Little matcha cheesecake {un petit gateau de fromage au matcha}

My mum crocheted this pretty doily for me- thanks mum!

Sigh

I haven’t had much luck with bread making lately. The problem is definitely my oven- the dough was soft and supple and rose beautifully but the tops getting burnt when they’re baked! Really annoying because the oven needs to be quite hot to properly bake it, but the tops get much too black. I’ve placed a piece of foil over the top but my oven doesn’t really deal well with this- it never gets baked properly.. I’m guessing the heat doesn’t really reach the bread/cake that’s covered with foil properly. It’s been burning quite a few of my cakes and bread lately, probably the temperature setting thingy’s malfunctioning or something. But on the other hand.. for an oven its size and capacity, it’s also produced a crazy number of good cakes, muffins, cupcakes, bread, cookies, pastries. So I still love it, oh yes mama still loves you little microwave oven *crazy eyes*

Borough Market

I went to London’s Borough Market today with Flora, Ian and Vishak who are my LCB groupmates and Jeremy and John from UCL/gym  (I lost them halfway through the day though..!) and we ate so much! Amongst the food that I’ve tried and eaten today were: many different kinds of olive oils, truffle oils, pesto, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella, smoked cheddar, goats’ milk ice-cream, falafel, chai tea, sangria, chorizo paella, pork burger, grilled cheese sandwich, baklava, brownies, truffle mustard, chocolate caramels, an orangette.. oh my god. My favourites were the truffle mustard and pork burger.. so good! I also bought 12 free range eggs for £2.80 which I thought was a pretty good deal, a nice piece of sirloin steak from the Ginger Pig, and a big chunk of ginger which I’ll use to make a hot ginger drink. I first drank the ginger drink at Koya and really liked it- but at over £3 for a small cup it was much too expensive! I’ve been making it quite often lately as it’s been pretty chilly at night- it’s great for warming you up. All you need is hot water, some rock yellow sugar which you can easily get from Chinatown or any asian grocer (honey or ordinary sugar will be ok too) and a generous chunk of peeled ginger- about a 5cm piece. Just put everything in a pot and boil for about 20 minutes until it has a strong gingery kick. Anyway, digression..

Triple M burger from Boston Burger: Pork burger, Colston Basset Stilton Cheese, onion marmalade and fresh rocket on a toasted english muffin.. really yummy and juicy.

Flora and her hokey pokey goat’s milk ice-cream

Ah Pimm’s.. summer is almost here.

I’m so glad I’ve met such a great bunch of people at Le Cordon Bleu. It helps so much to have someone that has your back in practicals when it gets stressful (and gosh practicals can get  so stressful) and to mess around and chat with in classes.. especially dull technical classes.  And also, of course, to talk about food and baking with! And everyone’s from a different country, so I expect there’ll be lots of travelling to everyone’s countries soon. First stop for me would be to Hong Kong to visit Flora! This Christmas break, maybe- so excited.

Soda Bread


We made an Irish soda bread in school last week. It was satisfyingly chewy and cakey fresh out of the oven, but within an hour it was stale and crumbly. So eat quickly, with lots of cold butter or a sharp cheddar- yummy!

This bread is quick to make since there’s no yeast in it and is instead leavened with baking soda and cream of tartar. It leaves a slightly sharp aftertaste though, quite.. corrosive. Haha, definitely not in a bad way though, it’s well rounded off by the butter.

Anyway, there are lots of good soda bread recipes out there, I probably shouldn’t share the Le Cordon Bleu Top Secret recipe haha! I imagine it’ll be a good partner with a nice hearty soup or stew, the proper Irish way. Ha, funny coming from a KL-ite who’s only been to Ireland once.. but I imagine that’s how it’s done there. Or maybe not.

Red Velvet Cake

Since I mentioned on facebook that I’ll be taking cake orders from friends, I’ve been pretty busy with cake orders, and it’s been so great! It really makes my heart swell with happiness when my friends enjoy eating my cakes- it’s so encouraging and really makes me try my best to create cakes that hopefully meets their expectations, even if I have to try a few times to make it perfect. I probably don’t even make much of a profit given the number of  test-runs I sometimes do before I’m properly happy with a cake haha.

Anyway, Red Velvet has been a popular choice, more so than usual this week because of Valentine’s Day.

The recipe I use is this one. I’ve adapted it slightly by tripling the cocoa powder.. 1 tsp seems a little mean! 1 tablespoon isn’t much either but we aren’t really going for a strong chocolatey flavour in Red Velvet anyway. And I think 1 tablespoon is the absolute maximum cocoa powder that can be used, otherwise the vibrancy of the red will be muted.

{Hey! A page from my “secret book”, where I write my favourite recipes and ideas and recipes from everywhere I used to work haha. I have a few of these little books and they’re my treasures..}

I’ve always found Red Velvet quite strange- it doesn’t really have a particular flavour, neither chocolate nor vanilla nor anything in between, but it’s really pleasant to eat- there’s nothing offensive about it’s flavour (although its colour can be unsettling to some) and it’ll please almost anyone. Its real pull however, is the fact that it’s not very sweet and is very, very soft and moist. And of course, the cream cheese frosting (!). I use a cream cheese frosting that I came up with some time back. Most of the cream cheese frosting I’ve made in the past tend to be too gloopy and sweet so I cut back on the sugar by almost half. I think it’s the sugar that makes it really watery since it melts when it comes in contact with the cream cheese. Especially here in the UK, our Philadelphia cheese comes in those “spread” types, instead of blocks.. like everywhere else in the world. So I think it has a higher water content and will therefore be more likely to turn into sludge, so less sugar is probably best.

Oh, and a note of caution when making the Red Velvet cake, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use Dr Oetker’s “natural” red food colouring- it tastes absolutely disgusting! Food colouring don’t usually have any flavour but this particular one does, and it’s strong! It’s “natural” because it’s made of beetroot but it’s vile.. really. And, to make things worse, it isn’t even red- it’s brown! I ruined an entire batch of Red Velvet once because it looked and tasted disgusting. Damn you, Dr Oetker Natural Red! Food colouring paste is good and gives a nice bright red colour, but diluting it is a bit of a pain, and food colouring powder works great but it’s expensive. The best food colouring is Langdale’s Scarlet colour but it’s been discontinued?!?! Apparently there’s a non-natural Dr Oetker Red colour so if you see it, grab it! Otherwise colouring your Red Velvet red will be quite a difficult task.. Sigh.

This is my recipe for cream cheese frosting. It’s uses the same ingredients as most recipes, just the ratios have been tweaked.

♡450g cream cheese, room temperature
♡113g butter, room temperature
♡350g icing sugar, sifter
♡3 tsp vanilla, or 1 vanilla bean, scraped

1. Beat butter with an electric mixer until softened. This step is important as if it’s too cold when the cream cheese is added, there WILL be lumps and those lumps will be impossible to beat out.
2. Add cream cheese and continue to beat until combined.
3. Stop the mixer, add all the icing sugar, and start beating on low speed. Be prepared for the sugar to puff out and settle over everything. I absolutely despise working with icing sugar… Placing a damp cloth over your mixer helps to stop the sugar from getting everywhere. The mixture will look terribly runny at first, but increase the mixer speed to high, and it’ll start getting more fluffy.
4. Beat until light and fluffy, then beat in vanilla.

Thank you!!

Thank you all for your support and cake orders! It was quite a scary step for me to take but I’m so glad I did it. I love sharing what I make and (hopefully) share my passion and love for baking with others, so this is probably a nice, small step towards that! Thank you so much, you guys- I’m so happy I’ve got such supportive, encouraging people in my life! ♡

Blueberry + Peach Bread

Another variant of theAdzkuki, Matcha and Milk Loaf recipe- this time with fresh peaches and blueberries scattered on top, dotted with butter and a sprinkling of demerara sugar. I made this in the peak of summer of this year, when berries and stone fruit were at its juiciest and sweetest (how I miss it!). Really, with fruit as perfect as that, it was quite a shame to bake with it! But this bread was absolutely lovely, the flavoursome fruit blistered in the oven, and softened into deliciously jammy pockets of juice. Next time, though, I’ll tuck some honey-sweetened ricotta into the middle of the dough to make it a little more luxurious!

Hello again!

My old camera is broken so I’m using a great little high-techy camera for now.. the only problem is, the camera is too good for me! It’s not as straightforward as my Pentax with all its functions and buttons, so I’m still trying to understand it.. two years after I got it for my birthday! So the first couple of tries were pretty embarrassing, hence the major (crappy) Photoshopping. I just can’t help myself when I see all the pretty, pretty candy colours…

Oh and my entire site got eaten up so I’ve got to start from scratch again.. boo.