Monday, August 29, 2016

Homemade Apam Merekah

This recipe was taken from a video shared on where else but Facebook. There are so many recipes that I plan to try and last Saturday, I made these Apam Merekah as I had already bought the ingredients earlier.

In my case, I only have three colours available in my pantry i.e. purple, cochineal (deep red) and green. The green bottle in the picture above is actually pandan emulco or pandan flavouring. The good thing is it is in green colour so it's a 2 in 1 food colouring and pandan flavour in one bottle. I did not bother buying the other flavours/essence because the recipe calls for the use of 1/2tsp only and to buy a whole bottle seems like a waste, unless you use them a lot or bakes a lot.
After mixing all the ingredients, I separated the batter into three. Obviously I did not bother to measure the amount to get the same weight. Add your colouring and/or flavours accordingly to the batter and mix. As for the colours pink and purple, I leave them plain with no flavouring. Remember earlier you already put 1tsp of vanilla essence so that will be fine. Make sure you put just a teeny bit of the food colouring. Although the recipe calls for 1/2 tsp, I added only a few drops, probably 2-3 drops because I want the apam to turn out in lovely soft pastel hues. If you watch the video, the apam turned out very bright. I prefer them to be in a softer shade but hey, whatever rocks your boat!
I have some cupcake liners but I did not have the aluminium casings to put them in and my muffin tin could not fit my steamer so I simply used a small size cupcake souffle liner. I like to use this type of cupcake liner because they stand firm and does not need to be put in a muffin tin. By the way, while you are preparing the batter, you can start boiling the water for the steamer.
Make sure you cover the lid with a clean cloth/muslin so that water doesn't drip onto your apam while steaming. Steam the apam for 7 minutes and once the time is up, carefully transfer them onto a rack to cool.
Close up of the cooked apam. Don't they crack really nicely? And I just love how lovely the colours turn out. The green apam has a tinge of pandan flavour to it. My kids love these apam so this recipe is a keeper. They are really easy to make and can be done in less than 1/2 hour. I packed some to bring to the hospital to visit my niece and left some at home which my kids had on Sunday morning.
For ease of reference and in the event you are not able to click or view the video or have difficulty understanding the Malay language used in the video, I hereby list down the ingredients and the steps.


  • 2 eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 250g flour (wheat flour/all-purpose flour)
  • 1tsp ovalett- you can easily buy this in the baking needs aisle in the supermarket
  • 175g or 1 cup soda water
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp pandan paste/essence
  • 1tsp yam paste/essence
  • 1tsp strawberry paste/essence
  • 1/2tsp green colouring
  • 1/2tsp red colouring
  • 1/2tsp purple colouring
  • 1/2tsp yellow colouring
  1. Beat eggs, sugar and ovalett until mixture turns pale white and fluffy.
  2. Add in flour alternate with soda water.
  3. Mix well and add vanilla essence.
  4. Once batter is ready, separate the batter according to your chosen colours/flavourings.
  5. Add your chosen colours/flavourings to each portion and mix.
  6. Pour in cupcake liners about 3/4 full so that you get the crack (merekah) effect.
  7. Steam for 7 minutes.

In case you are wondering, I used this soda water and that is how ovalett looks like.
Happy trying!
Credit goes to the owner of the recipe and the Facebook page for sharing the video.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Quick Homemade Pizza and Homemade Chicken Sausage

I made these this morning for the kids' snacktime in school. When I say quick, I really mean it is quick and easy and this can be done in the morning, no need to prepare beforehand, nothing much to prep really. 

I used Mission brand Pita Bread for the base, opened a can of Prego spaghetti sauce and slathered the pita bread with the sauce. I cut up some *homemade chicken sausages which I heated in the microwave for a while to thaw as they were taken out of the freezer. Earlier the sausages had been steamed before freezing. Simply cut some slice cheddar cheese and lay on top of the pizzas.

Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees celcius for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the pita bread is warm through. Cool on a wiring rack, cut into slices and pack to school. So easy, right? The lonely sausage is also baked in the oven, just because. Babycakes had the sausage before going to school.

As for the sausages, some kind mummies on a Facebook group shared recipes on homemade sausages. We all know how bad sausages are but who doesn't love their sausages, right? I decided to jump into the 'homemade sausage' bandwagon and made my own chicken sausages last week. I used Ramly minced chicken as I don't have a food processor to mince my own chicken fillets/breasts. You can choose to mince your own chicken or get them from your grocer or you can always opt for the frozen ones like I did. Here is the recipe that I used for the homemade chicken sausage. Bear in mind that I did not have an exact measurement as the initial recipe which I followed didn't specify the exact measurements. Simply use your discretion or feel free to search for other recipes.

  • One packet 400g minced chicken (I used Ramly's)
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Dash of pepper (black or white is fine)
  • Italian mixed herbs (you can use other herbs you have)
  • Some olive oil
  • Some cornstarch
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it becomes a sticky paste. Cut up some parchment/baking paper and place the mixture and roll them up until they form a sausage. Chill them in the fridge for an hour or so. After they have firmed up and taken shape, steam the sausages for 10 minutes. I steamed the sausages with the parchment paper still attached. Remove parchment paper and pan fry until golden brown. 

Some people added blended shitake mushrooms to the mixture. I had some mozarella cheese so I cut them up in small cubes and added them to the mixture. You can also roll the mozarella cheese inside the sausage. I left the steamed sausages to cool before freezing them in ziplock bags. My kids approved the sausages so I plan to make a larger batch the next time. Now I won't mind if my kids ask for sausages to bring to school every other day. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I Still Love My Waffles

Remember in my earlier post, I was not happy with my Bayers 3 in 1 Waffle/Donut/Sandwich maker? I decided to return the item for a replacement the following week. Luckily there is a Mailboxes near my office so I get to drop my parcel there for free after filling up the relevant return form. Initially I thought of asking for a refund or a store credit but I only paid RM19 for the item because RM50 was from a voucher so it would be a waste. I had no choice but to ask for a replacement of the same item.
I dropped my parcel off on Monday and received the replacement item a few days later. 

Saturday morning came and it's a perfect time for waffles for breakfast. I was eager to test my new waffle maker. I used the exact same recipe that I used previously, just so that I can compare with my previous experience. Recipe: The Greatest Waffle Recipe Ever.
As you can clearly see from the pictures above, there was hardly any difference from my previous waffle-making experience. The picture above is the top part of the waffle, which hardly browned and hardly have the deep grids, unlike the bottom part. So frustrating. This time too takes a long time for the waffle to cook. And yes, I had to flip the waffle for the top part to cook. It is so frustrating.

Because of that, I got so fed up of waiting I ended up making mini pancakes or pikelets as some people call it, using the same batter. I simply poured small dollops of the batter onto my non-stick frying pan and voila! I managed to freeze a few pieces of these mini pancakes and a couple pieces of the waffles. I heated them in the microwave, slathered some good chocolate spread and sandwiched them together, cut them into little pieces and put a food pick so that it becomes no-mess-breakfast-on-the-go for Babycakes to eat in the car on the way to school.
Now that I have tried using the same recipe using two different waffle makers, I can't make a concrete conclusion just yet. It could also be that the recipe isn't working for me or the recipe doesn't work with my waffle maker. So next time I shall try a different recipe. I am not giving up on my love for waffles. And I am not gonna let the waffle maker go to waste! I shall search for another recipe and I will try them out.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Fool Proof Fudgy Brownies

Kids had a Hari Raya Celebration at their nursery last Friday so on Thursday evening, their babysitter informed me about the celebration and asked me to bring something for the celebration. The first thing that came to my mind was to bake a butter cake and I immediately wondered if I had all the ingredients in my pantry. That night after dinner, I checked my pantry and thought of baking lemon cupcakes because I have a few lemons in my fridge. However, I have a 225gm butter while the recipe calls for a 250g butter and it is such a hassle to halve the recipe. Then I remembered that one lady posted in one of the Facebook groups about this good brownies recipe so I googled for the recipe. I checked my pantry and thankfully I have all the ingredients in my pantry.
I do not have any walnuts in my pantry though so I simply sprinkled some chocolate chips on top of the brownie before baking it, just because.. I mean, who doesn't like extra chocolates, right? The recipe is so easy to follow, the ingredients are very minimal and after baking it, I can safely say that this recipe is definitely a keeper as it is fool-proof. Just make sure you follow the recipe thoroughly and you shouldn't go wrong. The recipe is aptly named The Best Homemade Brownie Mix. You see, when it says it is 'the best', I just have to try it to see if it lives up to its name. I simply used regular cooking oil because I was lazy to melt the butter and I don't have coconut oil or vegetable oil in my pantry. They worked fine and tasted just fine.
The house smells like heaven and after it was done baking, I let it cool overnight. The next morning, I simply cut the brownies into little squares and put each piece on a cupcake liner and then placed them in an airtight container for Hubby to send to the kids' nursery. Don't they look nice?
My kids were excited to see the brownies that morning. I managed to cut 24 little pieces and only tasted the crumbs which tasted really good. At the party, I managed to grab a slice and I was really happy with the brownies. I baked it in a 9" x 9" square tin so I have some of the mix left, which I stored in an airtight container. Since I didn't really get to eat the brownies, I baked two more brownies on Sunday morning but this time with walnuts- one for my sister who is taking care of her sick baby in the hospital and one for my sister in law's Hari Raya celebration at her house. This time, I saved a few pieces for us at home so I can indulge and enjoy my homemade brownies. This recipe has been pinned on my Pinterest board, saved in my Yummly account and a copy of the recipe has also been printed and pasted into my scrapbook. No more buying boxed brownie mix after this!