Tag: baking

How to make the Perfect Chiffon Cake Base

In other countries this may be referred to as Hong Kong paper wrapped buns.

This is a combination of different recipes that I’ve amalgamated to make the recipe simple and easy to follow. If you’re looking for the best fluffy and soft chiffon base this is the recipe to follow.

Ingredients – split in 2 parts

Part 1

  • 7 egg whites (free from oil or egg yolk – really important)
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Part 2

  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil (or melted butter to make more fragrant – slightly heavier cake)
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) liquid (can be water, milk, fruit juice etc.)
  • 110g (4oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • (optional) a few drops of vanilla/orange flavour or food colouring or pulverised Oreo powder to make Oreo chiffon cake


  1. Pre-heat oven 170C/325F
  2. Make egg white foam/meringue, by placing in a dry (free from oil and egg yolk) bowl, best ceramic or metal.
  3. Beat the egg whites with a low speed until you see some foam forming. Add the cream of tartar then increase the speed to medium.
  4. Add sugar in 3 parts and increase mixing speed. Beat at high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
  5. Mix all ingredients together in Part 2 in a separate bowl.
  6. Mix ingredients in Part 1 slowly into Step 5 in 3 parts by gently folding to trap the air bubbles. DO NOT OVERMIX
  7.  Gently pour batter into ungreased 9inch (22cm) tube pan and bake in preheated oven at 170c/325F for 45-60min.
  8. (Optional) – to make cup cakes/muffins/hong kong paper wrapped cakes, pour batter into cake cases and bake for 15-20mins.
  9. Use a skewer/knife to check if cake is ready – the skewer should come out clean
  10. When removing the cake from the oven, invert the pan and leave to cool completely before removing from the pan.

Any question please get in touch!

Making Cotton Cheesecake also known as Japanese Cheesecake (baked)

This is my ‘baby’ brother’s favourite (though he is not really a baby anymore –at 30 years of age this year!). I remember the first time he gave me a piece of cotton cheese cake (Japanese Cheesecake)  from the night market in Malaysia saying that it’s the best cake ever. I must admit, I did fall in love with it even with the conscious thought that it contains loads of cheese i.e. calories! This cheesecake is slightly different than your ‘usual’, it is slightly salty and lemony and not too sweet. It has a smooth, soft and has a velvety texture. I am a sucker for cake and bread that has a soft cotton texture and this cake taste just that, soft like cotton and melts in your mouth…Mmmmmm…..craving for a piece now!

I have made this cake a many times and must admit that it didn’t really turn out right ALL the time. I am rubbish at beating egg whites (its hard work) to make it into a meringue consistency, and this is important. Recently I bought a stand mixer (my new toy) and used that to make this cheesecake…it was a success.



There are 3 problems that I have encountered:

1)      Top half of the cake is lovely and fluffy whereas  the bottom of the cake is dense and heavy

Possible reason: I didn’t mix the batter evenly and the heavy batter sinks to the bottom during baking

Solution: Mix the batter evenly with a mixer with 1/3 of the egg whites prior to folding the remaining 2/3 egg whites…taking care not to over mixing

 2)    Cake sinks during cooling

Possible reason: Cake cooled too fast

Solution: Leave cake to cool in oven for 1 hour with the oven door opened

 3)     Top of cake cracks during baking

Possible reason: oven heat too hot

Solution: Reduce heat


(adapted from Diana’s Desserts)

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 ml fresh milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp lemon essence
  •  60 g self raising flour
  • 20 g corn flour (corn starch)
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

Note: I omitted lemon juice and salt from the original recipe and still find the cake slightly salty


1)    In a large bowl, combine and melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler (place the bowl over simmering water without letting the bowl touch the water).

2)    Leave the cheese mixture to cool and beat the egg yolk and lemon essence.

3)    Carefully sift and fold in the self raising flour and corn flour into the cheese mixture and set a side.

4)    Beat egg whites in a large clean (oil and water free) metal bowl until frothy and add the cream of tartar into the egg whites. Continue beating and add the sugar in three portions beating in between each addition.

5)    Fold in the egg whites using a spatula into the cream cheese. Add the first 1/3 beaten egg white more rigorously than the 2/3 beaten egg.

6)    Pour the cheese batter into lined baking tray(s) / tin(s).

7)    Place the baking tray(s) / tin(s) into a container filled with water (water submerging half of the tray(s) / tin(s) and bake for 2 hours in a preheated 150 degrees C oven.

You may need to adjust the temperature and time depending on your oven; you know your oven best.

8)    When cooked, turn off the oven and leave the oven door ajar. Leave the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.

9)    Store in the refrigerator and ENJOY.

My cotton cheesecake tends to be gone before we need to store it in the fridge!

Making Sweet Sausage Buns (containing TangZhong)

Sausage buns and rolls are Ethan’s favourite. He loves the fact that he can do abit of ‘treasure’ digging, digging the sausages out to eat first and leaving the bread for dessert!  This is another variety of sausage buns.


Ingredients for Sausage Buns (makes 15 large buns) 

For dough, refer to ingredients to make Pai Bao and 15 cooked frankfurter sausages (lightly boiled and drained), sesame seeds for garnishing (optional)



To make the dough, refer to the methods described for Pai Bao, with the following modifications to shape the buns:

1)    After first proofing, deflate to remove the air in the dough and divide into 15 equal portions. Roll out a portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about the length of the sausage.

2)    Place the sausage on the dough and roll to cover the sausage.

3)    Make 4 equal slits cutting through the sausage but not to the edge of the dough.

4)    Gently twist the cut sausage without breaking the dough to make into a flower.

5)    Repeat with the rest of the dough and sausages.

6)    Place it on a large baking tray to be covered with cling wrap or a damp cloth for 1 hours and 30 minutes.

7)    Lightly brush the surface with whisked egg (egg wash). You can sprinkle some sesame seeds in the middle of the bun.

8)    Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees C for 10 to 20 minutes, until the buns  turn brown.

9)    Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. I have a fan assisted oven, depending on your oven you may need to alter the temperature and time. As long as the top turns brown your buns should be ready. only you know you oven best.