Category: Home and Family

Making Non-diary Soft Bread (containing TangZhong with variations including spinach juice, carrot juice and beethroot juice)

Hui Lin, this is specially for you. Adapted this recipe to make soft TangZhong bread without any diary products….for those who are not bothered whether its diary free or not, or maybe it is more like “depending on what you have in your pantry/fridge” lol, you can use milk and butter for this recipe.

Using this recipe, I have managed to make pizza bread. Please look at my Making Pizza from Scratch posts (spinach pizza bread and beetroot pizza bread)


140 to 150 g milk substitute for dairy free version (e.g. Water, soya milk, spinach juice, carrot juice, beetroot juice) or use milk for dairy version
1 egg
110 g to 120 g TangZhong (made using 25g bread flour and 125 ml liquid water/milk/ juice etc)
25 ml cooking oil, can use sunflower oil, olive oil, etc. (or 25 g butter for dairy version)
1 tsp salt (optional)
30 to 50 g sugar (if making plain loaf, 30 g is sufficient)
360 g bread flour
90 g self-raising flour
6 g yeast


I used my bread maker to mix and knead prior to first proofing.

For manual method, refer to this post Making homemade bread without a bread make or dough hook.

To prepare the spinach, carrot and beetroot juice, I steam the vege until soft to touch (10 to 20 mins) using my Avent combined steamer and blender. I then drain the water and use to make TangZhong. The blended vege is made to volume with soya milk or fresh milk or water to 150 mL.



Making Spinach Bread (Containing ThangZhong)

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Making Chicken Curry Katsu

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Making Chinese Steam Cake (Ma Lai Go)

Hubs been craving for this cake for weeks. He kept bugging me asking if I could squeeze in my busy daily routine to make this cake, lol. So I finally gave in and made him one. It was gone in one sitting. Very soft, moist and yummy.

2 eggs
120 g brown sugar (I use unrefined brown sugar)
20 g custard powder
100 g self-raising flour
50 ml milk
4 tsp cream soda (you can use 7-up, sprite)
3 tsp baking powder
50 g melted butter or 50 mL cooking oil (I tried using one or the other and it worked, so whatever you have)

1 . Beat the eggs at high-speed for about 3 minutes
2 . Add sugar slowly into the egg and mix at high-speed for a total of 5 minutes
3 . Add custard powder and mix carefully for about 30 times
4 . Add milk and mix carefully for about 20 times
5 . Leave aside to rest for 2 hours, covered with cling film
6. Get the steamer ready with boiling water
7. When the steamer is ready, mix soda water into baking powder, stir quickly and add into the batter and  mix for about 7 times.
8 . Add oil/butter into the batter mixture. Stir carefully and evenly for about 10 times.
9. Pour into lined cake tin and steam. Cover the lid of the steamer with cloth to prevent water condensation dripping onto your cake.
10. Steam for 30 minutes and best enjoyed whilst it is warm.


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Making ‘Chocolate’ and Plain Soya Pudding (TauFoo Fa, Tofu Fa, Daufa, Soya Bean Curd / Jelly)

Soy bean pudding or soy bean curd desert also known as douhua, tafu fa , etc is traditionally made with calcium salt (gypsum) to coagulate the soya milk. I found this recipe on the WWW using gelatin to curdle/solidify the soya milk (instead of gypsum) by chance, made it a few times as the boys loves it. I have made this lovely pudding with homemade soya milk using dried soya beans, carton soya milk and even chocolate flavored soya milk, quite enjoyable. Putting the title as chocolate tofu fa may throw a spin on this traditional soya milk pudding.

Here is the recipe (originally from the aunty from Wantanmien).

1 L soya milk (homemade or carton soya milk, can also use choc flavored soya milk etc)
40 g sugar (optional)
9 g gelatin (I have also used up to 18 g gelatin, it is obvious or perhaps not to some :P, the more you use, your pudding will be ‘more solid’)
75 ml of cold water (if adding up to 18 g gelatin, I used 100 ml cold water)

1 . Sprinkle gelatin into a bowl or cup containing 75 mL of cold water. Place the bowl or cup into a water bath to melt the gelatin for about 10 minutes. Do not stir.
2 . Place sugar and soya milk in a pot, gently simmer the liquid to dissolve the sugar. Do not boil.
3 . Remove soya milk from the fire, stir the gelatin and slowly pour into the milk whilst stirring or whisking. Ensure the gelatin is mixed well.
4 . Return liquid to the fire and simmer to dissolve the gelatin. Stir continuously.
5 . Pour the milk into a container through a sift   
6 . Remove froth or bubbles
7 . Leave to cool down
8 . Place a piece of cloth on the lid, cover the pudding and let it set overnight in the fridge.

 There you have it! Easy Peasy!

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Making Novelty Bread – ‘Spot’ the Dog

Ethan’s breaky!

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Picture of Spot from one of Eric Hill’s book (pic taken from Wiki) …ok Spot hasn’t got brown ears, but it stands out!…..



This loaf of extremely soft (and cute) bread  was made using recipe from my previous post – Making Hong Kong Pai Bao …with slight modifications of course. OK, I must come clean as this bread was not meant to be Spot, but it’ll have to be Spot for now….a pretty good ‘Spot’ if you ask me 🙂 Ethan’s happy! Pretty cool eh!




Making Quiche

I was thinking of what to cook for dinner one day and thought of Quiche. So I made quiche…simple 🙂 20120221-115932 PM.jpg

1) Very easy to make and absolutely tasty (at least that’s what my boys tell me)
2) I have a little sous chef who was more than happy to cook dinner
3) It’s absolutely easy to make – even a 3-year-old can do it
4) Minimal preparation
5) Required basic ingredients

So this is how Ethan made his tomato, spinach, chorizo and bacon Quiche.

20120221-115905 PM.jpgIngredients

For pastry
400 g plain flour
200 g butter (cold cubes)
a pinch of salt
an egg yolk
less than 100 mL cold water

For pastry filling
6 pieces of thick bacon
100 g shredded Gruyère
100 g shredded cheddar (you can use any hard cheese)
200 ml creme fraiche (we have made without this, still tasted lovely)
200 ml fresh cream (single or double)
3 eggs well beaten
a pinch of nutmeg (made with and without it, still tasted great)


For pastry

 Place the flour, butter, salt and egg yolk in a food processor and mix for 20 seconds. Using a food processor is better than using hands as it does not melt the butter. The mix should look like breadcrumbs.

Pour it out into a mixing bowl and mix with hands with a little water at a time to make the breadcrumb mix into a dough. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Roll the pastry with some flour sprinkled on the surface to fit your tray. Place on baking tray and trim the pastry (pastry will shrink, so leave some extra sticking out of your tin. Prick the pastry with a fork.

Place a piece of foil (shiny side down) and pour baking beads on the foil to weigh the pastry down.

Bake the pastry blind in a 180 degrees C fan assisted pre heated oven for  15 minutes, remove the beads and bake for another 5 more minutes until the pastry is slightly brown or golden.

Your pastry is ready for its hidden treasures.

For pastry filling

oops….still writting





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Making Milky Spinach Chinese Steamed Buns (Man Tou / Bao / Pao / Hanamaki)


2 coloured Milky Spinach Silver Thread / Flower Roll Steamed Buns

A healthy treat for my little 6-month old (nearly 7 months now) and my little 3-year old, I decided to make milky spinach steamed buns. I made wheat grass buns before (both baked and steamed), but they tasted raw (tasted like grass – cow’s food as Hubs commented) not the most pleasant. After that episode I was a bit reluctant on using greens to make buns.

These milky spinach steamed buns are inspired by cousin Polly.

As these buns were meant for my little-lings, I used baby formula milk (was tempted to use mummy’s milk but decided against it). You can use fresh milk or semi skimmed milk powder.

Milky Spinach Silver Thread / Flower Rool Steamed Buns

Recipe is similar to my previous post on making steamed buns with ‘Old Dough’. The changes I made to the original recipe is to substitute 160 ml of fresh milk with baby formula milk for the white part of the buns and used spinach juice plus semi skimmed milk powder for the green buns. For your convenience, here is the recipe again.

Ingredients for Old Dough

50g plain flour
150g self raising flour
110 ml water
1/2 tsp instant yeast

Ingredients for Man Tou
160 ml fresh milk*
* or baby formula milk
* or spinach juice from 100 g of spinach plus 2 tbsp milk powder

2 Coloured Milky Spinach Steamed Rolls

100g plain flour
200g self raising flour
30g sugar (I used unrefined Demerara, 30 g when making for kiddies, 70 g for adults)
1 tbsp oil
70g’old dough’ (1/4 of the portion made earlier)
5g yeast

To make Old Dough: Add the dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl, make a well and pour the liquid slowly into the well in 2 portions. Mix with a spoon until a dough is form and knead with hands. Divide the Old Dough into 4 portions and freeze until required. Can be frozen for a couple of months (I must admit, I used my breadmaker to make the dough).

To make Man Tou

I mix the ingredients with my breadmaker set at ‘dough’ function or you can do it the traditional way – using elbow grease.

  1. Add the dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl, make a well and place the old dough in the centre (make sure the old dough is fully defrosted if kept in the freezer). Press the old dough down.
  2. Pour the milk (or spinach juice) slowly into the well in 4 portions. I used my Philip Avent Combined Steamer and Blender to prepare the ‘spinach juice’. The spinach was steamed and blended making 160 mL of spinach juice.
  3. Mix with a spoon until a dough is form and knead with hands.
  4. Cover with a wet cloth and leave to proof for 30 min to 45 mins (until dough double in size).
  5. Divide the dough and shape. Cover with wet cloth and proof again for 30 minutes and steam.
  6. Steamed and cooled buns can be frozen.
  7. To reheat, steam for about 20 minutes from frozen. Ensure buns are piping hot and enjoy!


Today, I made 3 lots of buns. The first two lots were 2 coloured buns containing baby milk and reduced sugar for the kiddies. Both boys loved it!

The 3rd lot contains spinach juice and 70 g of sugar for Hubs and myself. I must say, they are quite pleasant, tasted nothing like my wheat grass buns. Give it a go!


Rewiew on My Baby Weaning Gadget No. 1 (Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender)

20120214-051341 PM.jpgI bought a Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender despite Hubs protest when I was weaning Ethan 3 years ago. I am glad I did as I think it’s an awesome gadget. It makes superb nutritious food for baby and non babies with just a flip and a couple of knob twisting!

After making Ethan’s baby food (3 years ago), the gadget was not kept in the dark in the corner of the kitchen…NO SIREE! The Combined Steamer and Blender is frequently used to steam veg for the family and to make good portions of soup without boiling the ingredients to oblivion. I have even used it to make fruit lollies for Ethan. Right now the gadget will be used to make Ewan’s baby food. Definitely well worth parting with your money for this.

Blueberry Ice Lolly

Product information for the Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender

It has an in-built powerful steamer and bender whereby the compartment can be used to steam fruits veg, meat, fish when attached on one end and when flipped on the other end the food can be chopped or blended using a pulse function. (Note all this done whilst the food is hot and steaming without the need of transferring anything, how awesome). It does do what it says on the label. Very compact, easy to use and clean.

Technical specifications
Frequency 50 – 60 Hz
Power 400 W
Voltage 220-240 V
Safety Classification Class 1
Safety Safety lock system for lid and bowl detection
Capacity 800 (solids)/450 (liquids) ml
Speed 1
Water tank volume 200 ml
Cord length 70 cm
Colour/finishing White/Green
Weight and dimensions
F-box dimensions 193 D x 243 W x 344 H mm
Number of F-boxes in A-box 2
Product dimensions 16.50 (round base) 30.8 (height) cm
Product weight 2 kg
BPA-Free Yes


Compact, easy to use, easy to clean convenient


Pricey, have to be careful when flipping the compartment straight after steaming as water can leak out from the little ‘steaming’ hole, and its HOT (a given really). Although the main food compartment is easily cleaned, I find that the water compartment (compartment where water is added to creat steam) can be quite dirty and difficult to clean.

My Verdict

To me, all Pros no Cons (ok I did write some Cons, but I can overlook them cos its brilliant).

To me, only one real down side is that it is a little pricey approx 80 GBP. But hey, looking at the bright side, some food processors cost more. Compact easy to use, easy to clean and makes delicious food. I can definitely taste the sweetness of mushy carrots and peas which is a sign that most of the nutrients are retained whilst cooking in this superb gadget.

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Baby Weaning Using ‘Edible Spoon’

This is Ewan’s edible spoon designed by Hubs! It’s an Apple-Spoon…for when Ewan is a little fussy with his nosh! Seems to have worked. He finished his dinner (with Ethan clowning around), LOL

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