Hands up, if like me, you love the month of December!

This is my favourite month of the year, because there is Christmas. This means lots of food on the dining table, presents, fairy lights and the smell of fresh fir in the house.

I have always chosen to buy a real tree, which I get from Ikea. It is a magical feeling to wake up each morning, smelling the earthly aroma of the fir.

Also, what's Christmas without a log cake, so here's mine:

I even sneaked in blueberries for some crunch.


Chocolate Sponge Cake
Recipe from Creative Culinaire. I won't share the recipe, as it is taught to the students in their baking class. You can easily find other recipes online, or try this sponge cake recipe here

Custard Filling (from 孟老師的美味蛋糕卷)
100g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
20g plain flour
200g fresh milk
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Place the butter in a bowl and let it come to room temperature. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar till evenly mixed. Add in the flour.
Continue beating, and add in the milk. Add in the vanilla essence.

Using the double-boil method, place the bowl over a pot of boiling water.
Beat the mixture till you see streaks forming.
*It takes patience and arm strength to keep stirring the mixture. The mixture will bubble and thicken after a few mins. Continue beating, and only stop when you see the streaks forming.
Remove from heat. Cool the mixture over a bowl of iced water.

Beat the butter till soft and fluffy.
*As the butter is quite soft, I simply stirred with a wooden spoon.
Add butter to the cooled mixture. Mix well and you have custard.

Custard makes a good filling as it is smooth and creamy, with a hint of vanilla.

Ganache (adapted from Nigella Lawson)
100g dark chocolate - I used Callebaut 70%
142g icing sugar
127g unsalted butter, softened

Melt the chocolate, over a pan of simmering water or the microwave.

Put the icing sugar in a processor and blitz to remove lumps.
Add the butter and melted chocolate. Pulse again to make a smooth icing.

If you don't have a food processor, you can also do this by hand.
Remember to sieve the sugar before mixing with the butter.

To assemble the log cake, cut two slits on the sponge at the edge that is nearer to you.
This makes it easier to roll the cake.
Spread custard over the chocolate sponge. Roll up the cake and let chill in the fridge for at least 60mins.

Remove cake from fridge. Cut off both ends at a gentle angle, and place them on the cake board to resemble a branch coming off a big log. Spread with ganache and use a fork to create the swirl lines.

Waffles conjure up images of a lazy afternoon well-spent at a cafe... where I take my own sweet time to eat and watch the world go round. It is also the perfect brunch food, enjoyed with sweet toppings (like an ice-cream) or savoury ones (think bacon and cheese). It is so versatile, and the deep pockets where puddles of maple syrup gather always beckon out to me.

What's not to love about them? Especially when there are so instagram-worthy!

Buttermilk Waffles Recipe
Adapted from Waffles (Sweet, Savory, Simple) by Dawn Yanagihara

250g plain flour
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
480ml buttermilk
85g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly


Preheat the waffle machine.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together. Gradually whisk in the melted butter.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until the batter is evenly moistened. Pour the batter into the centre of the waffle iron.

Use a rubber spatula to distribute it evenly, making sure the waffle iron is fully covered with batter. Cook for 6 mins (subjected to the heat distribution of your waffle machine.. mine took about this time to reach a deep golden brown).

Cool the waffles on a wire rack. Trim the edges with a scissor.

Have fun stacking it into a tower and drizzle with your favourite toppings! Let's go waffling....

In the Chinese culture, roasted pork belly (also known as Sio Bak) are served during special occasions, celebrations or as an offering to the deities to request for blessing.  While it used to be very expensive, you can easily buy good roasted pork from the stalls and restaurants now. It is equally fuss-free to make some in your home too.

Homemade roasted pork belly is addictive. Eating it is like having a myriad of flavours and texture exploding in your mouth. You will first bite into the crispy and salty skin, then the melty fats, before tasting the moist and soft meat. My dieting plans are put on hold whenever this dish is being served. After all, a few pieces of these tasty meat won't hurt right?

Homemade also means that you can control the amount of salt used. I often find those sold outside a tad too salty.

Here, I am using a recipe from Noobcook. Using the method below, I did find the following to be useful

- Importance of poking the soft parts of the skin every 30 mins 
  This helps to create the blistering effect and for the skin to crackle.

- Placing the meat on the higher rack closer to the heating coil. 
  I find that this reduces the cooking time. If baked too long, the top may be crispy but the skin will be
  too hard and thick. Not very suitable for the elderly if you are planning to serve it to them.

It really is quite easy to make with an oven, and a dish that will impress your guests.


420g pork belly

(A) Meat Marinade
1/4 tsp white pepper powder
1/4 tbsp five-spice powder
1 tsp sea salt

(B) Skin Marinade
1 tsp sea salt


1. Using a knife or satay stick, evenly poke holes on the surface of the skin (but not cutting into the surface of the meat). This can be difficult, but try your best. It will be easier to poke holes on the skin using the bamboo skewer after it is roasted in the oven.

2. Rub (A) onto the meat. Be careful not to get the marinade onto the skin. If it does, remove using a paper towel. 

3. Rub (B) onto the skin. Place the pork belly on a plate, and leave it uncovered in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. 

4. When ready to roast, place the pork on a baking pan. The baking pan is placed on a roasting pan filled with water. Bake the pork belly in the preheated oven at 220C for 30 mins. Reduce the heat to 200C after 30 mins, and poke the skin which is still soft, with a bamboo skewer. Repeat this process every 30mins.

5. Continue baking the pork belly for another 60 mins or until the skin is roasted to crispy perfection.

6. Let the meat cool for 15 mins before cutting into smaller pieces.
image source: move nourish believe
Hi, I am back.

I am feeling guilty for I have been missing for a long while, leaving this space empty while I focus on my other commitments.

I guess my priority changes with greater work responsibilities, and wanting to take better care of self. Weekends are dedicated to resting and I just want to go cafe-hopping, eat cakes and catch up on sleep. Furthermore,  I do a lot of writing at work. Blogging then took a backseat as I didn't want to spend more time in front of the computer after work.

The happy thing is I was (am) still baking. Having less time calls for the mind to be creative and selective. I was still making loaf cakes, one-bowl cookie mixes and the occasionally bread.

Think of it as seasons, the weather changes, and so can a person's priority. I began missing this space. I am reminded of the baking buddies I have made through this platform, and how generous people are in sharing their baking and cooking experiences.

With a renewed energy to write again, I am sweeping off the dust from the blog. I even redesigned a new template, to symbolise a new start. There is only one intent - to document and share my adventures in the kitchen.

I would love to have you join me in this journey too! Here we go...

Lately, I have fallen in love with reading interior design and DIY blogs. Somehow the idea of being able to create something appeals to me. Perhaps that's why I love to bake!

I have been spending the last two weekends re-arranging my house, and taken on mini projects to inspire and rejuvenate self. Seeing the pieces come together is fun!

Feeling a bit guilty I keep procrastinating, I finally baked this - a Japanese Cheesecake.

Compared to previous recipes I had tried, this used whipping cream and a lot more cream cheese. Looking at the ingredient list, I thought how decadent it is! It proved to be true. My hubby even asked for a second helping.

Texture wise, it tastes rich, yet fluffy, and melts in your mouth. However, it is important to ensure that the baking tin is lined with sufficient aluminium foil to prevent water from seeping into the tine during baking.

On another note, I had some frozen egg whites in my fridge. Sometimes there are left-overs, as certain recipes might only require egg yolks. As I did not want to waste the egg whites, I would pour them into ice cube boxes. Just nice, one square for one egg white. The other way could be done for egg yolks too. So when I need my eggs, I just let it de-frost and come to room temperature. The results are good! My de-frosted egg whites could still be beaten up to stiff peaks.

Recipe adapted from Just One Cookbook

400g cream cheese
60g sugar
60g unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
200ml whipping cream0
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
1 tbsp rum (optional)
80g plain flour

For the meringue
6 egg whites
100g sugar

Preparation note - The cream cheese, unsalted butter, eggs and whipping cream should be brought to room temperature before use.

1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring-form plan and line with parchment paper. Wrap the base of the pan with aluminium foil to prevent seepage.

2. Preheat the oven to 160C. Start boiling a kettle of hot water (for the water bath later).

3. In bowl of the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium high speed until smooth. Add the butter and mix until incorporated.

4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Mix well. Add in the whipping cream and mix well.

5. Add in the lemon juice / rum and mix until the batter is smooth. At this time, the batter would appear runny.

6. Shift the plain flour and add to the batter. The batter would start to thicken up.

7. To prepare the meringue, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using the bowl of the electric mixer, begin by whipping the egg whites on medium speed (speed 4 for KA) until foamy. Gradually add in the sugar as the mixer runs. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to let the mixer whip the meringue until it is glossy, and the volume has doubled in size.

8. Add 1/3 of the meringue to the cream cheese batter. Mix well to loosen up the batter. Then add the remaining meringue to the batter. Fold it in until incoporated.

9. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and drop the pan slightly onto the table to remove any air bubbles.

10. Place the cake pan into a tray / roasting pan filled with hot water. This creates a water bath. Place the pan in the middle middle rack of the oven.

11. Bake at 160C for 60 mins until light golden brown. Then reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for another 30 mins. It is ready when a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

12. Let it cool in the oven, with the door slightly ajar before removing it from the roasting pan.

* Just a note for self: To bake the cake longer (for about 30 mins) and to tent the cake, if the skewer comes out with moist crumb after 1.5 hours. I suspect my cake is a little under-baked this time.