Saturday, April 30, 2011

Green Tea Butter Cake

I really liked this cake. It was yummy. Even The Husband said so and he is not usually that keen on my cakes.

This recipe would bake better in a regular pound cake pan but I wanted to use my new silicon pan, so the cake turned out very thin.

This is baked using a butter cake recipe I like very much. It is not a "healthy" recipe but the extra cream and egg yolks make this butter cake moist and rich!

130g butter
90g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
45g milk
45g cream or evaporated milk
140g cake flour, sifted
10g matcha powder (use cake flour instead if you want to just make butter cake)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
A small handful of chocolate chips (optional)

What I did
1. Cream butter, sugar and salt until light
2. Beat all the eggs together and add to the butter, bit by bit
3. Sift the flour and matcha powder together
4. Add in half the flour into the butter-egg mixture, alternating with the milk and cream
5. Gently mix the chocolate chips in
6. Bake in a pound cake pan for 180 deg C until cooked. About 30 - 40 minutes

By the way, this is the last picture taken on my wooden balcony table - the table has rotted under the sun and rain and I've thrown it out. It was becoming quite a mushroom farm! A pity really - I liked this table, bench and chair set..

Cakes from Pine Garden's

If I didn't know better, Pine Garden's would be one of those bakeries that I'd just walk by without a second glance.

This is because Pine Garden's look very much like your usual neighbourhood bakery, with cakes that look and feel a little 1980s.

But I've had the black forest cake before (Ting bought it for one of our gatherings) and so I knew better.

The cakes at Pine Gardens may look old-fashion but they score high on taste. I was in a cake mood one Sunday last month and bought 3 slices home - Black Forest, Lychee Martini and Lemon Drop. They were all pretty good.

The black forest one especially would make a really good birthday cake anytime. I liked the lychee martini cake too.. it tasted a lot more of lychee than of martini.. but that suited me just fine.

Pine Garden's Cake
Add: Blk 539 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, #01-2369
Tel: +65-6459 5507

Friday, April 29, 2011

Itinerary for Malacca Trip

A dear friend of mine is travelling to Malacca soon as well and asked for our itinerary for Malacca.

So I thought I'd share it here.

Our itinerary was simple. We really only had a single objective - food!

Day 1 - 
- We drove up to Malacca early in the morning, since it was a public holiday in Singapore. We reached the causeway at about 630am and thankfully, the traffic wasn't too crazy. By 945am, we reached our hotel in Malacca.
- The Puri Hotel is a really nice Peranakan hotel to stay in, highly recommended by The Brother. We didn't stay there this time, unfortunately, since it was fully booked out for the long weekend.
- We walked around Jonker Street, had some really good chendol and laksa at Jonker88, ate a few chicken rice balls at Hoe Kee and did some window shopping.
- Then we went to the malls nearby to escape the hot sun and did more window shopping.
- We then had a really good massage around the Jonker street area before resting at the hotel
At night, we walked around the night market on Jonker street and then ended the night with a icy chilled drink at the Geographer Cafe

Day 2
There wasn't very much we wanted to do on Day 2.
- We woke up for a late local-styled dim sum breakfast at an old coffeeshop on blacksmith street.
- Then we walked around the Christ Church Melaka area. When the afternoon sun came out, we decided to go back to the mall for some cakes and tea at Nadeje Cafe.
- We lazed about the whole afternoon until dinner time. This time, we had dinner at a Peranakan restaurant called Nancy's Kitchen and then found a vintage looking pub where we hanged around until time for supper.
- Supper was another yummy affair at Pak Putra - where I had the best Naan and Tandoori Chicken I've ever had.

Day 3
- We had breakfast and then went around Jonker Street, buying some local cakes and biscuits to bring back home to Singapore. Personally, I find most of the cakes and biscuits not as great as my favourite shops in Singapore. I thought gula melaka was my best buy.
- And then we headed back home. If you leave Malacca in the morning, apparently it's unlikely that you'd hit a bit jam at the Causeway... Well, at least we didn't!

Malacca is a nice place to go for a short getaway. I would recommend going there with a great book and an even better appetite!

Lots of shops along Jonker Street sell cold bottled fruit juice. 
Very helpful when the sun is frightful

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Geographer Cafe

This is a cafe-cum-pub right smack in the middle of Jonker Street.

It is supposed to be rather famous. A popular HK movie (夏日嬷嬷茶, Summer Holidays) filmed one of the scenes in this cafe-pub.

It's a good place to have a new relaxing (albeit expensive) drink and people watch.

Be a little careful if you are strongly adversed to vegetarian food though. We had our breakfast at this cafe before we left Malacca, only to find out this cafe serves only vegetarian food. The Brother was very put off because he is very much carnivorous.

It's a nice place for a glass of chilled beer. Or maybe two.

This drink is named after the movie - 夏日嬷嬷茶, Summer Holidays

These 2 seats on the second level has the best view of 
the night market on Jonker Street

My breakfast - Vegetarian Nasi Lemak. Healthy and pretty nice too!

Vegetarian "Bak-kut-teh", called "Su-kut-teh"

The fried omelette is the best choice for those who 
really dislike vegetarian food

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good Tandoori Chicken and Naan

I've learnt something during this trip to Malacca.

If you want to have good food, sometimes, you just have to learn to wait.

And wait we did in this case for good tandoori chicken and naan.

On our first night in Malacca. We ordered 2 Naans and 2 Tandoori Chicken. After about 40 minutes wait.. we told the guy who took our order that we have ordered and our orders were not here but our neighbours who just came 10 minutes ago got their order. He whispered that these 4 were police officers so of course he had to serve them first.

Oh well. Our naan came shortly after and we polished that off quickly.

But 20 minutes later, our tandoori chicken still didn't arrive. The guy who took our order told us - "No more chicken tonight".


But he was very apologetic and so we decided to let it go.

(I was really indignant that the police officers ate up my tandoori chicken though, I must say)

On the second night we went earlier and this time, the same guy remembered us.

"Today, I give you chicken. Sorry about yesterday"

So after about 45 minutes, our naan and chicken came and boy, the chicken was good! I've never eaten a better and more tender piece of tandoori chicken. The cheese naan, garlic naan and plain naan were all freshly made and finger-licking good too.

If you like to eat tandoori chicken and naan, this coffee shop in Malacca is a must visit.

But be prepared to wait. Or else bring along a police officer.

Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan Restaurant
Jalan Laksmana 4, Melaka

Nadeje's Mille Crepe

Chocolate Banana Mille Crepe - see the bits of 
pureed bananas in the fresh cream?

Mocha Mille Crepe

These Mille Crepe at Nadeje in Malacca (or Melaka) were good.

I've read in some blogs that Nadeje had the nicest Mille Crepe in Malaysia. Others wrote about the original chef leaving the cafe and the quality not being as good as before.

Mille crêpe is a French cake made of many crêpe layers. "Mille" ("mil") means "a thousand". crêpe is a type of really thin pancake. Hence Mille crêpe is a cake with many layers of crêpe, with light cream in between those layers.

We were in Malacca with The Brother and his fiancee, so we were able to order quite a few slices. The 2 cakes that we wanted to order - Tiramisu and Chocolate Strawberry ran out when we placed our orders. So we opted for Mocha Mille Crepe, Chocolate Banana Mille Crepe and Strawberry Shortcake.

I liked how light yet milky the fresh cream in the cakes tasted. All 3 cakes were good. The Chocolate Banana Mille Crepe was my favourite - it had pureed bananas and fresh cream in between layers of chocolate crepe.

I went away from Nadeje with a good impression of the cafe - the drinks selection was good (I had the Vegetable Yakult, which was carrot juice with Yakult) and the cakes were good. It is a good place to spend a leisurely afternoon with a group of friends or a good book.

Strawberry shortcake

The "Yakult" drinks were good - We had Vegetable Yakult 
and Pink Guava Yakult (back)

The cappuccino took a while to come - because of this heart shape, maybe?

Nadeje Cake Shop
G-23 & 25 Jln PM4 , Plaza Mahkota, 75000 Malacca Town

P/S: Just 1 rather strange thing though - the cafe's Facebook page says it is an Italian-Japanese styled restaurant. Hmm.... 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken Rice Balls at Hoe Kee

Chicken rice balls for two

The chicken meat was a little chewy and tough

"Chicken rice balls" (鸡饭粒) is a famous dish in Malacca. The dish is very much like Hainanese chicken rice, which one can easily find in Singapore. But the rice is being rolled into compact little balls, not unlike Japanese onigiri.

I don't find the chicken rice balls at Hoe Kee, a famous stall in Malacca particularly fantastic. The chicken meat was definitely not as tender as those you'd find in most Hainanese chicken rice stalls in Singapore.

But the rice balls were interesting to eat.. and it got me thinking... if there were some chicken meat wrapped in these balls, that will make them really good picnic food!

I liked the deco inside Hoe Kee

Monday, April 25, 2011

Best Ever Chendol

Jonker88 is a small shop along Jonker Street in Malacca that is part cafe and part museum of sorts.

The shop sells laksa, rojak, kueh pie tee and desserts.

The laksa we had was good.. I enjoyed the assam laksa I had and The Husband liked the nonya laksa. All the laksa comes with 2 slices of really crispy tau pok (beancurd skin) with tasty, chewy fish paste inside.

But it is the chendol I'd go back for again and again. It is probably the best chendol I've ever had.

Chendol is a dessert consisting of shaved ice, coconut milk, noodle-like green strips made with green bean flour, red beans and sweetened with palm sugar syrup (gula melaka).

The chendol at Jonker88 was topped off with really thick, almost creamy gula melaka. Yet it wasn't too sweet at all and went really well with the fresh coconut milk. The green noodles were reasonably springy and the red beans were cooked to perfection.

I would go back again to Malacca just for this.

Look at the colour of the gula melaka!

 I liked the red beans in this chendol!

The assam laksa was good - the spicy soup was good and 
so was the crispy fried tau pok!

 The soup of the nonya laksa had lots of coconut milk in it, which made it really fragrant

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Vintage Streets of Malacca

We just came back from a 3 days 2 nights trip to Malacca.

Malacca City is just about a 3 hour drive away from Singapore, yet I have never been there until this trip.

I loved the streets of Malacca - many of the streets are very vintage looking and there are many quaint little shops and places with interesting signboards or displays.  The weather was extremely sunny and hot, but I enjoyed walking along the streets around the Jonker Street area.

Lots of interesting signboards and signs around..

 Many of the shops also had rather interesting display, which makes them very photogenic!

The area around Christ Church Melaka is one of the main tourist attraction in the city. I liked the faded red colour of the buildings and the colourful trishaws for tourists.