Black Sticky Rice Porridge

Posted July 15th, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

This Asian style sweet porridge is one of my favourite winter sweets.

I normally eat it warm, but it can be eaten at room temperature or chilled.  It is usually eaten with dash of coconut cream.

You can cook this in a slow cooker or in a deep pan, just like making congee.  Adjust the amount of water to achieve right consistency.

It should be thick in consistency.  The chewy black sticky rice is so juicy and delicious 🙂

I added fresh persimmon to it, and the combination was lovely.  With seasonal fruit and eating it warm or chilled, this sweet pudding can be served all year round!

<Black Sticky Rice Porridge>

  • 500g black sticky rice (can be found at Asian grocery shops)
  • water to soak the rice
  • 2L ~ water
  • 3 tbs ~ palm sugar
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in water for about 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Put the rice, salt, sugar and 2 L water in a deep pot on high heat until water boils, then lower it to the lowest heat your stove can do. Stir constantly.  Simmer.
  3. When the liquid is almost gone, check the rice – if it’s still too hard, add more water to it.  Keep during this until it achieve the right consistency.
  4. Serve with coconut cream.


Chocolate Cake Ball Pops

Posted July 7th, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

This bite-sized chocolate cake looks so cute, and is a great finger dessert for a party or a lunch box.

I got this recipe idea from Coles magazine years ago.  The recipe used Coles mud cake, but I baked my own and used it for the recipe.  I didn’t coat the cake with chocolate entirely as the cake is already rich and sweet.  Sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, they turned into fun pops for kids.

What attaches the sticks to the cake is the melted white chocolate.  I got these sticks from Spotlight (sold as “craft sticks”).

The inside is rich, moist chocolate cake.  This is one of the cake I’m asked to bake when friends coming over to my house. 🙂

You should serve this chilled.


<Chocolate Cake>  makes around 40 pops

21cm Φ cake tin

  • 5 eggs (room temperature)
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 45g corn flour
  • 200g dark cooking chocolate
  • 200ml cream
  • cooking white chocolate
  • hundreds and thousands
  • 40 craft sticks


  1. Separate egg whites and yolks.
  2. Add sugar to egg whites, and whip until thick and fluffy.  Shift cocoa powder and corn flour into the bowl, and fold in.
  3. Pour the mixture into lined cake tin, and bake in the oven at 180℃ until just cooked (around 20 minutes).  Let it cool.
  4. Heat cream in a sauce pan to just before boiling.  Turn off the heat, and add chocolate.  Stir until all chocolate is melted, and let it cool until spreadable consistency.
  5. Slice the chocolate sponge, and spread the ganache.

<into pops>

  1. Chop up the chocolate cake, and shape into balls using hands.
  2. Melt white chocolate in warm water bath.
  3. Insert a stick to a chocolate cake ball, and spoon melted chocolate around the stick’s root area.  Repeat with remaining.
  4. Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands.



Fruity Cinnamon Rolls

Posted June 11th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

D and I have been having a craving for sweet rolls these days…   It’s great to wake up in the morning with freshly baked bread with a cup of coffee, isn’t it?? 🙂

I made some with lots of dried fruits and a hint of cinnamon.

It’s was a pretty cold day, but it took only 2 hours to make these.

The texture is like between bread and … ummm scone?  muffin?  It turned out to be more like cake-type bread.

<Fruity Cinnamon Rolls>


  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 10g dry yeast
  • 300ml milk, warm
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 cups mixed dried fruits
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2.5 tsp cinnamona


  • apricot jam


  1. Place all the ingredients from “a” in a bowl.  Using a dough hook, turn on the machine to mix the dough for 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.  You can knead by hands, too.
  2. Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 mins to prove, or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down dough, remove from bowl and knead lightly.  Roll dough to rectangle .
  4. Sprinkle “b” all over dough.
  5. Roll up dough to enclose filling.  Cut into 2cm slices.  Place in a deep baking pan lined with baking sheet.  Prove another 30 mins.
  6. Preheat oven to 180℃. Bake for 20~30 mins, or until cooked.
  7. Place apricot jam in a heat proof cup and microwave until smooth.  While the rolls are hot, brush jam over top to glaze.

Serve warm or at room temperature. 🙂


Salty Caramel Popcorn

Posted May 10th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

D has been craving for this sweet and salty popcorn.  Personally, I don’t really like too-sugary food, but I remember the popcorn sister-in-law brought us long time ago (post) and I decided to make some at home.

I have many machines and tools for the kitchen, but this popcorn machine has been one of the best-buy.  (post) It makes popcorns using hot air (no oil), and they are my favourite healthy snack.  I don’t add salt or butter to it.  D, however, doesn’t seem to enjoy the plain non-flavour popcorn :p   I’m the only one who uses this machine in this house now.  It’s a shame, this machine looks so cute and works very well.

The caramel is sweet and sticky. I would probably get sick of it if it’s just sweet caramel popcorn, but because of the slight saltiness it became addictive delicious snack.  It’s a great way to use up old popcorns (plain) too.

I tried the recipe from Best Recipes , and added salt once the caramel is cool.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1/2 cups corn kernel –  air popped
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • salt
  1. Place the butter, sugar and honey in a small sauce pan, and bring to the boil.  Cook until it turns to caramel colour without stirring.
  2. Pour the caramel into a bowl of popcorns, and mix through quickly using a spatula.
  3. Transfer the popcorns into baking sheet to cool down.
  4. Break up the popcorn, and sprinkle salt.  Mix through.

When handling caramel, be careful not to burn yourself as the caramel is very very hot.  To wash the sauce pan, simply fill with water and bring it to boil.  Caramel is very difficult to wash when it’s cold.


Melty Milky Pudding

Posted May 3rd, 2011 in Food | 8 Comments »

I’ve been having a craving for the Japanese pudding I used to eat back home.  The soft, melty, milky pudding!  There’re so many delicious puddings in Japan, but my favourite one was “tamago-to-gyunyu nameraka pudding” from Meito.  I don’t know if they still sell it.  The milkiness and the sweetness was just perfect to me.  It melts in your tongue.  Ummm… I miss it (><)

The pudding you get here in Perth is little too sweet.  And, not milky!  So I decided to make one myself..

… and, it turned out GREAT.

The key is not to overcook when you steam the pudding.  Remove from the steamer while the centre is still soft, and the inside will be just cooked by the heat.

I add a layer of caramel sauce at the bottom, and a layer of whipped cream on the top of the pudding.  Yum!

<Melty Milky Pudding>  makes 6 cups

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbs sugar (40g)
  • 150ml milk
  • 200ml cream
  • few drops vanilla extract


  1. Mix the eggs and yolks in a mixing bowl.  Try not to whisk too much and don’t let any air go into the egg mixture.
  2. Place the milk, cream and sugar in a pan, and gently warm up over medium heat.  Pour it into the egg mixture, stirring as you pour.  Add vanilla extract to the bowl.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6 heat resistant cups.
  4. Place the cups in a deep pan, and pour water so it comes up to half way up the cups.  Turn on the heat.
  5. When the water starts to boil, place aluminium foil on top of the cups to cover.  Turn down the heat to low, and place a lid.  Steam for about 10 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, and leave the cups for another 5 minutes.w

Once the pudding is cool, top with whipped cream and/or decorate with fresh fruits. 🙂

White Nests for Easter Eggs

Posted April 15th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

Easter is just around the corner!  … Well, there is nothing particular to do for me on this holiday, but I do get influenced by all the marketings from the shops – Easter eggs, chocolate, bunnies…

This “white nest” is nothing special, but everyone does love them, especially with white chocolate.  Does anyone hate white chocolate?  Maybe?  Personally I love white chocolate.  It’s sweeter than milk chocolate, and looks so cute when used in cooking.  D loves white chocolate (he doesn’t like milk/dark chocolate) and has been eating this nest everyday since I made!

<White Nests for Easter Eggs> makes around 15

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 50g Kellogg rice bubbles
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  1. Melt chocolate in a bowl, over a pan of hot water.  Be careful that the bottom of the bowl holding the chocolate does not touch the hot water.
  2. Stir in rice bubbles and coconuts, and mix through.
  3. Using two spoons, drop the mixture on baking sheet – shaping into circle and make a dent in the centre.  Repeat with remaining.
  4. When it’s set, place an Easter egg on each nest.

The Miami Bakehouse Cafe

Posted March 28th, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

D has been having such a big craving for a sweet bun with icing…  He loves sweets, especially sugary ones and buttery ones.  I really think he should cut down his sugar intake!  I can’t believe his favourite flavour of ice cream is cotton candy.  The vivid colour (blue? pink? purple??) really turns me off…

Anyway, the other day he wanted to grab some icing buns from somewhere.  It was mid afternoon and Hiro was awake but quiet, so we decided to go out to get some fresh air and buy some buns.  Somehow, we headed to Miami Bakery in Melville. (I wrote about this place before here)

To be honest, I don’t really like their pastries… they look great, but  are not to my taste.  Pies are nice though, they have a variety of flavours.  The pie of this month “chicken green curry” was tempting.

…..  I did it again.  I thought “hey this apple turnover looks nice” and ordered one.  The pastry was too dry and hard (I think it was more than 2 days old…), and the cream was tasteless.  I think I had this experience here before, and I totally forgot about it.  I should not order anything with cream here…

I thought D was going to have something with icing, but he ordered chocolate croissant instead.

They do hight tea now. (only at Mandurah and Melville shop)  It’s $27 per head, and includes warm savoury pastries, finger sandwiches, scone with jam & cream, and a selection of desserts and cakes.  Ummm, if you chose a right dessert/cake, I think it’s a good deal.

* Miami Hight Tea $27.00 per person

* Sparkling High Tea (with a glass of sparkling wine) $33.00 per person (only at Mandurah)

Mandurah Foreshore: Saturdays & Sundays from 2PM (08 9581 3000)

Melville: Sundays from 2 PM  (08 9319 3555)

Sugar Pie Cookies

Posted March 6th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

I don’t know if I can say this is a recipe, but it’s so easy to make using left over frozen pie sheets, and I thought I’d post it here.  What you need are frozen pie sheets and sugar.  That’s it.

Although it’s effortless to make, they taste delicious and one whole tray of cookies were gone within 1 hour (by D).

<Sugar Pie Cookies>  makes about 30 tiny cookies

  • 2 pie sheets (half-thawed)
  • 4~ tbs sugar
  1. Line a pie sheet on a clean kitchen surface.  Sprinkle sugar to the every corner.
  2. Line another sheet on top.  Sprinkle sugar to the every corner.
  3. Gently roll the pie sheet towards the top, while sprinkling extra sugar on the way, until it is completely rolled up.
  4. Cut into 1 cm thickness.  Coat with more extra sugar, and bake in the oven at 180° for 30 minutes or until golden.

I used granulated sugar, but you can use raw or dark sugar too to enjoy different taste.  Let it cool on the tray until completely cooled down, and keep in an airtight container.

Orange Mousse

Posted February 24th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

I made this orange mousse on the BBQ (post is here), and everyone loved it.  I had made cheese cake as dessert already, but in the morning I thought I would make one more dessert.

This mousse is such easy to make, and you can actually use bottled orange juice you have in your fridge – if you don’t have any fresh oranges.  That’s what I used, and it tasted as good.

<Orange Mousse> makes about 2L

  • 200ml water
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 13g gelatine (powder) + 2tbs water
  • 240ml orange juice (100%)
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 30ml cointreau (optional)
  • 340ml fresh cream
  1. Soak gelatine in 2 tbs water.  Whip the cream to the soft peak.
  2. Place water and sugar in a sauce pan, and simmer over medium-low heat, while stirring with a silicon spatula, till the sugar dissolves.  Turn off the heat, and add the gelatine.  Stir well to blend.
  3. Transfer the gelatine mixture into a mixing bowl.  Add orange juice, lemon juice and cointreau, and mix.
  4. Place the bowl over iced water.  Stir until the mixture become slightly thicken (but not until the gelatine sets).
  5. Mix the whipped cream to the mixture.  Blend well.
  6. Pour the mixture into a mould, and keep in the fridge until it sets.

It’s a perfect dessert in summer.  Enjoy with orange coulis, whipped cream, or fresh fruits!

Mitarashi Dango

Posted January 7th, 2011 in Food | 6 Comments »

Dango is one of my favorite Japanese sweets!  I love the chewy texture.  Sanshoku-dango (three-color-dango) and mitarashi-dango are must item for me for 3PM tea time, and always get one or two while I’m in Japan.

Dango is made from rice flour, but there are actually few kinds of rice flour in Japan, called dangoko, joshinko and shiratamako.  It’s bit confusing and many people don’t know if there are any differences between them.  They are all made from rice.  Differences are the process of making each flour and also a kind of rice.  Dangoko is made from a combination of mochi rice and uruchi rice. Joshinko is made from uruchi rice.  Shiratamako is made from white mochi rice.  Dango made from dangoko are chewer than those made from joshinko or shiratamako.  Shiratamako gives soft texture and chewiness to dango and it doesn’t go hard when it’s cold.  Joshinko is mainly used to make most kinds of Japanese sweets (eg: mitarashi-dango, kashiwa-mochi etc)

I happened to have joshinko at home, and made mitarashi-dango using a recipe from my grandma!

<Mitarashi Dango> makes about 15

  • 70g joshin-ko or rice flour
  • 35g corn flour
  • 10g sugar
  • 170cc water
  • 40g brawn sugar
  • 150ml water
  • 10ml soy sauce
  • 10g corn flour + water

  1. To make dango, blend all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water and mix until smooth.
  2. Place the mixture in a sauce pan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thicken and the color is almost transparent.  Remove from the heat, and cool.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a steamer.  Start boiling water, and line baking sheet on the bottom of the steamer tray.
  4. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape into small balls by hands.  You can use corn flour if the mixture keeps sticking to your hands.
  5. Arrange the dango on the baking sheet, and steam for 20 minutes.
  6. To make sauce: place water, sugar and soy sauce in a small sauce pan, and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Mix corn flour with 1 tbs water.  Gradually add the cornflour mixture into the sugar water, stirling constantly, to thicken the sauce.
  8. Pour the sauce over dango and serve.  If you like better flavour, grill dango slightly and caramelize the sauce over the heat.