I am back in my hometown for the weekdays and I had gotten myself busy with, yes you guess it, cooking! Well, I know I’m pretty late but since I only got back last two days, I pestered my Lai Ma (nanny) into making bak […]
Hokkien Mee / Prawn Mee / Har Mee / Xia Mian / Hae Mee Yes being of so many names (due to dialects), and not to be confused with the black stir-fried Hokkien thick noodles, it is actually a prawn noodle soup. Up north in […]
Back from missing in action. Chinese New Year had been a blast this year. As usual, I will be back in my hometown, Taiping and celebrated with family and friends. As I am getting back on track from my holiday mood to my working routine, […]
Once I wrote about our kopi (local for coffee) culture in Travel Malaysia Guide, talking about the evolution of the way we enjoy our coffee in generations from your old local kopitiams to the giant coffee franchises to our very own upper class kopitiam chains. […]
Two years ago around this time, Ah Ma left this world. I was there standing by her bedside while I sense her leaving, it is hard to put into words for the feeling. Ten years ago Ah Ma passed me a chiffon baking pan when […]
It was a nondescript rest day for me. I woke up in the middle of the day, feeling happy as it has been a while since I woke up with the sun high above the sky. Yes I am crazy like that, happy over little things like this. So I roll a bit more in my bed and let my mind wander. What should I do? It is a weekday, and everyone I know is busy running in their rat race and I for one is still looking for my own race. What should I break fast with? Suddenly I have a thought. What about the almond yogurt cake I’ve been wanting to make? I should also use up my huge tub of yogurt that is only halfway through so far. By the way, I am a yogurt enthusiast, I always have a tub sitting around. Plain yogurt goes wonders with fruits and nuts, kiwi is my current obsession.
Anyway the thought of baking got me jumping out of bed. So I quickly look for the said recipe and my mind start working. Alright I don’t want a cake, it’ll be too big for me to finish and too troublesome. I shall make it into little cups. Then I tweak around base on whim, fancy and whatever is in my pantry. By the end of it, my end result got me scratching my head.
First of all, I could not decide whether it is a cupcake or a muffin. If I adapted a cake recipe and make it into little cups, does that make it a cupcake? Some say that muffin is made from quick breads and cupcakes from cakes. So it is possible mine is a cupcake. But wait a minute. Others say it depends on the method that you use. If you beat/cream it then it is a cupcake, if you fold/mix then it is a muffin. But what bout me who first beat the wet ingredients and then fold in the dry ingredients? Hah, that got them, didn’t it? Some even say that a cupcake without the frosting and the little things that make it nice is a muffin. Mostly though people agree that cupcake is sweeter and has higher fat content while muffin is lighter, less sweet and less fat. Thus with that, I have to christened my creation a muffin! Although it started from a cake, it ended up as a muffin, how amazing.
My next headache was the name, as I have added few more ingredients into the recipe, which kind of highlight the taste of the muffin, thus it should be in the name. So pardon the long name, it is necessary, at least I decided on the muffin no?
I wanted to be healthy and use the white whole wheat flour that I discovered in Chang Tung, Taman Megah, Malaysia. Then I realize I don’t have sugar! So I decided to use Gula Melaka (Malacca Palm Sugar) instead, which I melted with some water and sub it with sugar, feeling a bit apprehensive about the extra liquid, thus I compensated with more ground almond and by whim reduced the oil as well. And oh, why not throw in some fruits for good measure? Kiwi? Orange? Banana? Apples? Ah yes, that’s it. Apples it is, and a green one seems to fit. Also, I actually ground the almonds myself, just put whole almond into your grinder and give it a little spin, it is that easy to make.
Just a warning though, this is kind of still a work in progress recipe, though mine does turn out well, in fact it tasted like our Malaysian Malaikoh (steamed Malay cakes) due to the Gula Melaka and it also amazingly have little holes to boot! But it was a little dry at the sides, so I might need to re-look into the baking time and heat. Anyway, be bold and try my recipe below and feel free to tweak! That’s part of the fun in baking.
White whole wheat flour 3/4 cup
Baking Powder 1/2 tbsp
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Gula Melaka 1/2 cup (melted with some water)
Oil 1 tbsp
Ground almonds 4 tbsp
Vanilla 1/4 tsp
Green apple 1 (cubed)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Line muffin pan with muffin cups
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, the oil and the sugar. Beat till smooth, during which add in the egg.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, the baking powder, the salt, and the almonds.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in three or four additions, and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
Spoon mixture into muffin cups till 1/2 full and top with cubed apples.
Put into the oven to bake, for 40 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean (I just poked with a butter knife). If yours brown too fast, cover the top with foil, mine did not though.
Let cool and munch away with your best choice of drink. (Black coffee for me the addict, of course 😉
Makes 5 muffins (yes it is an odd number in the usual 6 holes muffin pan)
This reminded me of my days in Paris. Only a few days, but with peace and chaos, romance and angst, bitter and sweet, all rolled into one giant ball of yarn, I must say Paris is something. I think it will be something for everyone, […]
Only a few days, but with peace and chaos, romance and angst, bitter and sweet, all rolled into one giant ball of yarn, I must say Paris is something. I think it will be something for everyone, be it what it is that they experience to a degree somewhat.
It is just because Paris has character. You may see it. You may hear it. Or you may feel it. Someone almost always leave Paris a little bit changed by it. At least I did.
You cannot help being fazed by the chaotic way the rues (streets) are structured (though I must say the new looking signs on every street are really helpful when one is staring at the ready to fall apart tourist map), and the crowd that are a mix of local and tourists, mostly tourists, and the same proportion of people who are there to solely earn from the tourists, which kind of anger you especially if they provoke or shows some sort of threat. if you have been there you would know what i mean. This is where Paris can be chaos and angst.
But you also cannot help being overwhelmed by the romance of the city. The feel of things being the way they are, just so. Paris has a sort of foreboding force not to be ignored. River seine. Oh how can one not be almost swept away by it, even though there are no big current. In fact it is the serenity that pulls you along. It brings you to places you always wanted to go, or almost did, and possibly someday will. River seine shows you it is possible. This where Paris can be peace and romance.
And so while I was walking along, almost aimlessly, although I am sort of looking at the map, I am also sort of bumming around, just because I like it that way. I like the random way of things during my travels, yet I could not help wanting to go some of the places that I heard or read beforehand, thus the need for the map to route me once in a while. Suddenly I walked pass this sandwich place that has a long line of queue outside.
I am pretty guilty of the mantra “I want to eat where the locals eat”
My hands shot up to my eyes, I look at the watch, great lunch time! Almost that is, 11.37am, oh well, who knows what is lunch time in this part of the world, for me I say it is. So I happily join in the long queue.
While waiting the line, I was fascinated by everything around me, there are a mixture of students and young working adults. I love the details of their fashion. Their clever layering in the not too cold weather. The working crowd is sort of posh in the way they carry themselves while the youngsters show vibrancy and youth. The incessant chatters between the youths in contrast to the deep in concentration i-want-my-sandwich-fast-so-i-can-go-back-to-work adults.
With all that and I have have yet to even look at the long list of how you can have your sandwich. Ham? Cheese? Plain? Toasted? I can’t remember most of the fanciful stuff but in the end, I chose the most basic of le sandwich I can find. Yes just stick slices of smoke sausages into my baguette and I am good to go. So they did and off I walk with the precious prize in my hand.
I pondered a bit at that time. Is it lunch time yet? Should I eat now? Later? Oh well better when it’s hot. But just an excuse of course, for who in the right mind could walk around with a toasty wonderful smelling sandwich in their hands and not eat it? What more this is THE parisian sandwich I am talking about. Yes, le sandwich. So yes, I ate it while walking along the street towards Arc de Triomphe.
When I sank my teeth into it, I moan in ecstasy. Yes it is that good. How can something so simple can be so good boggles my mind. And how I know no such simplicity goodness to be found back where I came from tightens my heart. The baguette is absolutely the way a good baguette should be. It has just the right warmth, toasty with outer crust that crunches and inner bread that is soft and sweet. Ah and the sausages. Slightly salty that cuts through the bread very well, literarily or non literarily.
While enjoying le sandwich, I think to myself “How can I eat another sandwich normally again?” And this is where Paris can be bittersweet.
Pomme de Pain All over Paris if you keep your eyes open (or nose for that matter)