Monday, November 20, 2006

Every year, the Istana Nurul Imam (Brunei Sultan's royal residence) will be opened for 3 days starting on the second day of Hari Raya (Muslim New Year) to the public to pay their greetings to our Sultan and his royal family. Well, that's mean free food and drink for most people. There were people who visited several times during the day for the unlimited flow of food and drink and free box of goodies which you'll see later.

Rabbit had pestered Big King to come with me to experience what others could not overseas. Normally we shun this golden opportunity, you'll see why....

Front gate to Istana Nurul Iman

We arrived around 1 30 pm, looks good not many people......

There were buses ready to pick visitors up eventhough it's a short walk away.

Ticket for statistics and collection of goodies box.

Entrance to Istana (palace) building

@@ Look at the tightly packed makan (eating) area!

Serving station. Push and shove is the norm. Food is 'robbed' rather than served....

Dining table, packed to the bream, only sharp eye and quick leap will secure you a space. No, Rabbit didn't bother with the food, I only squeezed in to take pictures.

I am having difficulty uploading my photos to blogger. This looks like a long post so to be continued.............

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thank you for your precious time

Rabbit is not out for looking for any sympathy.

Husband is supportive and says right is right, wrong is wrong. I have never whine nor complain to him. He is thankfully not turning a blind eye to realities.

If people think that all daughter-in-laws should be SLAVES and lose our personal lives once married and have our lives dictated by mother-in-laws, I think they should be banished to SIBERIA. So distant relatv who commented on my last post, careful you’re sparking an uproar from daughter-in-laws all round the world……

Little Rabbit is demanding TO ME not TOWARDS ME because she is hyperactive and I just can’t take my eyes off her for even a split second. I never think anybody would be interested to know why she is demanding. She looks like her daddy who looks like his mum, there satisfied? I never judge one person by his or her looks, I like to look deep inside. It may sound lame to you but a lot of people have commented Big King is lacking on the aesthetic appearance side when I first presented him to friends and family. It don’t matter love, I love you for who you are.

There are people who’s interested to know how I rate myself. Chinese have a saying,”ask the heart and has a clear conscience” sums me up. I am not going to whine here how much I have done and still not being appreciated. Like I said before, not looking for any sympathy.

Thank you for all those who have taken your precious time to read my rantings eventhough they are meaningless to you.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Rabbit in Turmoil!!

Rabbit is doing the disappearing act.....again.......

Rabbit still stuck in paradise Brunei but life here is far from ideal....

How's life suppose to be good when you're surrounded by people in denial.......

MIL is so moody till now I dunno whether I have step on her tail. What have I done?? Pray tell?

SIL, an argumentative miss know-it-all, have a kind heart but.............

FIL, oblivious to everything that's happening round him..........maybe have a penchance for self-torture.........

BIL#1, kind and cheerful soul but away..........

BIL#2, hardly see.........

Husband, forever taking Rabbit for granted......... Just you wait......

Little Rabbit, demanding MIL lookalike. I am sure I have done some really terrible deeds in past lives...sigh....

All above are personal opinion by a bored full-time housewife who 'eat full too free' Ha, don't take it to heart, everyone's entitled to their own opinions and feelings.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I love my desserts but I don't like them too sweet. Sugar in all my recipes are always cut down to the minimum so much so that my niece and siblings shun my cakes -_-
But I do have a weakness for the super sugary ice-cream and macaroons. Best macaroons I have tasted so far are from Laduree.

Laduree Macaroons
Macaroons nestled inside pretty butterfly box

My favourite flavour is salted caramel followed closely by pistachio. I find they taste best on the second day.

La Maison vs Laduree
Left: La Maison du Chocolat's vanilla
Right: Laduree's rose

Praline Millefeuilles
Praline Millefeuilles

Well made puff pastry with praline filled vanilla custard sandwiched in between. I want to cry after first bite, when will I have another chance to taste this again?? I am so many thousand miles away............ The famous apple strudel from Perth can't even compare, to think I used to rave about it, how ignorant was I, Chinese has a saying,"one mountain is higher than the other........." too right, too right....

Mont Blanc
The famous Mont Blanc. I don't find anything special with this, sorry not a fan. Big King took one bite and "ran until no shadow" kakaka......I have to finish the darn thing in sour face ><

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Taking a hiatus

Currently on holiday back in Brunei. Broadband is extremely slow..........

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

London May 2006 - Sweets

Fortnum & Mason

window display F&M Window display

FM cakes Cakes - Berries Mousse and Coffee Opera??

La Maison du Chocolat

Rumour has it they sell the most expensive chocolates in the world (in what aspect I can't remember perhaps by weight). I've tasted some in the shop, well, I've had better.......

Anyway I was not after the chocolates, I was interested in them babies...

La Maison Macaroons
Oooo yes, macaroons!!

Can't get any decent ones in Asia except well obviously Tokyo where the Picasso of Patisserie, Pierre Herme, has a shop as well as Sadaharu Aoki and Dalloyau. Of course I must stuff myself silly when I see them in reputable shops such as this one. I bought the only pack left. Review see next post.

window display la maison du chocolat La Maison du Chocolat's display - Chocolate goodies galore!


What's inside those pretty boxes? To reveal in next post, for Laduree warrants an individual mention.

Haagen Daz

We visited the flagship cafe in Leicester Square after a forgettable meal in nearby Chinatown.

HD Summer Flavours
New summer flavours - cantaloupe (left), berries and cream (right) and cappucino with caramel and chocolate fudge chip (bottom)

My absolute favourite is cantaloupe! No chemical flavourings aftertaste, very refreshing on a warm summer night. Both other flavours were equally good.

Krispy Creme

Picked up two couples from their branch in Harrods. Certainly lived up to its reputation being the best doughnut in US of A. Yay! I love doughnuts!

Krispy Creme

Ooops, missing one. Gobbled up in the car on highway. Frosting did not go all melty and sticky the following day, amazing (weather's hot here!)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

First Anniversary

bday cakecopy

Blogging is such fun!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Chocolate, Vanilla and Green Tea Cheesecake

Green tea n chocolate cheesecake

A request has came through for the titled recipe.

The bulb shone when I read Fish Fish post on her multi-talented sister's green tea marbled cheesecake. Thanks ya Fish for working my brain XD

What you need:
8 pieces digestive biscuits
50g butter, melted
zest of 1 lime
2 whole eggs plus 1 yolk
600g cream cheese
3/4 can sweetened condensed milk
60g dark chocolate, melted
1 tbsp cooking green tea powder
a few drops of madagascar vanilla essence
8 in springform cake tin

What you do:
1. Line the bottom of cake tin with parchment paper. Line the outside of tin with 2 layers of aluminium foil.
2. Crush the biscuits using food processor or put in bag and crush with rolling pin.
3. Combine melted butter with biscuit crumbs and zest. Press onto bottom of tin. Chill in fridge until needed.
4. Preheat oven to 175 degree celcius (use the right temperature for your oven)
5. In a bowl, using electric whisk, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in condensed milk. Whisk till combined.
6. Add in eggs and continue to whisk till mixture is thick like thickened cream.
7. Divide the mixture into 3 portions.
8. Add melted chocolate in one portion, vanilla essence in second portion and green tea powder in third portion.
9. Pour in chocolate batter first, followed by vanilla batter and lastly the green tea batter.
10. Sit the tin in a bigger baking tray and bake bain-marie for 50 minutes. The middle should still be a bit wobbly. Turn off heat, open the oven door and let the cake cool in the oven for another hour. Let cool and chill before serving.

1. If you don't have cooking matcha powder, consider increasing the amount.
2. If you can't get madagascan vanilla essence, forget it, don't put other chemically processed 'flavour' in.
3. Watch the cheesecake every now and then, if it starts to crack, lower the temperature by 10 or 20 degree.
4. You can increase the amount of condensed milk. Do taste the mixture after beating in the eggs. Adjust to your taste.

A Taste of French - Duck Confit

Duck confit served with mentaiko pasta

The making of duck confit is a laborious one. So it became obvious just to get it off supermarket shelves for a lazy cook like me.

Fine French cuisine do I like? I am afraid I have no such fine taste. This cooking method have drawn out all the natural juices and sweetness of the duck. What's left is just a mass of tender tasteless muscle. I believe the fat used to seep the duck has more taste than the duck itself XD

Give me roast duck, braised duck or even plain boiled duck and I wouldn't miss the confit. No it don't 'fit/feed' me.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Yummy Yum Yum

Neapolitan yummy
Neapolitan yum yum

There are only two British sweets I will eat, vanilla slice and yum yum.

Vanilla slice is just vanilla custard sandwiched between two sheets of puff pastry. Simple but delicious. I love all things custard.

It's a bit hard to describe yum yum. It's like doughnut but dough is drier and much like a wetter puff pastry and the surface frosted with icing. It comes in all sorts of flavour but my favourite is triple chocolate which is always SOLD OUT when I want to get a couple ><

I wonder if I can get them down under in Oz?

Princess - Ever So Funny


She always make herself a make-shift shawl from mama's pants (mama one only).

Likes to make funny faces ^^

Likes to eat the unedible from plastics to oven door @@

She thinks the laundry bags make pretty head scarf XD

Friday, June 16, 2006

Old Fashioned Walnut Cookies

Cookies are cookies, why old fashioned?

Cos they are Chinese style cookies. Ever been to a traditional Chinese bakery? Don't everything just look ancient including the person behind the counter XD

Actually there is no walnut in walnut cookies. Beats me, I don't know too....

Recipe (adapted from Chinese Cookies Cookbook):-

Cake flour 130g, icing sugar 70g, baking soda 1/4 tsp, baking powder 1/4 tsp, salt 1/4 tsp, shortening 75g, beaten egg 30g

Normal cookies making method, no, there is no special technique required.

Before popping in the oven brush with egg wash and stick half a walnut in the centre. Bake at 180 degree celcius for around 25 minutes. Turn off heat and wait for further 10 minutes before opening the oven door.

Not So Successful Egg Tarts

Chinese style puff pastry egg tarts

Will I ever have any luck with egg tarts?

The skin torn everywhere while I roll. Urghhhhhh......why are they so hard to master?

Chinese style puff pastry is made from lard or shortening, if you can't lay your hands on some lard. Not that it's any healthier........

Them tarts were still edible, if not I would definitely go crazy and kill someone. I spent whole afternoon just making 10 tarts.

It's just easier to buy lah.........

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tong Palace, Leeds

I spied this newly opened restaurant one weekend in April 2006 and made mental note to visit soon. It occupied the exact same spot which was previously Jade Garden which served awful food in my opinion so no prize for guessing why it closed it's doors.

One sunday, after our park rendezvous, I was in no mood to cook. So we made our way to the very posh Red Chilli for some northern Beijing nosh. There was a queue and not wanting to wait, we left. No further luck at the nearby Nando's (oh, don't the chicken smell good!). Fate brought us to Tong Palace, the restaurant was near empty. Oh oh, not a good sign. But 即來之,則安之.

Tong Palace dinner
I ordered roast meat platter, salted vegetable fish and belacan kangkong.

Roast meat platter included roast duck, char-siew and soy sauce chicken. Roast duck was surprisingly passable. Nice tender meat with cripy skin albeit a little fatty. Char siew was too salty. Chicken was of average standard.

I haven't had kangkong in such a long time. This version was ok but the squid was overcooked hence rubbery.

The favourite of the day was this deep-fried whole bass cooked in salted vegetable gravy. Seasong was subtle and the fish was juicy and soft.

High Tea at Betty's Harrogate

Betty's Cafe

Determine to enjoy a traditional English high tea for the last time before we left for good, we found ourselves in Betty's early April 2006. Betty's, a famous British institution for fine tea, coffee and pastries, is very popular with both locals and tourists.

Betty's Harrogate
Shopfront at historic Harrogate

We arrived a little after 2pm, there were only 2 parties waiting. Ten minutes later we were seated in a rather nice booth area. Princess were presented with not one but two TOLO toys which only kept her interested for 5 minutes :(

Princess at Betty's

I had, naturally, the high tea set for one GBP12.50

Betty's High Tea set for one
The scone was delicious! I mop it up with ALL the clotted cream!

Which came with full silver (plated?) tea service.

Tea service

Big King ordered Chicken wrapped in ham with rosti (a carnivore through and through)

Chicken with rosti

The ham was so salty but balanced with the unseasoned (read:tasteless) chicken. Rosti is nice and crispy. Salad tasted a bit weird, I guess it was pre-made in bulk and just dish out onto plates for every order. Ewwww, I don't like..........I can't remember what the sauce taste like. All in all, a rather disappointing dish.

The sister company, Taylors of Harrogate, stocks some rare single estate coffee, which some had made their way into Betty's menu. Yemeni Mocha Ismaili stood out like pop-up art cos I've never even heard of it (sakai, sakai). It came in a cafetierre, which I am not keen on.


The coffee has an exotic taste, kind of acidic but will not linger long. I've never been a fan of acidic coffee like Blue Mountain. Blue Mountain leaves an acidic aftertaste which is unpleasant to me which of course other people appreciate how the perfume 'lingers' in your mouth after a sip. No no to me, I don't like lingering taste. Drinking this Yemenic coffee reminded me of drinking wine, it has a somehow liquor feel to it, very special.

A nice British experince but I must say there are other better choices with the same amount of dosh.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Alex Goh's Coffee Cheesecake

Fantastic Cheesecake by Alex Goh, a great read for all cheesecake lovers!

I've tried several recipes, all are good. Big King said this one is good enough to sell! :D

Please e-mail me for recipe as I do not want to infringe the copyright. Click on 'View my complete profile' on the sidebar and click on 'contact me'.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Recipe - Strawberry Mascarpone Cheesecake

Spent a fantastic weekend in London and just back yesterday. We drove to London and stayed in Danubius Hotel in Regents Park. It was a long drive about 4.5 hours, stopping 1/2 hour to feed Princess and then getting lost for a bit.

I was apprehensive about bringing Princess to London but Big King kept egging on. Ok, ok, seeing he has a function to attend and good chance to visit Royal China (I've never been before) and Harrods and Haagen Daz cafe.

Princess was good, only bising when she wanted her nap. No problem sleeping in the hotel cot and the car. Ate all sorts of food with us, first time travelling on underground, saw hordes of people. I think she's happy :D

Strawberry mascarpone cheesecake

Get ready:
Strawberries, enough to decorate the sides plus cutting into small cubes
Whipping cream (I used about 250 ml)
Dark chocolate, about 40g
Vanilla chiffon cake, 8 in (refer my previous post on chiffon)
1 tub mascarpone 250g
Icing sugar 6 tbsp (add or reduce according to your taste)
1 gelatine leaf (about 3 g if you use powder)
7 in loose bottom cake tin

What to do:
1. First prepare the cheese filling: Whipped the cream and set aside for use later.
2. Melt the gelatine in some water above a double-boiler.
3. In a bowl, whisk the mascarpone and icing sugar till sugar dissolved. Take 3/4 of the whipped cream and fold into the cheese mixture. Then fold in gelatine and strawberries cubes. Chill in fridge.
4. Line the cake tin with parchment paper. Slice the cake into half and using the bottom of the tin as a guide, trim the cake so that it fits into the 7 in tin. Take 1 trimmed cake and line the bottom.
5. To decorate the side, take whole strawberries and cut into half, making sure all about the same height. Stick the strawberries to the side of the tin, broader end facing down.
6. Pour in the cheese filling and then top with the other piece of chiffon cake, pressing down slightly to remove air pockets.
7. Spread the remainder of the whipped cream on top. Smooth with a palette knife.
8. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and using a spoon drizzle over the cake to decorate. Chill in the fridge till set.

1. You can increase the amount of gelatine for a firmer texture.
Welcome to ask questions if my instructions are vague. I am no cookbook writer so bear with me!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Recipe - Coffee Chiffon Cake

Coffee chiffon

Ingredients (8 in round cake tin):
A: Milk (I use freshly brewed coffee) 50g, caster sugar 40g, vegetable oil 40g
B: Cake flour 80g, baking powder 1/2 tsp (optional)
C: Egg yolks 4, vanilla extract 1 tsp
D: Egg whites 4, caster sugar 40g, cream of tartar 1/4 tsp (optional)

1. Combine coffee and sugar from A, whisk until sugar dissolved. Add in oil, using electric whisk, whisk until emulsified (about 2 to 3 min). While still whisking, add in egg yolks, whisk till completely combined.
2. Sift B and fold into 1. Add vanilla extract to the yolk batter. Stir to combine lightly.
3. In an oil free and water free bowl, using low speed whisk the egg whites till foamy. Add in cream of tartar. Switch to high speed and add in sugar from D in 3 batches. Whisk till stiff peak (check when inverting the bowl the whites will not fall out).
4. Take 1/3 of the beaten egg whites, fold into egg yolk batter to loosen it. Then pour into the beaten whites bowl and gently fold in using cut and fold method, working quickly.
5. Pour into cake tin and bake in preheated oven at 170 degree celcius for 25 to 30 minutes. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean.
6. Invert the cake until cooled.

Like I said before, there were loads of different recipes for chiffon cake, but I like this one the best. The final product is soft and moist even kept refrigerated for a few days but it won't last that long!

You can substitute the freshly brewed coffee with instant coffee dissolved in water. This recipe is my basic recipe and I play around with adding different flavours like adding green tea powder, chocolate powder, using tea instead of milk and so on.

Recipe courtesy of 喵呜子 from wenxuecity. Hearty thanks to her.

Original recipe link in chinese, here.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cheesecake Galore!

My favourite cake in the world, cheesecake!!

Perfect for breakfast, afternoon snack and after-meal dessert!

Strawberry mascarpone cheesecake
Strawberry mascarpone cheesecake

Green tea n chocolate cheesecake
Green tea, vanilla and chocolate cheesecake

Boston cheesecake
Boston cheesecake

Chiffon cheesecake

Coffee cheesecake on choco sponge
Coffee cheesecake on chocolate sponge

Marbled cheesecake
Marbled cheesecake

Recipes coming soon!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Chiffon Madness!

After countless failed attempts at the ludicrously easy chiffon cake, I've finally been able to churn out good output now. Why easy but failed many times, I can hear you ask? Ha, 1 input factor wrong, the whole thing will kaput! Like oven temperature too high, batter not fully incorporated, egg whites beaten wrongly so on and so on, all result in collapsed cake.

Green tea n red bean chiffon
Green tea and red bean chiffon cake

Green tea n red bean swiss roll
Green tea and red bean swiss roll (filling is red bean mousse)

Coffee chiffon
Coffee chiffon

I have also made other flavours like pandan, vanilla and chocolate.

Recipes are dime a dozen, however, I do have a favourite one. Coming soon!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Caramelised Nuts Medley

Caramelised mixed nuts
Caramelised walnut and almonds

Big King has been nagging at me to make this 'snack' for ages. Ok Ok nah give, one big bottle 食死你.

Get ready:
Walnuts, shelled and de-skinned
Almonds, de-skinned
Brown sugar

How to:
1. Lightly toast the nuts in the oven at 180 degree celcius for 10 minutes.
2. In a non-stick saucepan, melt butter, chuck in sugar and honey. Stir for a bit.
3. When sugar starts to melt, chuck in all the toasted nuts. Stir until well-coated and sugar has all melted.
4. Remove from pan and leave to cool on a sheet of aluminium foil for easy removal when cooled.
5. Store in an airtight jar.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pretty in Pink

I have wanted a jewellery box for the longest time. There really aren't plenty around to choose from here in UK, they are either in boring dark wood or plain to death leather colour. I knew I have found the perfect one when I set my eyes on this beauty.

Paris jewellery box
Aspinal of London's Paris Jewellery box

Stylishly small enough to travel around with and in the most pretty pink leather lined with suede. I even have it personalise.

While browsing also bought this pretty pink leather long wallet lined with suede and silk, all handmade. It doesn't come more luxurious than this, unless, of course you stud your's with diamond.........

ladies long wallet
Aspinal of London Ladies Long wallet

Big King said it's my mother's day and birthday present. My birthday is in September for god's sake!

Visit Aspinal's website to get your own. They deliver worldwide.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Curry puffs - a taste of home

Curry puffs

I started my seconday school years in a government school. Before that I attended the only Chinese school in the capital. I always look forward to breaktime in the morning and would rush off to the tea hall as soon as the bell has rung.

Local snacks and tea/horlicks/milo and fruits awaited us in the hall (supplied by the school for free). A moment too late it will be all gone, limited supply versus whole school of about 300 girls (girls and boys has separate tea hall). We get one kind of snack each day and different for the rest of the week. Fruits were normally oranges and apples.

I always look forward to the day they serve curry puffs. I remembered the filling as fairly sweet and they only use potatoes (no meat) and the skin crunchy eventhough they had already gone cold. After eating, I would linger in the hall. When the queue has ended for the food and there is still some leftovers, I would ask makcik (malay for auntie) if I could have more. Normally I get to take home 4 or 5, haha.

This is my first ever attempt on making curry puffs. I used curry powder, chicken, potato and boiled egg as filling. Skin is just water and flour and a little butter. No recipe as everything was agak-agak (guesstimate). The moment I sink my teeth into one, those yesteryears memories came fooding back...........
Chocolate souffle1

Chocolate souffles from GU, a premium chocolate dessert manufacturer. Didn't rise like how souffle is supposed to rise. It tasted ok. Personnaly I don't really like souffle but souffle lover will like it. It's kind of a self-saucing souffle if you like. Make no mistake even if it did not rise much the batter came out nice and airy and springy and extremely light.

Chocolate souffle 2
Yes, it looks like those melt-in-the-centre chocolate pud but the texture is really souffle-ish.