Flaky Curry Puff

These curry puffs produces a layered flaky pastry. It is so yummy. As you can see from the photo, these curry puffs are made with two types of dough which is similar to puff pastry.

Sugar Paste Rose

I am making some roses for the topper for a Mother's Day cake. This was inspired by a cake made by my 80-year old cake decorator teacher.

Sambal Prawns

Sambal Prawns or Sambal Udang is a Malaysian dish with chilli paste and tomatoes to cool the spiciness.

Happy Birthday

My husband's birthday is this week. So I've made him this Chocolate Almond Birthday Cake. It turned out almost like a chocolate mud cake. But it's lighter and moist but still rich.

Raspberry Sorbet

Raspberry sorbet is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water, flavored with raspberry puree (or juice), wine, and/or liqueur.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Almond Biscuits

Lately, I am on the lookout for recipes that is not time consuming but yet produce fantastic results. These almond biscuits are so easy to make and taste so good. I do still look at more elaborate recipes which have multiple elements but only use them when I have more time on my hands.

250g ground almonds
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
3 egg whites (50g eggs, if using 70g eggs then use 2 egg whites)
sesame seeds for coating (or almond flakes)


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Put almond and sifted icing sugar in a bowl.
  3. Add egg whites and mix with a fork.
  4. Using 2 teaspoons, roughly shape the mixture into balls.
  5. Roll the individual balls and coat with either sesame seeds or almond flakes.
  6. Put on a baking tray and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 mins.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Italy 1 at Camberwell

We went to Italy 1 at Camberwell for dinner on a Tuesday night and we were very surprised to see the restaurant full. That is always a good sign that the food is good. The ambiance at Italy 1 was warm and welcoming and the service was friendly.

We ordered Duck Ragu Risotto, fish of the day which is the Salmon with Fennel Salad and pasta of the day which is Gnocchi with Pork Ragu. The gnocchi was full of flavour. The salmon was cooked to perfection; crispy skin and just pink inside. The duck risotto(sorry, no photo) was good texture and nice flavour. For dessert, we had Chocolate Pudding with Hazelnut Ice Cream, Ice Cream and Sorbet and Lemon Tart with Yoghurt Sorbet. We enjoyed our dinner very much and would come back again.

The pasta of the day was gnocchi with pork ragu. 

The fish of the day was salmon with fennel salad and anchovies. 

The chocolate pudding with hazelnut ice cream.

The lemon tart with yoghurt sorbet had enough lemony taste and the torched sugar on the top added texture to the creamy tart. 

The ice cream and sorbets were fresh and had a little surprise at the bottom; crushed praline.

The total bill came up to $135. We used the entertainment card which entitled us a main meal for free. So the final total bill came up to $111. 

Italy 1 at Camberwell on Urbanspoon

Sesame Crisp

I call these crisp rather than biscuits because they are so thin and crispy. I was so impressed with the taste and the crispiness of these crisp when Eddie gave some to me. Eddie is really good at baking and cooking. After the first bite, I knew I had to bake some of these and asked for the recipe. These are so moreish but luckily there are quite healthy, using only a little oil or butter. I used coconut oil and I think can be substituted with almond or nut oil. My kids ate all of these within an hour of them being out of the oven.

You could also include flax seeds together with sesame seeds. I did not because I did not have any in my fridge. The ones that Eddie made had flax seeds and they added another dimension to the crisp.

40g oil/butter(melted)
100g icing sugar - sifted
4 eggs (4 * 60g) - beaten
120g plain flour
240g sesame seed (black and white) and flax seeds
almond flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Add oil/butter, eggs, sifted icing sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Add sifted flour and sesame seeds. Mix well.
  4. Turn the baking tray upside down. This will make spreading the mixture easier as there is not sides to hinder spreading the mixture.
  5. Spoon some mixture onto the baking paper and spread it very thinly (almost 1mm) with a spatula. Make 2 pieces on one tray as this makes it brown more evenly.
  6. Sprinkle some almond flakes on the top. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Break into pieces when cool. If you prefer, you can cut into squares when still hot. I prefer the rustic look. Return the ones that that are not browned into the oven for further baking.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Red Hot Wok in South Yarra

We were on our way home from The Australian Athletics Tour: Qantas Melbourne World Challenge around 8pm. So we needed to drop by somewhere for a quick but satisfying dinner. We have been to Red Hot Wok for lunch before and found the food to be warming and authentic Chinese Malaysian at a reasonable price. Fortunately, there was a table available. 

We ordered three dishes for to be shared between three of us. The Salted Egg Chicken Spareribs were fragrant with curry leaves and tasty and the meat moist. The tofu has a smooth texture and the sauce flavoursome. The Thai Chilli Eggplant was nice and soft with Thai basil. All of us were satisfied by the end of the meal. Total bill came up to a bit over $60.

Salted Egg Chicken Spareribs

Sizzling Tofu at the front and Thai Chilli Eggplant

Red Hot Wok on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sambal Prawns

 My mum used to cook Sambal Prawns and remember eating it with fond memories. This is similar to her recipe but because of availability of certain ingredients, I have substituted or omitted some of the ingredients. In Malaysia, this dish is called Sambal Udang. Traditionally, the paste is pounded in a pestle and mortar, which can be therapeutic but time consuming. But if you have a blender, the preparation time is reduced.

500g raw prawns(peeled and devein)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp tamaind paste
4 tbsp oil
4 tomatoes, quartered

Paste Ingredients
10 red chillies (deseed and cut into pieces) - check how spicy the chilli that you are using is and reduce the number if very spicy
12 red shallots (I used 1 red onion - cut into small wedges)
1 stalk lemon grass (cut into small pieces)
3 candelnuts (I used 8 blanched raw almonds)
1.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 cm piece of shrimp paste/belacan (I omitted this)

  1. Season peeled and deveined prawns with sugar and salt.
  2. Blend the paste ingredients in a blender or if you prefer in a pestle and mortar.
  3. Prepare 1 cup tamarind juice by pouring  a little more than 1 cup of hot water to the tamarind paste in a cup or bowl. Strain it.
  4. Heat oil in a wok or pan and fry the blended ingredients till well cooked (about 4-5 minutes).
  5. Add prawns and stir until prawns are lightly cooked.
  6. Add tomatoes and tamarind juice. Stir and simmer until the prawns are cooked.
  7. Season with salt and sugar according to taste.
  8. Serve with some cooked rice. 
Note: You can add some curry leaves when frying the paste. This would make it very fragrant. Sometimes, I would crack an egg at the end of the cooking process and lightly stir it until partially cooked. This idea is similar to Chilli Crabs.
Blend the paste ingredients in a blender.

Frying the blended paste in a wok under medium heat.

Prawns are lightly cooked. Add tomatoes and tamarind juice. Stir and simmer until prawns are cooked.

Season with salt and sugar. Ready to be served with some cooked rice.

Herb and garlic dip

What can you make with these three ingredients; cream cheese, garlic and parsley? Well, I made a herb and garlic dip with these ingredients. This is great as starters for a party or an afternoon snack for the kids. I served it with some brown rice crackers and the kids loved it. You can make this in a food processor or a thermomix like I did. It only takes a few minutes. Homemade dips are better tasting that supermarket dips and no extra additives are added.

1 clove of garlic(peeled)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley(washed)
250g cream cheese

  1. Put the garlic and parsley in a food processor or thermomix. It took only 5 seconds at speed 7 on the thermomix. If using a food processor, blend until a bit less than final desired texture
  2. Scrape the herbs and garlic down the sides of bowl.
  3. Add the cream cheese and blend until your desired consistency is achieved. On the thermomix, it took 20 seconds on speed 4.

dNote: You can add some yoghurt or milk if you like a softer consistency. I did not add any as we like our dip that consistency. And you can try this recipe with any other herbs that you like.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Raspberry Sorbet

This is a great dessert, so fruity and full of goodness. It is so refreshing on a hot summer's day. The original recipe(below) is published on frozen raspberries packaging. I've made this following the original recipe many times in a blender before and it is delicious. Now that I have a thermomix, I modified the recipe accordingly to suit the thermomix. A delightful dessert in matter of seconds. Even my 12 year old son could make this, which he does.

11/2 cups frozen raspberries
1/3 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup thickened cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp honey


  1. In a blender combine all the ingredients.
  2. Blend at high speed until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a air tight container and freeze for 4 hours or until solid
  4. Let stand a few minutes at room temperature before serving
This is my modified version for the thermomix. I omitted the cream and replaced it with an egg white which makes it creamy without using the cream. I omitted the sugar as I don't think that it is necessary.

180g frozen raspberries
100 g condensed milk
1 egg white
1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
160g ice cubes

  1. Measure all the ingredients in the thermomix bowl.
  2. Blend for 30 seconds at speed 9.
  3. Serve with some fresh raspberries.