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Monthly Archives: June 2012

French Bread Rolls


When I first saw the post from Mels Kitchen Cafe on these beautiful French Bread Rolls, I knew that I just have to try to make them. Not just influenced by how appetizing they look but the statement that Mel made in her blog saying that this is “one of the easiest, no-fail roll recipes around”. Well, I know they are just bread rolls but they are not “just” bread rolls you see. If I have found a recipe where I can bake scrumptious bread rolls at home than buying some doughy, store-bought ones, well… have a guess.

I followed the recipe but with a slight change in the ingredients. For example, I used bakers flour instead of all-purpose flour, glucose powder instead of sugar and grapeseed oil. I would remind you to read Mel’s notes about the amount of flour use in the recipe, it is an excellent tip.

French Bread Rolls
(From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
(Makes about a dozen)

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons glucose powder
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bakers flour, give or take a few tablespoons


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly sticky to the touch (see Mel’s tutorial on working with yeast here).

2. Using a stand mixer, knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic (you can knead the dough by hand but it might take a bit longer). Place the dough in a large bowl that is slightly greased. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. While waiting for the dough to rise, you might want to watch Mel’s tutorial on shaping perfect rolls.

3. Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap without pinning the plastic wrap under the baking sheet. This is to allow the rolls to fully rise. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

As soon as the aroma starts to fill your kitchen, this is the moment when you just cannot wait to take the rolls out of the oven and have your first bite…though it is advisable to wait until it cools down slightly.


It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would have been to make these rolls. Thanks to Mel, I think this could be my new found favourite. These gorgeous, golden bread rolls not just look good but taste delicious.

Do you have a favourite bread roll recipe?



Paprika Roasted Mixed Nuts


My first post on roasted nuts was just a simple, basic one. I remember the first time we visited a local farmers market and there was this man who roasted various types of nuts at the market with different sorts of flavour. His stall was very popular and I understood why as soon as I tasted the samples he had on hand. Caramel, honey, tamari, hot and spicy, wasabi and more. However, I cannot remember if he had any that is with paprika. My intention was to use smoked paprika but then I realised that I didn’t have any in my pantry, except just the normal paprika. Well…normal it is.

Paprika Roasted Mixed Nuts


500 gm Raw Mix Nuts
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 tablespoon Grapeseed Oil


1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. In a large bowl, toss mix nuts, paprika, oil to combine and season with salt.
3. On a baking pan, spread the nuts evenly. Place them in the oven and stir occasionally. Roast for about 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. While it is still hot, sprinkle some salt and let it cool. Store the nuts in an airtight container.

The paprika is very mild to the taste, while the salt covering these roasted nuts gives that expected crunchiness with freshly roasted nuts. What I enjoy with this blend is that the flavour is not overpowering but enough to give that pleasant taste.




Homemade Wholemeal Bread

Do you know the feeling when you enter a house and the first thing that catches your attention is the aroma of freshly baked bread? Or sitting in the living room typing away the next post (just like what I am doing right now) and the only thing that is ‘distracting’ me, in a good way of course is the same scent coming from the bread that is sitting in the bread machine, at this very moment baking it’s way to scrumptious wholesomeness!! The bread machine was kindly given to us by my mother in law and we love it! We’ve made many types of breads and jam too (which I will share the recipe in my next post). Beep! Beep! Well that sounds like the bread machine calling me…


Yes, this is the item in question. We shall wait “patiently” for the bread to cool down before we can have a slice.

Alison from Alison Amazed asked me if I have a favourite bread machine recipe. Well Alison, so happened that I was planning to bake one anyway. We have tried so many different recipes; through trial and error, tweaking here and there, we came to a conclusion that this is our favourite.

Homemade Wholemeal Bread
(Using Breville Ultimate Baker’s Oven Series 2)
Makes 1 loaf


350ml Warm Water
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups Bakers Flour
2 cups Wholemeal Plain Flour
3 tablespoon Gluten Flour
2 teaspoon Bread Improver
2 teaspoon Instant Yeast
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sunflower Seeds
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Seeds


1. Add water and oil into the bread pan followed by the salt, flour, bread improver, yeast and salt. Finally, add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
2. Return the bread pan to the machine, close the lid and select your preferred setting. (The settings we used with our bread machine is whole wheat, crust control set to dark and loaf control set to 1,250g).
3. Sit back, relax and wait patiently.

The result is…


Soft, wholesome and need I say more…


‘Beurre Bosc’ Pear Yoghurt Muffins

On my recent visit to our local Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, I can’t help but noticed an abundance of good-looking ‘Beurre Bosc’ brown pears. I’ve eaten them before and they are good to snack on. With their soft and buttery texture, they taste so sweet and juicy. It has always been on my mind to try something different with these pears but I never get around to doing it. What a timing…with a tub of yoghurt sitting in my fridge, I thought let’s try baking some Muffins!

I must admit that I cannot remember when was the last time I used yoghurt in baking muffins and as I was searching for some recipes, I came across this recipe on , I thought, well, with some tweaking I could use this recipe.


‘Beurre Bosc’ Pear Muffins
(Makes 12)


1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plain natural yoghurt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2/3 cup grape seed oil
3 ‘Beurre Bosc’ Pears, roughly diced
Cinnamon, to sprinkle on the top of muffins (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare 12 muffin cups in a 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pan. Sift flour and sugar into a bowl.
2. Combine yoghurt, egg, vanilla essence, oil and chopped pears in a large bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
3. Spoon mixture into muffin holes (do not fill it up to the top as the muffin will rise) and sprinkle with some cinnamon powder. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4. Stand muffins in pan for a few minutes and then turn them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Serve them warm or at room temperature.



I was very pleased as how they turn out. The pears hold its shaped quite well, overall the muffins were soft and fluffy as the clouds!

Have you cooked or baked something using these brown pears? I would love to try out different recipes using pears.

Chicken Cooked in Spicy Tomato Sauce (Ayam Masak Merah)


I had fond memories growing up in Malaysia and one of them is food. A multi-cultural country, Malaysia has a global reputation offering delectable variety of food with so many different flavours. Whether it is a fancy restaurant or just a hawker stall, every corner of the street you will find someone selling something to eat. Herbs and spices used in its diverse range of dishes not only satisfy ones tummy but also a feast to the eyes and makes every taste bud tingle.

Did I mention how much I love food? Just for the record, I love food…especially spicy food and this is one of my many favourites. In Malaysia, Ayam Masak Merah was once commonly cooked at home, but now it is one of the popular dishes served during festive occasions or kenduri (weddings).

For this recipe, I would normally use a whole chicken and cut it into about 8 pieces. But because we were entertaining a couple of guests, I chose chicken thighs instead which I feel makes it easier to eat. I started off by preparing the chicken, pat them dry and season with salt. Then the fun begins where I ground the herbs and spices with my mortal and pestle. The recipe requires dried chillies but by all means, feel free to use normal chilli paste or reduce the amount to your preferred heat level. I would suggest that you get all your ingredients ready before you start cooking so you don’t accidentally burn the spice paste. Here goes…

Chicken Cooked in Spicy Tomato Sauce (Ayam Masak Merah)


1 – 1.5 kg chicken thigh

3 stalks lemongrass, bruised

1 large spanish onions, sliced into rings

1 cm piece fresh ginger, sliced

2 teaspoon tamarind paste

410 gram tomato puree

250 ml water

3 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoon sugar

Some green peas


To make Spice Paste

About 20 dried chillies, soaked

10 shallots

5 cloves garlic

2 teaspoon fennel

2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder


1. Using a food processor or mortar & pestle, ground ingredients to form a paste.

2. Prepare chicken, pat them dry and rub with a little bit of salt. Heat oil and fry the chicken pieces until it is half-cooked. Set aside.

3. In the same pot, sauté the blended paste, lemongrass until fragrant and the oil separates from the paste. Add tomato puree, water, tamarind paste, chicken pieces, sugar and season with salt. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer, cook until the gravy thickens.

4. Just before serving, stir in green peas and onion rings. Serve with steam rice.


We Love Nuts!


Almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pistachios…the list goes on. We all love nuts and we know the nutritions that comes with it. But that is not what this post is all about, lets leave that discussion to the health experts.

I feel nuts should be in everyone’s pantry, except those who are allergic to them of course. Not just using them for when you are baking but it is convenient for when you feel like a quick snack be it at home, at the office or when you’re on the go.

We use to buy nuts from the local supermarket and I find some of them have too much salt or too sweet and there were occasions where I just couldn’t eat them because they have gone stale. Mind you, there are good quality ones out there, but we thought why don’t we just roast them ourselves, it can’t be that hard. Guess what, it is easy and we have been doing that ever since. We would buy a pack of raw mixed nuts from the local grocer and roast it however we like.

List of flavour is endless. They are easily roasted in the oven or even in a pan, with or without oil. For this badge, I chose to make just an easy one and I hope to share different other flavours in future posts. So, let’s go nuts!


500 grams raw mixed nuts


1. Preheat oven at 180°C.
2. On a baking pan, spread the nuts evenly. Place them in the oven and stir occasionally. Roast for about 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not leave the nuts in the oven for too long, nuts still continue to cook even after you have remove them from the oven.
3. Sprinkle some salt and let it cool. Store the nuts in an airtight container.

The fragrant of freshly roasted nuts will linger in your kitchen and there is nothing better than a handful of warm roasted nuts.



Easy Roast Beef

Sunday roast? Well, I don’t think one have to wait until the weekend. Any day is a good day to have your favourite roast. I have tried different recipes and methods. With mustard, without mustard, served with yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes and the list goes on. Whatever it is I enjoyed every one of them and this time around, I chose to prepare it this way.

I do realise that I am using vegetable stock instead of beef stock but hey, what can I say I do tend to improvise and may I say it tasted just as good.

Easy Roast Beef


1 kg top rump

2 teaspoon butter

About 5 good size new potatoes, scrubbed.

4 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon cornflour

600 ml vegetable stock (that’s what I had in the fridge)

Salt and Pepper

Steamed Green beans and 4 ears of corns to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting pan and cook the roast until well browned. Remove roasting pan from the heat and season the beef with salt and lots of black pepper. Cover the beef with foil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for about 5 minutes, drain.

3. Heat oil in a baking tray on the stove top, add the potatoes turning them in the oil until well coated. Place the pan of potatoes in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Then uncover the beef and roast with the potatoes for a further 15 minutes.

4. Remove beef and potatoes from the roasting pan. Cover the roast loosely with a foil to let it rest. Meanwhile, place the pan on the stove top, combine the cornflour with a little bit of water to form a paste (this is to avoid lumpy gravy) then stir it into the pan juices, cook for about 1 minute. Then add the stock, scraping the pan making sure you don’t waste the yummy bits. Bring it to the boil, stirring until gravy reduces and thickens slightly.

5. Serve with steamed green beans and corn.

Make a sandwich or two with the left-over meat. Lunch is covered…easy!

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