16 Jul 2011

strawberries and cream

I am proud to say scones changed my life! The first scones I ever made was way back in year eight. They were cheese and onion flavoured and came out rather successfully on a first attempt as a no0b attempt. From that experience and the teacher's guidance, it gave me the confidence to cook every week at school alongside my friends. Throughout the years, we went through both successes and failures. 

The 120 minutes of prac each week then, donned in a bright blue apron who needed a friend to tie my apron at the back when I was a junior. Slowly upgraded to a senior wearing a striped black and red apron with a compulsory hideous white cooking-apprentice-styled hat. I slowly began to apply my knowledge learnt in class and "upgrade" the recipes I learnt at school to recreate them at home. Then the blog started as a way of procrastination in VCE and I've grown to love photography as well. 

Three cheers to scones!  
I made strawberry (and walnut) scones almost a year ago, but I wanted something different this time. Using a cream scone base, I decided to replace part of the cream mixture with strawberry puree which gave the scones a light pink hue (doesn't show in the photos) and a lovely strawberry scent. Instead of being crumbly, these were kind of softer. They taste rather refreshing with honey sweetened whipped cream with chopped strawberries. 


strawberry + cream scones

makes 20 x 5cm diameter scones

  • 3 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 4 Tb caster sugar
  • 200 g strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 Tb lemon juice
  • 150 mL thickened cream + 50 mL if dough is dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • milk, for brushing


Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.

Puree the strawberries and lemon juice in a food processor. Stir in the thickened cream, egg and lemon zest. Pour the cream mixture into the flour. Stir until nearly combined and add remaining cream if dough is dry or add some sifted flour if dough is too wet.

Empty contents onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough until it comes together. Pat down the dough to about 5-6 cm thick.Using a floured cutter, cut dough and place onto the baking tray. Combine the remaining dough (do not knead) and continue to cut dough until there is no more.

Brush tops with milk. Bake for 15 minutes. Scones should be light golden.

For the cream: Whip cream in a food processor until soft peaks form. Add 1 Tb of yellow box honey (or caster sugar) at a time and pulse until the cream reaches your desired sweetness. Just before serving, finely chop strawberries and gently fold through.


Enjoy them in the late morning or early afternoon, preferably near a window with the warm winter sun shining through.

8 Jul 2011

coming back for some more

I don't particularly like eating brownies in general. Every time I bake a batch, I end up eating one piece, passing the duty to my brownie-fan sister to polish them off. :) 

These ones were more firm towards the sides becoming dense and gooey in the middle when warm from the oven. Though I felt they were so much sweeter when warm from the oven. Perfect when cooled. 

I liked these ones. I even ate more than one.


chocolate coconut brownies

note: play around with the sugar and chocolates. add/reduce sugar depending on the amount and type of chocolate you use

makes a 18x18 cm square tin, I cut them into 6x6 cm squares

  • 120g unsalted butter, melted
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 30g dutch cocoa powder
  • 40g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 130g milk chocolate, chopped into small bits
  • 50g desiccated coconut, toasted*

* to toast coconut, just pan fry over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it is golden. you may want to reduce the heat lower when it starts to turn golden.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 18x18 cm tin with baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar. Add the beaten eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. Sift in the cocoa and flour. Add salt and mix. Fold in the chopped chocolates and toasted coconut.

Pour into a prepared tin. Bake approximately 25-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin.

1 Jul 2011

a favourite

Pandan and coconut, probably the favourite food combination in the household (though I prefer chocolate and coconut over it). I usually make waffles using pandan paste and a combination of dried coconut, so I decided to make some minor changes to Bill Granger's coconut bread recipe. Speaking of Bill Granger, I am loving his simple recipes more and more!

We bought a classic Monopoly game board just yesterday and I have been playing with my sister. It reminds me of my last year of high school when my friends and I would run to the library to take out the board during our study sessions and lunch time to play. Fast paced and somewhat nosily with certain disagreements and trying to contain our laughter.

I bought all the properties and built houses on the high-end street and my sister threatened to "typhoon" my houses away because rent was so expensive! I cracked up laughing in the middle of the game!

Until then, the board game awaits!


pandan and coconut loaf
adapted from Bill Granger's coconut bread via The Accidental Foodie by Neale Whitaker

Crumbly and slightly drier than a cake, I think this taste bests toasted and eaten warm. I particularly like the crisp golden edges and top! 

makes a 21x10 cm loaf (8-10 thick slices)

  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml milk (I replaced this with coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (I replaced this with 1/2 tsp of pandan paste*)
  • 310 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (I omitted this)
  • 230 g (1 cup) caster sugar (I used just a bit more than 1/2 cup)
  • 150 g shredded coconut
    (I used 100 g shredded coconut and 25 g desiccated coconut)
  • 75 g unsalted butter, melted (I used vegetable oil)

* pandan paste can be bought in small plastic bottles at Asian grocery stores

to serve:
  • butter
  • icing sugar


Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, add the sugar and coconut and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and gradually stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and gradually in the egg mixture until just combined. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture is just smooth, being careful not to over-mix.

Pour into the greased and floured 21x10 cm loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until bread is cooked when tested with a skewer. (Mine took 50 minutes to bake and I had to tent the loaf with foil halfway through baking)

Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes, then remove to cool further on a wire rack. Serve in thick slices, toasted, buttered and dusted with icing sugar.