Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Kids steam cakeII

I simply love the pastel shades of this little cakes. They are really sweet. This recipe is adapted from the recipe "Sweet Potato Buns" in the book "Cooking for Kids", by Seashore Publishing.


1/2      tablespoon salt
1         egg
100g   cake flour
3         tablespoon fresh milk
1/2      tablespoon double action baking powder
100g   superfine castor sugar


1. Add cake flour and double action baking powder and mix together and sift.
2. Beat the egg with a whisk, and add milk, salt and sugar until combined.
3. Add flour to the egg mixture until combined.
4. Spoon into cups and add a little colouring if desired.

I love the gentle well-rounded curve the cupcake tops are. I have used double action baking powder instead of the normal baking powder stated in the original recipe. I have adapted it to make it rise faster and better.

This was my little girl's idea of adding colouring. It apparently amused her very much as I know how much she enjoys her art lessons. This is yet another opportunity for her to play with colour.

There are many types of food colours available in the market. I have a collection of these simply because my girl likes colours in her cakes very much. They come in liquid or gel form. A small toothpick can be used to pick up a small amount of colouring. I would say that gel form comes in many precise shades and are slightly easier to control the amount of colouring and result you see in your final product. My girl had fun adding a different colour to each cupcake. A little goes a long way and its much easier to add a bit more of the colouring then try to remove it when its too dark!

I happen to have both baking powder and double action baking powder. The difference between the two, is that double action baking powder has twice the rising effect then the double action baking powder.

Having different sizes of muffin cups presents a happy problem to think over. For this recipe, the bigger soufflé size yielded only 2 muffins, while the smaller cupcake size yielded 5 cupcakes. I managed to get a nice rounded cupcake by filling up to 80% of the cupcake. Using the smaller cupcakes papers as they tend to cook faster in the steamer and there is less likely to be uncooked bits at the bottom. The soufflé cups that I tried to make the other time just simply opened up in the steamer and looked very out of shape. 

At first, the word "cake flour" seemed quite innocuous. However having picked up different type of flour than the one in the recipe, I have since developed an awareness to the different types of flour and what types of baked goods are can be made from them. 

Then there is yet another type of flour called the "cake mix". Using a cake mix, we can get a cake with finer texture.

This is another example of premix, which will get a very fine texture cake.

Let me know if you enjoy the cupcakes! Will do some frosting on it next time, maybe in the form of a cute animal!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Rainbow treats

This is an original idea that I have just dreamed up of.

My kids simply love the idea of decorating these with the colourful rainbow rice.

I love the idea of making these. The sweetness of the coconut sugar was a surprise ingredient.

Glutinous rice flour
Mashed baby yam
Coconut sugar
Rainbow rice

The ingredient list is very simple. The kids found the technique of making the dough interesting. Lots of action like mashing of yam, rolling the dough. Rather like the previous post on Tang Yuan for kids.

The decorating work reminded me of Bakerella Cake Pops, which is very interesting to make for kids, which I will be making soon. The younger kids love sprinkling rainbow rice.

Let me know if you enjoyed these as much as I did!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Kids Fondue

A welcome home treat for happy kids. Just melt chocolate and cut the fruits and we are ready to serve.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Chinese Steam cakes for kids II

This is a very similar steam cake, the only difference is the recipe:

Palm Sugar            125g
Self-raising flour   200g
Milk                      150g
Water                      50ml

My child love the process of chopping up palm sugar, which came in a small cylindrical block.
What I have decided to do, was to do a fine chop, add the water and melt it slowly. The amount
of water was right and the texture of the batter came out OK.

As shown, the blossom worked for some of the cakes, only two of them were well rounded, not a hint of any smile, they are green and red. Due to the amount of milk used, it was quite heavy and moist, not the typical of what my girl likes!

This recipe, using the self-raising flour, the blossoming effect was more pronounced, however, the
cake was heavier. No action like drawing an X was used.

My child is a little like me, love to play with unusual new types of ingredients, but finicky with food
and won't eat anything she doesn't fancy. I realized that baking together really gives us something to
make and bond over, usually me agreeing to her riot of colors and her photography ideas. Well, as a team we must get used to listening and accepting inputs that we do not necessarily agree to. Accepting other view points is part of getting along and understanding each other.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Chinese Steam cakes for Kids


Water                   300ml
Brown Sugar       150g
Rice flour             250g
Eno fruits Salts    2 tbsp

The children simply enjoyed spooning the batter into their assorted cupcake cases. They love to paint the batter into bright rainbow hues. Like making a magic potion, adding a small tea spoon of Eno salts into each cupcake, the bubbling starts to act. Put these into the steam, and in 15-20 minutes, its done!

The blooming like a flower effect is dependent on a number of factors:
  • The amount of Eno added
  • The height/width ratio of the cupcake, the higher, the better
This has been an interesting series of experiments for me.

I have been reading about a couple of theories regarding how to make this particular cake smile. For the Chinese, its called Fa Gao or Huat Kueh. It must blossom up like a flower to get the meaning of prosperity. However a cake that does not blossom, is edible too! Apparently there are so many versions of it, some are made with Pandan leaves extract, which can be very natural green colour. The Malays love to make this cake too, however they are not too concerned with the blooming effect.

There are some theories on how to make it bloom:
  • amount of raising agent
  • height of container must be taller than the width
  • cutting action of a knife aids the blooming
  • amount of batter must be filled to the brim of the container 
To conduct this experiment, we are using the same batter. We are varying the type of containers used, using three types of containers: aluminium cups, 2 different sizes of paper cups. We are using varying amounts of batter and varying amounts of  raising agent. No cutting action was used in this experiment.

Observation of the experiments leads to the following discoveries:
The container shape, cutting action is not a critical factor for blooming.
The blooming will still happen even if the batter did not reach the brim of the container.

The factors affecting the blooming are more likely to be:
the amount of raising agent used and the pressure on the batter.
The green cake has an unusual shape on the smile, as the cake is squashed between other cakes.
When the cake raises to the top of the container, when there is uniform pressure on the cake, it blooms beautifully like the yellow cake and the orange one next to it.

We have to get the proportion of raising and timing of putting the raising agent right. if the duration of starting to steam the cake after putting the raising agent too long, the cake might be dense as the bubbling action is over before the cake is steamed. This results in a flat cake. To get a rounded cake, the raising agent must be doing its work while in the steamer.

Good luck to anyone trying to make this cake. Leave me some comments and pictures if yours turned out well!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Flower bouquet

This is an original creation that looks more like a something you will find on top of a fruit cake. These are typical of the fruits that my kids love.

Three Little Friends

I have been reading a lot about food art mainly from this wonderful site by Samantha Lee http://instagram.com/leesamantha# I liked it for its simple materials that could be found in the fridge.

I am so inspired by the artwork and the amount of details that goes into these little creations.
What I have done here is to cut out the outlines of the animals using a cutter and filled in the eyes with chocolate and mouth with red icing.