challenging” category, but if I had to choose, it would be Kuih Lapis!
9) What are you excited for?
Really looking forward to design and decorate my house, though it won’t be ready till 2017. :)
10) Where is one place you would like to visit and why?
There are so many places to choose from! Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Japan, Korea… main reason is because I want to go and experience the culture, the views and the food!
11) If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Probably some ice cream as the weather’s really warm these days!
Here is the list of my nominees for both awards!
Look at the glistening sauce!
It’s been a while since I last shared a savoury dish! I actually made this dish more than 1 month back, when I was browsing for lunch ideas (as usual haha). I chanced upon this recipe at one of my favourite foodies’ blog – Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids. As a black vinegar lover, I really like the idea of using it in a dish, especially after my previous success with braising chicken with black vinegar.
Do you know black vinegar has a lot of health benefits?
I ended up braising the meat in a pot as my pork ribs are pretty huge and using the oven would have taken a really long time (my stomach couldn’t wait!). I served it with my mediocre attempt on fried rice and it was so good! Definitely a must try for those who love the taste of black vinegar!
Am I making you hungry? ;)
(Click the images to see larger step-by-step photos in Flickr!)
1) Wash and trim off the excess fats.
2) Blanch the pork ribs.
3) Combine cinnamon sticks, star anise, garlic, ginger and brown sugar together.
4) The brands of vinegar and oyster sauce I used.
5) Add in the oyster sauce.
6) Followed by the black vinegar.
7) And some water to thin the sauce.
8) Add in the blanched pork ribs and braise until tender.
I’m submitting this recipe to:
And here’s the recipe!
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