Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chocolate Lava

It so happended 2 of my nephews came over for dinner last night and king junior asked for Chocolate Lava for dessert. It's been a few months since I last made that so to make the boy happy, Chocolate Lava for dessert it shall be!

The chocolate came oozing out when I cut through with my spoon. Here's the recipe:

100g dark chocolate (I used Cadboury Old Gold 70% cocoa. You can use your favourite)
100g unsalted butter (cubed at room temperature)

Melt these 2 items together using a bain marie.

2 eggs
50g sugar

Beat these together till it turns white.

20g flour (I used self-raising but you can use plain too. It just won't rise as much)


Heat your oven to about 180 deg C. Butter your ramekins (no ramekins? use muffin cups but make sure you butter them well so the cake can come off easily when done)

Pour melted chocolate / butter (A) into the egg mixture (B). Stir to mix well. Then stir in flour (C). Stir till well-mixed.

Pour into ramekins and bake for 10 minutes, till the outside's done and the inside's still runny. If you are using muffin cups or even paper cups, reduce the bake time to about 8 minutes or even lesser. But don't worry about over baking. I like it runny in the middle (hence the lava) but if you over bake, you will just get a super moist chocolate cake :)

You can prepare the batter ahead and just pop into the oven and then serve immediately, with ice cream, fruits (sour cherries with vanilla ice cream + cream are a good bet) or just eat it on its own.

Left overs can be stored in the fridge (in their ramekins or cups), and popped into the oven to heat for a couple of minutes the next day and turned into super moist chocolate cake.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yohei has been bugging me for chocolate chip cookies so after dinner last night, we made some. Since it's Christmas, we thought we could bake some tree-shaped ones and Yohei wanted the boy & girl shapes. They didn't really turn out that well. The tree almost lost its shape after baking. Lesson? The mould must have very defined shapes so it can withstand the baking without losing its shape.

So it's back to conventional round shape for the rest of the batch :P

This is a slightly different recipe that LeeLee (Hugbear) shared on M4M. The dough turned out firmer (i.e., can shape with hands) quite unlike LeeLee's recipe where I could only use tea spoons to drop the cookies onto the baking tray. Maybe I didn't get it right with LeeLee's but anyway, here's the recipe. It's a tad sweet for me so I'd cut back on the sugars if I do use it again:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe by Connie from Kitchen Capers Forum
Yields about 40 small cookies

125g Butter
70g Castor sugar
70g Brown sugar
½ tsp Vanilla essence
1 Egg
260g Self-raising flour
130g Chocolate chips (Add more if you like more choc chips)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  2. Sift the flour, set aside.
  3. Beat butter, essence and sugars using mixer until smooth.
  4. Add egg and beat until well combined.
  5. Stir in sifted flour and the remaining ingredients.
  6. Take rounded teaspoons of mixture and roll into balls.
  7. Place balls about 4cm apart on slightly greased oven trays or line with baking sheet.
  8. Bake in pre heated oven for 15 minutes or until browned.
  9. Cool in trays for short while and transfer to wire rack for cooling.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Salvaged coffee table

Our Ikea Lack coffee table is giving way and Moobe found this just in time. He salvaged it downstairs, gave it a new coat of paint and we got 4 glass panels for the top. There! We can now put away the rickety old Lack into the storeroom haha!

Chocolate Crispies

We eneded up making chocolate crispies with half a bar of dark chocolate, some golden syrup and crushed corn flakes. Just for the fun of it, out came the cookie cutters for the cute little shapes...

can you tell what they are? haha!

Fortune cookies

Ayako & Cindy came to experiment with me on the fortune cookies that we wanted to make for Christmas eve party... alas... this is what became of it...

When we tried spread it thin on the sheet as suggested by the recipe, it burnt too fast on the edges and couldn't come off the sheet (think we forgot to oil it haha!). So Moobe added water to the batter and turned it into pancakes which Moobe & Tom polished off with chocolate icecream :P

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lunch - bite-sized chicken in simple tomato sauce over beehoon

It's a quick early lunch today. I had some left over chicken pieces from making nuggets on Wednesday morning. Since they've been marinated and are sitting in the chiller box, I thought I'd better use them up quickly.

I made a simple tomato sauce with olive oil, onions, tomatos, tomato puree, salt and pepper. In goes some frozen vegetables and the chicken. This is spooned over beehoon (rice vermicilli) that I've scalded and mixed together. Of course, my dear Yohei has to add his little squirts of tomato ketchup onto his food (he's into his ketchup-everything phase). As for me, nothing beats a chilli padi added to my bowl :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Elaine's cake

Ayako and company wanted to spring a surprise on Elaine for her upcoming birthday. Since Elaine liked the Chocolate Fudge Cake that i made when they came to the house early last month, I was tasked to bake it again.

Just for the fun of it, I used bear-shaped cutters to cut out 2 pieces of the cake and held them up with toothpicks.

Moobe decorated the cake with melted white chocolate.

Baking bread II

The first loaf was a complete flop (somehow inedible) and Moobe made a second attempt while I off at work yesterday. The taste is not bad this time round :) We had them with a filling of minced pork paste that he made out of left-over babi ponting that Joy brought over when we had the pot luck the other week.

Don't ask for the recipe though. He didn't note down the changes he made haha!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baking bread

Moobe's first loaf of bread for a long, long time. We don't know if it can pass the taste test but the looks are definitely there :) If it turns out well, I will share the recipe here.

Toilet woes

The master bedroom toilet leaked from the base every time we flushed so I called the Town Council people to fix it. The technical officer came with his contractor 2 weeks back and simply applied a coat of silicone to the base, insisting that it will fix the problem, when I kept telling them they have to open up the toilet to check the pipes since that must be where the leaks are from.

"We had this problem before and this is how it's fixed," the technical officer insisted.

As they left, I told the officer the toilet will definitely leak again because the problem's not solved. True enough, the next day, water flowed out from another spot at the base, and it's worse this time round! I immediately called a senior officer at the Town Council and lodged my complain. They promised to send someone down to fix.

1 week passed and finally a plumber came today. When I told him what happened, he immediately asked why the other contractor didn't open up the toilet bowl to check.

*roll eyes*

When the toilet was removed, here's what it looks like:

The HDB contractor who fixed up the toilets during the upgrading works did such a lousy job, the pipe and joints in the toilet bowl has dislodged! Don't ask me how that can happen. It's clearly, as what the plumber said, a F*#$(#$*#( screwed up job.

So now that the plumber has fixed the toilet, I hope we'll not get anymore surprises.

For those of you who has toilets upgraded by HDB, keep a close watch on your toilets...

What do you see?

This image surfaced at our corridoor one day. What do you see?

Fried Rice for Lunch

This is one of the simpler things I like to whip up for my lunch box - Fried Rice. I'll normally just scan through the fridge to see what is in there and will try to use up things that need to be cleared out soon. I love it when there's a squeeze of lime on my fried rice and some red cut chilli padi too!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Beary Toasts

Breakfast today - slices of bread cut out into bear shapes, dipped into a batter of eggs, milk, sugar and a drop of vanilla essence then pan fried. I think I'll toast them instead the next time round.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chocolate Lava

When J & LL came over the weekend, I tried baking chocolate lava which turned out a tad too dry (yea, overbaked :P). Yohei requested for Chocolate Lava for dessert today and since WT was coming over to get some paperwork done, I baked a small batch. It turned out much better, having learned from the previous stint but I think I can still improve on the the temperature control. The chocolate is moist, as you can see from the picture but it doesn't flow out as I had hoped it would. Ah well, there will always be a next time. The recipe came from here.

I halved the recipe and it yielded 5 small ones (used small cups as I don't have any of those regular ramekins). For chocolate, I mixed 3oz of Carrefour's Noir chocolates (60%) with some Hershey's unsweetened chocolate since we all prefer it rich with the slightest hint of bitter.

It would have been much better if we had some vanilla ice cream handy but that would be too sinful, wouldn't it? :)


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Muffins for Breakfast

Yohei's been bugging me to bake muffins (because I refused to let him take Ee Jia's muffins the other night). The recipe's called Easy-for-Kid's Chocolate Muffins from The muffins are not too sweet but could do with a bit more butter :)

So the Kings are having muffins for breakfast this morning :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

how can i forget about my corridor? the steps are covered with homogeneous tiles that matches the rustic theme. my corridor's pretty wide and being the last unit on my end, we have the luxury of a 'private corner' so we placed a couple of our rattan stools out there for those 'outside yakkity' moments :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Simple fried rice (西炒饭) for lunch today :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finally! everything's packed and tidied (thanks Moobe! You're a gem!) We knocked down the kitchen walls so the vision's wider. The walls have been left untouched and the floor for the living and bedrooms is smooth rendered cement screed. Gives the place a 'natural' feel. To make the space more versatile (since I might run classes from home), we've decided not to use sofa. The good old cushions have been put to good use :)

We had a 12ft cabinet with a solid work top done to fit into the tiny space. The thing we splurge on was for a high oscillation cooker hood so the oil and fumes from cooking will not be all over the place. We only did the bottom level for the cabinet, not the top. if we need more space, we'll just go to Ikea to buy add-ons.

We used a shelf from Ikea as display cum partition between the kitchen and living room. This makes it more interesting (rather than see right through from the main door) and the lamps that we placed on top of the shelf provided extra lighting for the dining area (incidentally, we do not use ceiling lights, with the exception of the toilets and store room).

There is a ceiling fan in living room, kitchen and both the rooms so it eliminates the use of an air conditioner.

Simple chests of drawers as wardrobes for our family of 3. On the top of the drawers are things close to our hearts (the painting given by Ayako for Moobe's birthday last year, a photo of a lotus taken some time back in Hong Kong, our family portrait when Yohei was about a month old and the black cat painting done by Moobe).

Yohei's still in our room (he's decided he still wants to sleep with us) and we've inflated his 'GTI' and used it as his bed. Our good old air mattress is back!

The 2nd room has been turned into our work space cum Yohei's play room. At least now we can contain his mess and not have his toys strewn all over the house.

Ah... toilets! We've decided to use the master room toilet for our daily business while keeping the common toilet as the bathroom (since no one wants to use the squat toilet, brand new or not).

Moobe's installed an Ikea Rast chest of drawers on brackets so we won't wet it when we wash the floors in the master toilet. This drawer will be the vanity chest :)

We've got ourselves a little bath tub so we can enjoy a little soak now and then. We've place one of those Ikea wood rack over the squat toilet and put a rattan stool over it just so no one will think of using the toilet haha!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The load of stuff that we had to move to the flat (and there are more that are not in the picture haha!)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

our 'welcome' file from HDB and the envelope containing our keys to the our new home