This is not really a cupcake, I really don’t remember the proper name for these tiny cake. But it was baked in cupcake tin, so let’s just call it cupcakes! I saw Jamie Oliver made these on his 30 mins meal TV programme the other day. I remembered he said 100g for all dry ingredients plus one egg, but one egg is not each to combine the dry ingredients together, so I added an extra egg.  IT IS dead simple to make and delicious with a cup of tea!

Ingredients: (make around 10)

  1. 100g Self-raising flour (sifted)
  2. 100g Almond powder (sifted)
  3. 100g Caster sugar
  4. 100g Butter (at room temperature)
  5. 2 Eggs
  6. Few drops of almond extract (optional)
  7. Any Jam (In this recipe, I use the blackberry jam I made during the summer)

Pre-heat the oven to 180’C.

Combine all ingredients (other than the jam) in a big bowl until a smooth paste. Line the cupcake tin with cupcake paper. Spoon about a tablespoonful of the cake mixture to the tin, and then a teaspoonful of jam, and finally top the jam with another tablespoonful of the cake mixture.

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 mintues or until cooked and golden colour.

Nice with a cup of hot tea or cool ice cream!



Roast Pork Makeover!

January 6, 2011



I always try my best to make a lavish banquet for Christmas whether celebrating it with friends or just for my own. But sadly (not exactly! I did enjoy myself preparing and feasting the meal) I have been celebrating it alone (actually with my dog) the last couple of years!

I spent the whole day before Christmas making a decorative harvest bread, few jars of cranberry jam, a dozen of Irish-cream-chocolate-cranberry biscotti. The main dish for Christmas was a rack of roast pork marinated with spices and roast root/ vegetable. Delicious the tender juicy pork! (Though it looked burnt in the photos!)

With all the food just for myself (and the dog), I only managed to have a big slice of the roast pork.


Having said so much about the Christmas banquet, the main focus for this posting should be about how to make use of the leftover roast pork! This makeover stir-fried roast pork (with a Chinese twist) is even tastier than its “previous life“!


  1. Roast pork (skinned and cut into chunks)
  2. 4 leeks (sliced)
  3. Few cloves of garlic (minced)
  4. 2 tbsp Light soy sauce (to taste)
  5. A touch of dark soy sauce (optional) (to give a slight caramelised look/taste to the dish)
  6. 1-2 tbsp oil
  7. Few tbsp of water (depending on how much sauce you want to have for the dish)

Simply fry the leeks and garlic in the oil until soften and slightly discoloured. Add the light soy sauce, and fry for 1 minutes, stir in the pork and and dark soy sauce, cook for few minutes to heat throughly and caramelise the pork pieces. Sprinkle the water over the pork, and cook to reduce the water slightly. Done!

Serves hot with steamed rice…mmmmm…..





This is the first posting for the 2011, but using all the leftover ingredients from 2010! Not your regular kind of butternut squash soup! The idea of the soup is to mix all these Christmasy/ Winter  ingredients to make a fulfilling and hearty soup for the cold winter days!

The soup is spicy, with a hint of freshness from the apple and squash. The mini cocktail sausages add saltiness to the soup, maybe a bit unconventional, but they work well together!

Ingredients: Group A

  1. 2 stalk of Leeks (cut to chunks)
  2. Few clove of garlic
  3. 2 small onions (roughly sliced)

Ingredients: Group B

  1. Approximate 3cm fresh ginger
  2. 1/2 fresh chilli
  3. Few cardamon seeds
  4. Few stalks of fresh thyme
  5. 1 star anise
  6. pinch of clover

Ingredients: Group C

  1. One whole butternut squash (sliced in chunks)
  2. One Granny Smith apple (cut into quarter)
  3. 250ml water (or stock)
  1. soy sauce (to taste)
  2. salt and pepper to taste
  3. 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. 500ml fresh milk
  2. mini cocktail sausages

Heat the oil in a deep pot, add in the ingredients in Group A and cook until soften and discoloured. Stir in the ingredients in Group B, and fry until fragrant.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add in the butternut squash chucks and apple, mix well and cover the pot with a lid and cook until the squash pieces are nicely caramelised (stir occasionally). Add the water, and cook until the squash is soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the squash is still hot, blend the cooked squash in 2 patches in a blender. Add 250ml milk for each patch. Blend the mixture very well and sift the liquid into another pot.

Reheat if necessary (add a touch of light soy sauce to give the soup a bit dimension!) and serves the smooth creamy soup with hot mini cocktail sausages to make it a really fulfilling winter warmer!




2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2010. That’s about 16 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 76 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 105 posts. There were 158 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 102mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 25th with 182 views. The most popular post that day was Honey Roast Chinese “BBQ” Pork: ” 蜜汁叉烧” With Egg Noodles.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for pasta, cassava cake, polenta bread, almond cookies, and english breakfast.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Honey Roast Chinese “BBQ” Pork: ” 蜜汁叉烧” With Egg Noodles April 2010


Egg Yolk Pasta-“pasta al tuorlo d’uovo” – Home-made Pasta Attempt No 3 April 2010


Cassava Cake/ Kuih Bingka Ubi/ 木薯糕 January 2010
1 comment


Sweet Potato & Adzuki Bean Paste Jelly February 2010


Mixed Fruit and Pumpkin Seed Biscotti November 2010

Chow Chow blandness!

November 8, 2010

When I was at the green grocer this morning, I noticed this apple-cross-guava-looking thing at the fruit section, labelled chowchow, 49p each. The owner suggested that it can be eaten similar to apple…slice it…Cool I thought, why not give it a try….

mmm…I was so looking forward to try this nice looking fruit when I get home. Slice it half, mmm, looks like a very crunchy and sweet/ or maybe sour type of fruit…I thought I can eat it like guava, sprinkle it with some finely chopped dried sour plum.  BUT to my surprise, it has not flavour at all. So very strange to eat a fruit (or it is a vegetable ?) that has no fragrance at all. I thought something is not right!

So I read up some information about Chowchow...It is really a bland fruit. It is usually marinated in lemon juice to give it some flavour…

I ended up mixing the fruit with plenty of chopped sour plum and salty Yukari powder! It is just about bearable to eat…On the positive note, it is a good source of amino acids and Vitamin C . At least it is one of my 5-a-day!


There is no reason not to eat fresh food at home. Microwaved food is just plain laziness! :-) Just kidding! I understand some people just hate cooking or no time to cook!

This is so simple…all you need to do is to poach the meat in a deep pot (over low heat) until cooked (not hard boil). Remove from heat. Leave the meat in the water until you are ready to serve. To make it a bit special, you can poach the meat in Chinese herbal soup (shop bought herbal soup package).

Meanwhile, finely chop garlic, chillies (red and green) and fresh root ginger. Put all in the bowl, add in 1 zest of lime, 1/2 lime juice, 1 tbsp pepper syrup (or 1/2 tbsp honey), 1-2 tbsp light soy sauce. Stir in finely chop coriander. Mix well and set aside.

Serve the pork warm or slight cold with the sauce…good appetiser to stimulate your taste buds to the main course!

Simple to prepare, but full of flavour…and quite affordable dish to impress your dining guests!

Serves two. Main ingredients: pork shank, and a bottle of red wine.

Pre-heat the oven to 150’C. Heat a oven-proofed casserole pan. Fry lightly a few cloves of garlic, a chunk of ginger (sliced) and one large onion in some olive oil until soften and lightly brown. Add the pork shank and brown the meat all around. Add 500ml of water (or chicken stock) and a whole bottle of red wine, few cloves and 2 star anise. Bring the liquid to the boil.

Remove the pan from the stove and place it in the pre-heated oven and let it cook slowly for few hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

Serve it with mashed potatoes…yum!