Strawberry Cupcakes

The power of visuals proven! Just by watching DC Cupcakes on Youtube (I devoured all the episodes..) and I feel I need to get my hands on cupcakes - not just any cupcakes, it must look sweet, smell sweet and taste sweet.

I don't usually bake anything with cream or frosting because I'm not a cream person. Although frosting really puts the icing on the cake *literally* but I have the habit of scraping it off and only eating the sponge inside. However, for the pretty sake of it, I make these Strawberry cupcakes with PINK frosting. How cute is that!

Oh let me clarify, no colouring was put into the frosting, the natural colour came from the strawberry puree which tints the cream nicely.

So I did a little research, found this recipe at Gastronomyblog adapted from Martha Stewart and decided to give it a go. I've edited the recipe below a little to reflect our terminologies.

The cupcakes were spongy and soft, with mouthfuls of natural strawberry flavour. Nice!


For cupcakes

2/3 cup strawberries
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
For frosting

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of  salt
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

How to
Preheat oven to 175C. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse until pureed. You should have 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary. Set puree aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree and set aside.

Cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

Slowly add half the flour mixture with mixer on low and mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture and mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, , until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 22-25 mins, until cupcakes are just dry to the touch. Let cupcakes cool completely before icing.

Make frosting

Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse until pureed.

Separately, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined.

Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree, mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air.

Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream. Keep refrigerated if not in use.

Warm love,


Twelve Cupcakes - Celebrity Goodness

When a new cupcake store opens in town, I'm happy. When Jaime Teo sets up a cupcake shop, just have to check it out.

I've been a reader of Jaime's blog for some time, once in a while I will pop by her page and she shares about her bakes so I know she is a keen baker and I'd love to try her food someday.

Twelve Cupcakes first started at United Square with much hype, only just months later they have another shop at Millenia Mall.

Not sure if the cupcakes will be to our taste, I only bought 3 flavours to start with - Rum & Raisins, Red Velvet and Double Chocolate.

Rum & Raisins turned out soft and packs a punch of liquer, Red Velvet was sweet with a tinge of salty and the cream cheese topping was fluffy yet not too cheesy (perfect for someone like me who can't take cheese!), Double Chocolate did what it is supposed to do, very satisfyingly choc.

Overall, we loved the cupcakes, definitely just nice in terms of sweetness and the texture are soft. The frosting is not oily too. The only gripe is the size of the cupcakes are a teeny bit smaller than usual and they cost $3, Rum & Raisins being a specialty flavour is 50 cents more.

But then, because I like the taste as it suits my tastebuds, I don't mind going back for more.

Warm love,


Lemon Butter Cake

It was 2 years ago when I made Lemon cake and it unceremoniously cracked. Well, i blame it on the oven as I used a standalone convection oven and the air circulation is definitely not good. Now I have the privilege of owning a built in Ariston :)

This time, I wanted to make another citrus cake from a new recipe and hope it works. When browsing my favourite food blogs, I came across Nasi Lemak Lover's blog on Lemon Cake that had raving comments so I decided to bake this. I was so confident of the recipe only by reading it, I double the ingredients to make 2!

The topping for this recipe is different from the one I baked last time. This is not a icing topping, it is a glaze. Honestly, I love the lemon glaze, it gives the cake an extra zing. This recipe is a sure keeper! Thanks to Nasi Lemak Lover~


Makes 1 loaf tin

125g butter
100g sugar
1 lemon, finely grate the rind
2 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk

Lemon glaze

3 tbsp sugar
1 lemon, extract juice
1 lemon, finely grate the rind

How to

Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs one by one, then add in lemon rind, mixing well.

Fold in the flour and milk, combine well. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper and bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 40mins.

Mix sugar and lemon juice and cook over low heat till sugar dissolved, add in lemon rind, set aside.

When cake done, remove cake from the oven and prick all over with a skewer. Pour over the lemon glaze over the hot cake.

Leave cake to set overnight to have better flavour.

Warm love,


Blueberry Muffins

The blueberries on promotion price at the supermarket was literally shouting at me, I had to buy it to make something. At that point, I didn't know what but I just had to! :p

One of the most obvious thing to make with blueberries is blueberry muffin. The recipe was not too complicated and it doesn't take long to make so here we go.

Recipe from Noob Cook:

1 1/2 cups (190g) plain flour
1 1/2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup (225g) caster sugar
150g blueberries
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
65 gms butter, softened and cut to small pieces

Preheat oven to 200C. Sift flour, baking powder and sugar together, and mix well. Add milk, vanilla extract, eggs and butter in and stir till just blended and lumpy.

Fold in blueberries and spoon mixture into muffin cases till about almost full.

Bake for 20mins or until slightly golden brown. Best eaten warm, cool before storing.

Warm love,


New Camera - S95

Shots of food pictures with my new camera, a Canon S95.

I'm not good at photography technicals and hate the bulkiness of DSLRs, I need a  point and shoot cam which does the brainwork for me and ultimately take fantastic pictures.

Just lurve the clarity of macro shots!

Warm love,

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

I'm in a baking mode these days. When it is stressful at work, I crave to bake and will take mental stock of what is available in my kitchen to bake up in the evening.

Speaking of that, I realise it is so relaxing baking in the evening with dim kitchen lights and music playing. Ultimate de-stress session for me. Well, until the bake emerges unsuccessful then I'm left wondering what I did wrong.

The banana cinnamon muffin recipe came from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook gifted to me by Juan. I've tasted the cakes at Hummingbird when Kel and I were in London for our honeymoon, they were uber delicious so I trust their stuff.

However, the banana cinnamon muffins I baked turned out rubbery. Not cakey, not muffin-ey, it was rubbery. I could tear the muffin into half and it would bounce apart. Wonder if it is because I over mixed the batter?

Warm love,

亚华 Kuey Tiao

 亚华 Kuey Tiao has been around for ages, I feel very personal blogging this as our family were close to Grandpa 亚华 when he was still around cooking up bowl after bowl of noodles near where City Square is now. The original shop is old and dusty, some may say dirty but by no fail our family Sunday breakfast is eaten there followed by Dad having his Chinese Tea brewing session always on the same table.

Now, 亚华 Kuey Tiao is back with a vengeance in Taman Century, a fresh and renewed shop to conjure up my memory. Chef still remembers me after so many years, I'm glad to have him back in the scene.

I always like my noodles in soup and lots of minced meat, some like it the dry version with lots of vinegar.

It is funny how noodle soup reminds me so much of my childhood...

Jalan Serigala, Taman Century
Johor Bahru

Warm love,


Irresistible Gelato

Gigantic TUB of Nutella

Flavours x infinity?

Pistachio, my top selection.


Fou De Fa Fa

It was a lunch gathering of our team for my team director's birthday. From what was prepared and the well-planned surprise, one can definitely tell she is well liked by all of us. Ever the smiling lady and always checking in on us to make sure we are okay, we love her around as much as we love her home baked brownies.

Fou De Fa Fa is a cosy cafe good for their biscuit crispy pizzas, pastas and salads. Very much whatever you order will not go wrong. The staff heard us singing the birthday song, they came with tamborines, candle on a pizza and sang to Fiona again!

Don't underestimate the crispy and cracking pizza, the more you munch, the more addictive it is. The vegetable toppings are generous, it feels like really healthy meal!

We had a bunch of us so we had variety of food. One of my favourite dishes is the tomato based pasta that tastes like chilli crab sauce minus the spice. It was delicious, we ordered a second helping to go around.
Black pepper with pasta

Not being the one who ordered all the food, I have no idea what the names of those dishes we had, I just thoroughly sat and enjoyed the yums and the company of my colleagues and friends.

Fou De Fa Fa
168 Robinson Road
#01-05 Capital Tower

Warm Love,


Chocolate Bottom Banana Squares

This bake tastes sooo good, my poor photography skills make no justice to this cake. At least husband and sister says so it is good too so my opinion is not bias.

It's been a while since I've baked, it's uplifting when the cake turns out so soft and moist. My cake looks all crumbly because I'm bad at cutting it up, pardon me as all I wanted to do was to finish the cutting and move on to the eating!

I will definitely bake somemore when I have a slight excuse to~

Recipe from Wen's Delight who adapted this from Hearty Bakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 Egg (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup banana, mashed
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

How to:
Preheat oven at 175C, line the base of a 8 inch square tin. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Drizzle in the eggs, follow by vanilla and mashed bananas. Beat thoroughly till well corporated.

Sieve cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture. Mix well with a spatula.

Divide the batter into half. Add cocoa powder and milk into 1 portion. Spread the chocolate portion evenly into the tin. Spread the remaining plain batter evenly on top of the chocolate batter, swirl gently with a knife. Sprinkle chocolate chips and walnut on top.

Bake for 25-30mins. Cool and cut into squares to serve.
Warm love,


When the wife is lazy..

It was a slow saturday evening, and I was lazy. Instead of waiting for some meat to defrost before the cooking can start, here's what I found in our kitchen.

And to make this for our dinner..

We probably shouldn't do this too often, not very healthy. But it all goes so well with the garlic chilli sauce we bought in Malacca!

Oh! In case you are wondering what I did to the potatoes, it was diced and cooked in campbell's mushroom soup. Delish.

Warm love,


Bangkok: Som Tam Nua

Cannot miss having Papaya Salad when in Thailand, it is like a staple where it can be eaten as an appetizer, it's sweet, tangy and spicy notes excites the taste buds all at one time.

We walked from MBK shopping centre to reach Som Tam Nua (meaning Green Papaya Salad) at Siam Square Soi 5. Arriving at about 7pm, there is a queue and a crowd has gathered outside the 2 storey restaurant waiting for their turn to have a table. I'm told it is a common sight on weekend nights. I'm not the queueing sort but something tells me it will be worth it.

The wait was not for too long. After about 20 mins, we were ushered upstairs and once we caught the attention of awaitress, Lawrence ordered the must haves and we await the feast.

 Pineapple Rice

 Green Chicken Curry

 Green Papaya Salad

 Sticky Rice

 Spicy Tom Yum Soup

 Fried Fish with Spicy Sauce

 Chicken Wings

Probably the only dish which was not spicy are the chicken wings. That said, it was such good food that made a satisfying meal. With 4 of us, it was easy for us to order more and have variety. All of us had steamed plain rice and Lawrence ordered himself the sticky rice, which is more and filling and authentic to some parts of Thailand how they eat.

Although I can't remember it clearly, I do not think this meal cost us more than SGD 40. This is what I love about Bangkok!

Warm Love,


Bangkok: Another Hound Cafe

Visits to Bangkok now seems to be a yearly affair, I wonder how long will this hold up - not that I'm complaining!

The recent trip to Bangkok, we were there with Lawrence from Peepshow Machine and we know it is going to be a food trip. haha

The usuals had to be done, the Chatuchak Market, MBK shopping, stocking up on cheap iPhone covers etc. When out feet needs some resting, we look for food.

Another Hound Cafe was one of the places we ate at deserving a mention. Situated on the 1st Floor of Siam Paragon, we initially felt a bit guilty queuing up at a well-dressed place with our flip flops and shorts but despite the surroundings, the service is warm and prices ridiculously decent.

When there, be sure to order Pad Thai with Scallops, the scallops come juicy and large, it's been a while since I've enjoyed such delicacy in a normal fare. The Salmon Carpaccio packs a punch of herbs so delish and fresh. The guys ordered dishes such as Soft Shell Crab pasta, Greyhound Famous Fried Chicken Wings, Tender Duck with Rice. Everything was good!

For a refreshing drink, order the House Special Ice Lemon Tea, works wonders for us after an afternoon in the sweltering heat.

We also ordered something called Complicated Noodles; I'll leave you to find out what it is when you visit this cafe. Trust me, it is another delicious must try!

Warm Love,


Sweet Potato Soup

Mommy used to cook homemade sweet soup once in a while, now that I live apart from Mom, I miss it and cook it myself.

Over the weekend, I decided to make Sweet Potato Soup as it is so easy and quick to cook and the versions sold outside at food places are often too sweet for my liking.

Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Orange Sweet Potatoes
Pandan Leaves (tie into a bunch)
Cane Sugar
Water, about 1.8 to 2 litres

How to:

Put water and pandan leaves in a pot and bring it to a boil. While water is cooking, skin and chop sweet potatoes into large squares.

Once water is boiling, put in the chopped potatoes and cook on medium heat for another 20 mins or till potatoes are soft.

Switch off the fire, add in cane sugar to taste and serve either warm or chilled.

Note: Some prefer their sweet potato soup with a tinge of ginger, if so you may add a few slices of old ginger when boiling the water and pandan leaves. I find it heaty so ginger was omitted.

Warm Love,


Melaka Chicken Rice Ball


Starningblue just triggered my cravings… and I can only drool over the photos from my last trip. Ah… Melaka I missed.

x Juan


Majestic Melaka

We usually lodge at Holiday Inn or Puri Hotel when we are in Melaka, this time Kel wants to pamper ourselves a bit and book for the slighlty more upmarket Majestic Hotel. Not that I'm complaining...

The drive to Malacca is pleasant as usual, this time we travel in a convoy of 2 cars; our friend Patrick and family has taken this trip with us. As we are familiar around town, Majestic Hotel hotel was easy to find; which is located at the back lane of Renaissance Hotel and Putra Specialist Hospital.

I can't say the environment outside the hotel is as comfy as the hotel, but the hospitality once we step into the compound kind of make it all up. Checking in was a breeze; you don't have to go to the reception - the receptionist comes to you. Our luggages barely touched the floor and we were already given keys and informed how to head to our room. *insert wide-eyed look here*

During the brief checking in process, I hardly had time to appreciate the architecture of the refurbished Peranakan house, the nostalgic air or wander around the lobby area where trinkets and snacks were scattered around.

The room? Open air bathroom with free standing bath tub and comes with bath salts, arrival tea serving 'ceremony' by the bell man (basically, they officially seat the guests down in the room and serve you Chinese Tea still warm from the basket. Cool!), what more can I say? Only 1 downer, the view of a big drain canal outside the window..

After the waa-ing and gaa-ing, we realise we need to head out the hot afternoon sun to search of food. Turning left from the hotel entrance and walking straight down leads us to a coffee shop situated on a busy road junction where gems of local food can be found. In the day, they serve Melaka Chicken Rice Ball and the I-don't-know-what-it's-called fried food (refer to picture below). When night falls, the coffee shop is closed and an uncle with a push cart will sell deep-fried goodies such as Yiu Tiao aka Chinese Doughnut and yummylicious Butterfly which is a fried dough with sesame seeds shaped in a butterfly.

The venture itself around the hotel is fruitful, we hardly had to venture out much except to dine at Teo Soon Loong Teochew Seafood Restaurant where good homestyle Teochew food can be found and to have the famous Melaka Chicken Rice Ball at Jonker Street area. Wasted we did not have time to go for our usual-must-have Chendol at Jonker 88.

If you are impressed by now and would like to reserve a stay at Majestic Hotel why do I feel I'm advertising for them??, you have to ensure that breakfast is thrown into the package. There are no buffet spreads when you walk into the lounge and after much questioning and curiosity, you will find a small menu on some tables which lists what you can order. Although the service is slow and indifferent, the quality of the meals do make us feel like we are at an atas all-day breakfast joint.

Kel and I do not hide the fact that we love Melaka but the recent popularity rise due to drama series like Little Nonya made the city a tad too crowded for us.. Nevertheless, Melaka will always be a place where we find weekend refuge from Singapore.

Once we a while, we may splurge again at Majestic Hotel.

Warm Love,
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