Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chinese Style Coconut Pudding 棉花椰汁糕

Just found out  that I became a granny again last night.  My niece had her second baby yesterday.  Plus 3 kids from another niece, wow, I have 5 grand-nieces and nephews!  Since I'm an "old" lady now, it sounds appropriate for me to make the old Chinese dim sum - coconut pudding.

Another reason is, an aunt came from Hong Kong for a visit, and she LOVES this dessert.  Since she just had her 70th birthday last month, I promised to make one for her.

Somehow I don't see these old fashion dim sum in Chinese restaurants as often as before.  I consider this old fashion because the newer ones I had recently didn't have the same texture.  They're more like plain gelatin pudding.  I call mine "Cottony Coconut Pudding" 棉花椰汁糕 because it is as airy, soft and fluffy as cotton.

Here's what I did...

  • 2 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 3/8 cups water (1/2 cup cold, rest boiling)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  1. Get a 1 litre container ready.  Lightly grease it if you are going to flip out the pudding before serving.  Otherwise, use a container which you can cut the pudding in without scratching the container.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, dissolve gelatin with 1/2 cup of cold water.  Set aside for 5 mins.
  3. Microwave the gelatin mixture for 10-15 seconds. 
  4. Transfer to larger bowl, pour remaining boiling water to mix well.  (Step 2 avoid having lumps in gelatin mixture.)
  5. Add sugar, once it is dissolved, add coconut milk. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Whip egg whites until soft peak.
  7. When gelatin is cooled to room temperature, place gelatin bowl in an ice bath.  
  8. When mixture begins to set*, fold egg whites into it.
  9. Spread in prepared dish and refrigerate until set.
*Note: If you prefer less airy texture, do not let the gelatin set for too long.  The closer to setting stage, the airier it will taste like.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cantonese Classwork Review

Adrian doesn't speak much Cantonese at home anymore. That's why I have to send him to Cantonese school on Saturday.  He's the type of kid who hates all homework, especially Chinese ones as you can imagine. Therefore, I try my best to sit with him whenever I can to help him with his work. Today, there's a chapter in Chinese which I had to read with him.

Me: Ok Adrian, this is chapter 2.  I'll read a few words everytime, you have to repeat after me.
Adrian: Alright.
Me: Chapter Two.
Adrian: Chapter Two.
Me: Happily going to school...
Adrian:  What?!?  You silly mom!  Didn't you read the agenda?  That's not what we have to read!
Me: What?  I read it, it said "Reading: Chapter Two".
Adrian: Exactly, we only have to read "CHAPTER TWO!"
Me: Adrian, "Chapter Two" means the whole page, not the words "Chapter Two"!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kids and Gadgets

Today is Friday in 3rd week of school year.  When I finished my morning shower, I heard the kids talking to daddy already.  I was thinking, "Great, they won't be as rush as the other days".  However when I came out of the washroom, Adrian was playing with daddy's iPhone, Livie was playing with Adrian's Leapfrog, and daddy was in the other washroom playing with his iPad!  Of course they had to rush at the end.  That's why I always tell my friends, I have 3 kids.  My friend described herself as "iPad Widow", I wonder what I should call myself?  When we chat about this at dinner, Ho said, "I'll buy you an iPod Touch, then we can all play!"


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Autumn (Moon Cake) Festival

A long time friend in Hong Kong found me through Facebook a few weeks ago.  Turned out that she's a homebaker too.  I always admire persistence of homebakers in HK.  They have relatively smaller space and small oven, yet they can do whatever we can do here.  Some of her "projects" look really professional.  Yet she'sso humble to say that they're not pretty, not up to the standard.  I think they're just fine.  She even made moon cakes and a Chinese puff pastry with salty egg yolk. Since she said it's easy to do, I gave the puff pastry 豆沙蛋黃酥 a try for Mid-Autumn Festival.
She's right!  It's quite easy to make.  It's very labour intensive though.  I made the dough last night, on my 8th anniversary night.  Haha...  I must be crazy.  One thing I don't like about this recipe is the taste of clarified butter.  It is so strong that it doesn't even smell like a Chinese dessert anymore.  However, this can easily be fixed by replacing it with vegetable shortening.  After making tang zhong toast so many times, I noticed that omega 3 eggs give less colour to baked goods.  This was exactly what happened to my pastry this time.  Unfortunately when I made these at my in-law's place, they only had one omega 3 eg left.  As you can see, they are as white as Chinese steamed buns.  That's ok, overall the project was still a success.  Ho was so happy with the result that he wanted to give them away to his friends right away.  Another excuse for him to go out to see his friends of course.  :-)

I haven't gotten time to translate the recipe yet, but here's the link to the original 蓮蓉蛋黃酥 recipe I followed.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Carrot Cake

One of my team members loves carrot cake.  I always joke with him when he spends almost $3 to buy a slice of carrot cake from the coffee shop downstairs of the office.  He's a Muslim and he had to do fasting for one month recently.  I promised him that I would bake a carrot cake for him when his fasting was over.  This is a 9" x 13" cake. I was hoping others in the office could enjoy it too.  When I asked him to bring some back for his wife, he actually cut quite a big piece.  I could tell how much he liked carrot cake.  This recipe was taken from  There were almost 80,000  people saved the recipe and more than 2,800 people gave high rating on it.  Can't go wrong with that.  It was indeed very easy and very tasty.  I also replaced half of the oil with apple sauce and reduced the sugar in icing from 4 cups to less than 1.5 cups.  They're perfect match.  Many coworkers at the office emailed me to thank me for making this delicious cake.

Here's my adaptation of the recipe:


  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  •  14 ounces cream cheese, softened
  •  1 1/2cups confectioners' sugar
  •  2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Daddy’s Birthday Cake – Chocolate Mousse Cake with Macarons

When I asked Ho what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, he couldn't think of any suggestion.  I know he loves meringue, but I really find it too sweet.  Then I remember he likes macarons too.  So I started searching through internet.
I did it!  I did it!  I finally found the sure win macaron recipe!  Thanks to Not So Humble Pie, I made my first batch of macarons to put on top of a chocolate mousse cake.  The sense of accomplishment overcode everything, we're so happy with the macarons that they became highlight of the cake.  The cake was still good, but the mousse was not smooth enough, texture still has room for improvement.