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Archive for January, 2008

The very ambitious me tried my hands at baking Pandan Chiffon, not once, but twice.  I’ve heard many horror stories about beginner bakers trying to bake Chiffon cakes, how their cakes fell flat and didn’t rise like a true chiffon should or the texture turning rubbery etc.  All these, did not dampen my determination to try baking it.  I love pandan chiffon cakes so does Declan.

Over the months, I collected quite a few different recipes.  As usual, the lazy me will try to sieve out the easiest recipe and use it.  However, for pandan chiffon, the recipes don’t differ much.  The only differences are some recipes use coconut milk, some don’t, some use pandan juice and others don’t.

For my 1st attempt, I used a recipe which use coconut milk and I replace pandan juice with pandan paste out of laziness as usual.  I am an baking idiot, so needless to say, I stick very closely to what the recipe says, including the length of baking time.  My 1st chiffon turned out like that :

Bakes

The skin was really thick and got burnt, but at least the cake did rise and the inside looks pretty good too!

Bakes

Although the cake did rise, it did not rise really gloriously.  Reason being I use a baking pan that is much bigger than the recommended.  The texture inside was fine but it didn’t really have a strong pandan smell.  Thus mil suggested that I bake 1 more using panda juice.

So my 2nd attempt, I used another recipe, which exclude coconut milk but include pandan juice.  The result was like this :

Bakes

This time i shorten my baking time by 5mins.  The top skin still turned out thick.  The colour is not as pretty.  I should have added a drop or 2 of green colouring to make it look greener.  The colour is just the natural colouring from the pandan juice.  This cake did look prettier, but the texture is not so great.  It’s dryer than the 1st attempt.  I suspect it may be due to the way I mix/fold the ingredients or the whisking of the egg white.  This cake is a bit too dry and crumpy but it smelt good! 

Then came the suggestion from hubby, why not I try baking another one with both coconut milk and pandan juice……  I would… but not this week… otherwise we’ll all be eating pandan chiffons for 3 weeks consecutively….. no matter how much i love this cake, this is not the way to eat it!

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Back at Work

Apologies on the short disappearance.  I’m back at work… that explains the lack of posts.  This is in fact my 2nd week back in the office.  The day I reported back to office was the day Kenji turned 2 months old.  Till today, I am still unable to start my engine….  I am still feeling kind of disoriented. 

To make things worse, I’ve not been feeling too good since Saturday.  I was given 2 days MC today.  My gastric and tummy are giving me problem.  I will experience pain shortly after I take my meals… this has been going on for the past 4 days.  The pain, though bearable can be quite irritating and disruptive.   Let’s hope it is nothing major and it’ll just go away.

Will update soon on both my boys and my baking attempts!

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My past attempts at baking mostly turn out quite horrible.  Somehow, something will go wrong.  Most of it ain’t suitable to be stomached :p  Today I attempted baking again after a good 1+ month break.  This time I did Banana Cupcakes from the recipe that I got from the below book.

I finally managed to bake something that is Edible!!  This time, the cupcakes turn out soft, unlike the last attempt in which my cakes turn out quite hard.  However, my bakes failed in the “looks department”.  They don’t look pretty….

See what I mean?  Their color are inconsistent….  some look paler than others and some look burnt.  But taste wise, not too bad 🙂

This is the easiest recipe I’ve seen so far :

225g Self Raising Flour

225g Banana (mashed)

225g Caster sugar

225g Unsalted butter – softened

4 eggs

* 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional – I didn’t add this bcos I don’t have it at home)

Just need to mix all ingredients together (except the mashed banana) using an electric whisk until the mixture turn smooth.  Takes about 2-3 mins.  Then stir in the mashed banana and that’s it!  The batter is ready for baking.  Baked at 175 Degrees for about 18-20mins.

*forget to add that, after taking out the tray from the oven, let the cakes sit in the tray for 5 mins before taking them out of the tray to cool.  Don’t ask me why, the recipe say so and I follow suit

 Easy right??!!  Such recipes are good for baking idiots like me.

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I got milk!

Last night the silly kor kor exclaimed excitedly :” Mummy u see??!! I also got milk!! See?? This is from me!!” Raising the milk bottle with the pump attached, proudly………  -_-‘   I was in the midst of expressing my milk and di di started fussing, I quickly changed the full bottle to an empty bottle before tending to didi.  While tending to didi, I left the pump with the empty bottle attach on the table and Dec was fast in laying his hands on the “interesting set up”. 

Kids really learn real fast.  Look at my boy… he really knows how to work the pump and where to place it.. *faintzzz*….. 

dec got milk

The little milk that drips into the bottle, of course didn’t come from Dec, it was actually residual milk left in the pump from the 1st bottle I expressed.  I didn’t want to disappoint him, so I just “entertain” him :” ohh wow, yeah I saw that!”  Hope he will not grow up thinking that he can really produce milk :p 

He has grown quite “motherly”, probably influenced by me.  Whenever he is full, he’ll come to me and say :” Mummy I am full already” Thereafter, he’ll pat his own tummy and say :” You see? I also got baby already.”  Trying to tell me he is so full that his tummy is bloated.

Nowadays when Kenji cries, he’ll go to his side and talk to him, trying to soothe him.  You can hear him asking Kenji all sorts of questions. “orh la orh la, why Kenji? why are you crying? Are you hungry? You want milk?  You want to bao (be carried)? ” etc etc while rocking him in the rocker.  He’s learnt to rock the rocker more gently too.  In a few months time, Kenji will be less fragile and by then Declan will have learnt (I hope) how to handle the di di without hurting him.  I am looking forward to the time when I can just leave the 2 boys to play on their own and not having to worry.

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Conversing in Mandarin

Dec’s preferred language used to be English.  Though he could understand mandarin, but whenever he opened his mouth he would speak in English, especially when he was conversing with us.  The few times when he did speak in mandarin, he’ll speak with a funny accent.

I am wary that if I don’t put in effort to correct him now, he’ll face difficulty when he goes to primary school in a few years time.  During my school days, I’ve got classmates who can speak English with slang but struggled real hard when it comes to Mandarin, let alone recognizing the Chinese characters.  I’m not prepared to allow my son to turn into a banana man.  Thus I started speaking to him in Mandarin more often at home.

 The effort paid off.  He is speaking Mandarin more often now, and he also speaks more fluently as well, albeit still not as smoothly as desired.  I am quite glad that his Chinese teacher in school is from China.  There are some 乌龙 moments too when he conversed in Mandarin.

Few days back, while I was brushing didi’s clothes in the toilet, he brought in his swiss roll and insisted that he wanted to watch me do the laudry while he sat on the covered up toilet seat and eat.  eeeewwww wonder how he could stomach that.  Thus I told him to sit at the curb of the toilet entrance instead while he watched.  He co-operated, with me back facing him while I brush the clothes.  After awhile I heard him saying :

Dec : 我不可以看!

Me : 可以, 你可以看啊。你乖乖坐在这里看.

Not long after he said the same thing again and sounded more agitated.

Dec : 我不可以看!

Me : 可以, mummy 你可以看啊.

Dec : 我不可以看!!

After a while of ding donging then I realise what he was actually trying to tell me.  He was trying to tell me “我看不到” …….  My back was blocking his view, thus he wasn’t able to get a good view…..  never mind… at least he tried..

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