Macarons, French Meringue Method (法式马卡龙)

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Here are 12 FAQ to help you make macarons:

1) Which almond flour?
I use Phoon Huat's superfine almond flour. PH sells three types of almond flour. Only the one labeled "SUPERFINE" is good for macarons.

Vanilla Swiss Roll (香草瑞士蛋糕卷)

Monday, 1 September 2014

There're a few common problems with making Swiss rolls: (1) The cake is hard and dry. (2) The crust sticks to the paper the cake is wrapped in. (3) The crust cracks when you roll the cake.

Good Swiss roll starts with, of course, a sheet cake that's fluffy. You know what's wrong with a lot of Swiss roll recipes? They have way too much flour.

A cake that's 1-2 cm tall should have very little flour because it doesn't need much structural support. If it has as much flour as a cake that's 5-7 cm tall, it would be dense and hard.

Magic Custard Cake (魔术卡士垯蛋糕)

Thursday, 31 July 2014

What's magical about magic custard cake?

The cake's three layers, which are "self-made".

Pandan Kaya/Layer Cake

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

In the land of the half-lion, half-fish mutant, there's the half-cake, half-kueh: pandan kaya quake. 

kueh + cake = kuake = quake

Dig?

Using kueh as an icing makes perfect sense when you live in the tropics. There's no need to worry about the icing melting even when there's a heat wave. El Niño? Bring it on! No aircon? No problem!

Banana Chiffon Cake (香蕉戚风蛋糕)

Friday, 9 May 2014


If you like your banana cake very fluffy and very "banana-y", you must try my version. Other recipes may be as fluffy but not as banana-y, or as banana-y but not as fluffy.

Bamboo Charcoal Cake (竹碳蛋糕)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Black is mysterious. Black is sophisticated. Black is . . . sexy.

What makes my cake black? It's bamboo charcoal that's been pulverized into a very, very fine powder.

You can see what my charcoal cake looks like but you can't taste it. Let me taste it for you.

Matcha Cake

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Green tea powder, aka matcha and maccha, is the soul of green tea cake. If you want to make good green tea cake, you have to use good quality green tea powder.

GTP has three enemies: heat, light and oxygen. The colour and flavour deteriorate very quickly unless the tea is kept in the cold, in the dark, away from oxygen.

Orange Sponge Cupcakes (香橙海棉杯子蛋糕)

Thursday, 30 January 2014


Hark! Do you hear the sound of thundering hooves?

The Year of the Horse is coming!

Happy Chinese New Year! 祝大家大吉大利!

Cake Dos & Don'ts

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

This rather long post, for cake newbies, can be summarised in three words: Follow the recipe. Experienced bakers may change anything they like because they know what works or probably works. Beginners, OTOH, can't tell if a seemingly insignificant detail is actually a critical part of the recipe. If you're one of these, I hope this post shows you why you may want to do everything the recipe says, and not do everything the recipe doesn't say.

What to Do Before Your Cake Fails

a) Use an oven thermometer.  »
A lot of ovens aren't accurate. If the oven temperature is wrong, you have two problems. First, your cake may fail, or it may not as good as it could be. Second, if your cake fails, you have no idea what the problem is. It may be the oven temperature, or something else. If you know for a fact what the temperature is, you can at least eliminate the oven from your list of suspects.

Some recipes say "every oven is different". That may be true but one 180°C is the same as another 180°C. Whatever you're baking doesn't care what oven it's in. It only cares what the temperature (and humidity) is.

An oven thermometer measures the temperature in the oven; it can't tell where the heat is coming from. If the top heat is higher/lower than the bottom heat, your cake will fail. Fortunately, most ovens don't have this problem. If you think yours does, toast a slice of bread in the middle of the oven, on a rack at 220°C. If the top and bottom of the bread browns evenly, the oven is good.

b) Don't change the pan type.  »
Only round, square and rectangular "regular" pans made of the same material are interchangeable. The pan type goes with the recipe. It affects how quickly the batter heats up, how deep the batter is, and how much structural support the cake needs. These factors in turn affect how high the cake rises and whether it stays up there or comes back down after cooling down.

My recipes use aluminium pans. If you use dark coloured non-stick pans, your cakes will be different from mine.

c) Scale the recipe according to your pan size.  »
If your pan is bigger/smaller than the recipe's, you must scale the recipe proportionately. Of course, you could scale the recipe first, then find the proportionate pan size. How wide and long the pan is affects the depth of the batter. Deep batter rises more than shallow batter, all other things being equal.

If you don't know how to change the pan size or scale the recipe, please refer to question (i) and (j) in this post: Cake FAQ.

d) Don't replace any ingredient.  »
The only exception is flavourless oil, which may be swapped with any flavourless oil. Changing any other ingredient has an impact on the cake. Once you modify the recipe, it's yours. If you like the final product, congratulations. If you don't? It's your recipe, so you fix it.

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
(草莓奶油蛋糕; Strawberry Cream Cake)

Monday, 9 December 2013

Japanese strawberry shortcake is a layered sponge cake filled and topped with whipped cream and strawberries. It is what I call a ménage à trois made in heaven, because each party brings out the best in the other two.

The red and white cake is very popular in Japan, especially for Christmas. I guess having the same colour scheme as Santa Claus wins a lot of votes during the Yuletide season.

Honey Castella (Kasutera) Cake (蜂蜜蛋糕)

Thursday, 14 November 2013


The traditional mould for baking Castella cake is a bottomless wooden box frame.

Where to get a Castella wooden mould?

Fluffy Chocolate Sponge Cake (巧克力海绵蛋糕)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, please meet my seized chocolate cake:

Seized?

Don't worry, I haven't seized anything from anyone. It's cocoa powder that's doing the seizing, not me.

Pandan Sponge Cupcakes (班兰海绵杯子蛋糕)

Thursday, 26 September 2013


I like my pandan sponge cupcakes very much. Made with pandan juice and coconut oil, the little cakes are very fragrant and the green colour is totally natural. The crumb is soft and fluffy, and it's still moist the next day.

Vanilla Sponge Cupcakes (香草海绵杯子蛋糕)

Friday, 30 August 2013

The cake is fluffy, moist and not too holey. The buttercream is velvety smooth and not too rich or too sweet. The roses look reasonably like roses, and stayed that way without air-condition.

Yup, I'm happy with my vanilla cupcakes.

My sponge cupcakes are made with whole eggs, i.e. the eggs aren't separated. This method is a bit tricky because yolks and whites whisked together deflate easily when you add flour and butter/oil. Deflated batter makes cupcakes that are dense and hard.

Pandan Chiffon Cupcakes (班兰戚风杯子蛋糕)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Pandan chiffon cake hot from the oven is way better than cold pandan chiffon cake.

That's a bit like saying Bill Gates is rich, or Angelina Jolie has thick lips. We all know that.

So when was the last time you had pandan chiffon cake that was still hot?

WHAT? You've always had PCC stone-cold?

Oh . . . my . . . God . . . . Oh dear, POOR YOU!

Orange Chiffon Cake (香橙戚风蛋糕)

Monday, 15 July 2013

.Knock knock!

Who's there?

Chiffon cake!

Chiffon cake who?

She's fond of cakes, especially light, fluffy cakes.
.

Hokkaido Cupcakes

Friday, 28 June 2013

Hokkaido cupcakes are made with milk from Hokkaido, hence the namesake.

I can't be bothered to go to a Japanese supermart that sells Hokkaido milk. My Hokkaido cupcakes are made with milk which is –  to quote what the carton says to the (capital) letter –  "From AUSTRALIAN DAIRY COWS". So the milk's from Australia? Hell no. The cows are from Australia but they live in Indonesia. They probably moved from Down Under frozen . . . or maybe chilled. Anyone knows how sperm is transported long distance?

Ogura Cake ♥ 相思蛋糕 ♥

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Ogura cake, aka 相思蛋糕, hails from Batu Pahat, Malaysia. "Ogura" is a Japanese surname; "相思" means lovesick. Is there a love story behind the cake? Nah, there isn't. Some baker in Batu Pahat just invented the name.

Portuguese Egg Tarts (葡式蛋挞)

Monday, 13 May 2013

 photo MOV_0892_00012portugueseeggtartsYour egg tarts look more like curry puffs! That's what one reader says about Rasa Malaysia's Portuguese egg tarts.

Indeed, her tarts don't have any of the signature black burn marks. To me, what's supposed to be the custard looks more like an omelette . . . or maybe quiche filling.

Do you know what's wrong with Rasa Malaysia's recipe?

Killer Sugee Cake

Thursday, 28 March 2013


Wanna make a sugee cake that's light and fluffy? That's right, the Eurasian classic doesn't have to be dense and heavy. Let me, a half-Eurasian, show you how. What? You didn't know I'm half-Eurasian? Hey, half of Eurasian is Asian and I'm 100% Asian. That makes me 50% Eurasian, right?