Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Tofu Chocolate Bread Loaf (BM Recipe)

Haha, yet another baking post up for the week! The thought to bake with tofu started after I came across a youtube video on tofu banana baked doughnuts. And I did ended up trying a variation of it without the banana HERE
Then I wondered if it's possible to have tofu replacing something in our everyday bread loaf, mainly to lower the calories per slice. Well, one fine day I was bored and hence decided to calculate the calories per slice of my usual homemade wholegrain bread, and was horrible shocked to know that my homebaked version is 2x the calories of the store bought loaves. 
No wonder my weight loss has plateau off

And due to denser loaves from wholegrain flour, I usually only manage to cut 9 slices per loaf and that gives me about 176 kcals per slice! 

Okay, calories talk aside, let's first get over the ingredients so we can get the BM started.
For a 500g loaf, you'll need:

125g wholemeal flour
115g all purpose flour
10g unsweeten cocoa powder
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
10g sugar 
(I used 5g sugarless sugar & 5ml raw honey)
150g soft silken tofu
3g salt (about 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp ceylon cinnamon
80ml milk

First, soak your wholemeal flour in the milk for about 20 minutes before adding in the rest of your ingredients and let the dough knead on your mix dough function

Due to lower percentage of wholegrain flour in this recipe, I got slightly higher loaf (perhaps switching to bread flour will give me an even higher loaf) and managed to cut 11 slices out of this loaf. That gives me about 92 kcals per slice, almost 50% of my usual sunflower seeds & raisin loaf. 


There's hardly any tofu taste and the bread still turned out pretty soft and chewy in spite of the high wholegrain content. Pretty sure that tofu shall be one of the main ingredients for my weekly bread making from now on!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 13 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Choco-Matcha Ban Ban Soft Cookies

And so the baking trio met again for another day of therapeutic baking! And if you haven't seen our re-creation of Maangchi's gyeran ppang (korean egg bread) recipe, be sure to check it out HERE.

And of course, the three of us wouldn't be satisfied with just barely 30 minutes of baking for the day, hence here's our 2nd bake. Ban ban (half & half) cookies! This is something like the currently trending brookies (brownie + cookies), but more flexible with the flavours. 

For our first try at the ban ban cookie, we've decided to follow another Korean youtube baking guru, Honeykki's recipe. 

You'll need:

For the green tea dough:
150g cake flour
15g green tea powder
100g castor sugar
100g salted butter
(add 2g salt if you're using unsalted)
3g baking powder
1 egg
a dash of vanilla extract
50g white chocolate chips

For the chocolate dough:
150g cake flour
15g unsweeten cocoa powder
100g castor sugar
100g salted butter
(add 2g salt if you're using unsalted)
3g baking powder
1 egg
a dash of vanilla extract
50g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare both doughs separately in two large bowls. First, cream your butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and fluffy, before beating in the egg & vanilla extract until well combined. Then, sift in your dry ingredients and fold until just combined before adding in the chocolate chips and folding lightly to mix it evenly.

Drop about 1/2 tbsp of each dough (together) on a baking sheet, spread about 1 inch apart. Using wet or greased hands (the dough will be sticky!), mold the two flavours together (but do not mix them up, just press them together into 1 cookie) and press it down lightly to flatten. Top up the flatten dough with more chocolate chips if desired before baking at 160 degree Celsius for about 13 minutes. 

The baking temperature and baking time will depends greatly on your oven and its setting, hence do start with lower temperatures and keep a watchful eye on your cookie while they bake. You DO NOT want your cookie to brown. 

TADAA~!

These are soft cookies with a cakey texture, not really my kind of cookie as I prefer mine crunchy, but being both a green tea fan and a huge chocolate fan, this was right up my alley!

But I might want to tweak the recipe a little next time to get crunchy cookies, and also try out the combination of peanut butter with chocolate instead. Green tea with Chocolate tasted a little bit... not that much in sync. 


CL suggested of using a flavour that makes red cookies (red velvet or strawberry?) in place of the green tea next time so we can get ladybug cookies!
How cute would that be!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Gyeran Ppang!

Just a couple weeks back at our small gathering at Chicken Up, we were having a small chat over the Korean food we know/like and somehow, Gyeran Ppang popped up and was really popular at the table. 


Not sure of what is egg bread is about, I did a google search on it and stumble upon Maangchi's recipe HERE
If you're also unfamiliar with this trendy Korean street food, it's a type of bread/muffin with a whole egg cracked into the middle and baked together, hence the name Gyeran (egg) Ppang (bread). 

I picked up the mini loaf paper tins from daiso at just $2 for 4 pieces of these 6 x 12.5 x 4.5 cm mini pans and doubled Maangchi's recipe to get 4 loaves.

You'll need:
240g all purpose flour
240ml milk
2 tbsp melted butter
6 tbps sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cooking oil
6 eggs
(2 for batter, 4 as toppings)
8 cubes of cheese 
(I used laughing cow cheese cube spread)

This is an extremely easy, one bowl recipe. Simply dump ALL your ingredients (2 eggs, not 6!) into one big bowl and whisk until smooth. 
Spoon your batter evenly into the 4 loaf pans, about 1/3 of the pan, stick 2 cheese cubes into the middle of the pan, about 1.5 inches apart. Crack an egg into the middle of the cheese cubes before sending your gyeran ppang into the oven at 200 degree Celsius for about 13 minutes. 


So, total time from nothing to 4 yummy looking gyeran ppang = less than 10 minutes preparation + 13 minutes baking = just a mere 23 minutes!
I'll say this is the PERFECT quick recipe for an effortless, but feels like a lot of effort was put in kind of breakfast. 

Baking for 13 minutes gave us eggs that's almost completely cooked through and the bread/muffin part just nice. So if you would prefer a more moist bread with runny egg centre, you might have to tweak your baking time a little. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Thursday, 9 March 2017

#fitnessfriday - Fitbit Charge 2

Hello, my fellow fitness junkies. It's been more than 6 months since I embarked on my #eatclean diet (you can read my 21 days detox diet HERE and my tips on sustaining it after the 21 days HERE) and I thought that I should reach out to you peeps again with an update.
And so my total weight loss till date is about 6kg and it has been fluctuating around this figure for a while. Well, I probably could cut out more kilos but I will probably need to go into high calorie-deficit, which I'm really not keen on. 

Anyhow, the huge failure of the accelerometer on my new OPPO R9s phone has made me decided to get a proper fitness tracker. Not like miband or what, but something 'smarter', which can tells me more about my daily level of activities and help me track my calories in and out.

And so, after tons of google searches, quite a few of forced discussions with friends, and a couple days (or was it weeks) of consideration, I finally decided to take the plunge and burn 200 bucks on the fitbit charge 2.
I assure you, I didn't get this just for the salmon pink strap.


But still, it's so chio (pretty), isn't it?
They even have super cool leather straps (HERE) and super pretty metal chains (HERE) for you to switch out as and when you felt like it.

Apart from the usual steps tracking, Charge 2 also track your stairs climbed, daily active minutes, calorie expenditure (BMR and daily activities), continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, daily travelled (walked) distance, and allows you to record your daily meals to check your calories in-out, and also allows you to set notifications from your phone to track text messages, calls and set vibrating alarm. Charge 2 also has a few special exercise tracking functions, which includes the ever so popular spinning, running, yoga, pilates, weights and etc.


Charge 2 also allows you to choose your preferred layout on the main "screen" of your tracker and I've chosen the one that shows both my heart rate and steps taken on my main screen, you can easily flip though the screens to check the rest of your stats (calories burnt, distance travel etc) by tapping on the screen. 
And no, it's not a touch screen so... you might need a few taps before it responds. 

Accuracy wise, I'll say the Charge 2 is pretty accurate when it comes to steps counting. I've once checked it against my own manual counting of 100 steps and my charge 2 counted just 1 extra step. As for stairs counting, it can get a little unstable. Certain days it's 100% accurate while certain days it just goes way off. But that doesn't really bothers me as this stairs climbing function isn't what I really focus on when I made the purchase. 

Having a specific spinning and yoga tracking under the exercise tracking function gave this gadget a lot of brownie points IMO, because these two exercises are what I usually do! But it's a shame that there's only ONE yoga function, when we all know there's TONS of variations to yoga and each very different from another in terms of intensity. 
For example, my Charge 2 tells me I burn roughly 266 kcals per hour of Hot Yoga on this particular yoga function, but isn't Hot Yoga supposed to burn more calories as compared to, let's say, Hatha Yoga? And 266 kcals does seem a little too low for hour's worth of near-dying experience in the hot studio too, doesn't it? 

Anyhow, I guess this booboo will actually work in your favour if what you want is to lose weight by maintaining a calorie deficit, because you may be underestimating your actual calorie expenditure. 
So, erm... yay?

In terms of food logging, I didn't feel that their data of food choices is that awesome, hence I'll prefer to log my daily meals on myfitnesspal instead and sync and data over to the fitbit app. 

So after 2 weeks on my Charge 2, I can say it's so far so good. But whether or not it helps in weight management (loss), I can't tell yet. So let's just wait for my next update, yeah?

If you're interested in getting a Charge 2 yourself, do check it out at lazada.sg

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Mia Bakes: 4-Ingredient Rich Chocolate Cake

Yes, you saw it in the title. A yummy chocolate cake recipe that only calls for 4 ingredients, well... 5 if you count baking powder, but... oh well!

Let's get over with the 4 simple (or 5) ingredients to get this rolling. 
You'll need (for an 8 to 10 servings):

200g chocolate of your choice
10g top flour 
(or cake flour)
44ml skimmed milk + 6g cornstarch 
(otherwise you can use 50ml heavy cream)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp baking powder

As you can see, chocolate makes up a large portion of the recipe, hence it's is very important that you choose a good quality chocolate. I used Hershey's, although some may not feel that Hershey's is a "good enough" brand of chocolate, but it'll do for me. 

And also to control the overall sweetness of the cake, I mixed up their sugar-free dark chocolate (60g) with their semi-sweet chocolate chips (140g) to make up the 200g. I would have wanted to use more sugar-free, but 60g was all I've left. T.T



And so, first up, break up your chocolates (if you're using bars) into tiny pieces and melt them over a pot of simmering water over the hob, constantly stirring until they're smooth and glossy. Be sure that your simmering water does not touch the bottom of your chocolate bowl, or you might burn your chocolates. 
Then, add cornstarch to your skimmed milk and mix until the mixture thicken, before adding it into your melted chocolate and stirring until it's well combined. 
Add in the two beaten eggs and mix until well combined before sifting in your dry ingredients and mix till combined. 

Pour your mixture into a 18x8cm long cake pan (to get a taller cake) or a 26x6.5cm pan (to get a flatter, more brownie-looking cake) and give it a few taps on your counter for any bubbles to rise. 

Send your pan into the oven, heated to 170 degree Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes. 

Now, here's the important thing.

If you're looking for a more fudgey, moist and gateau chocolate cake like consistency, you actually may omit the baking powder and bake your cake for only 20 minutes. There's no need to do the toothpick test to check if your cake is 'done' because your toothpick will not come out clean.

However, if you prefer a more cakey and dry consistency like me, bake your cake for up to 25 minutes (also depends on your oven and its settings) until it's fully baked through. 


Taste wise, it's extremely rich and chocolate like a brownie, but without the usual dense and heavy texture of a usual brownie. 

As you can see, this recipe omitted the usual butter found in most brownie recipe, hence cutting your calories by... abit. Well, there's still tons of chocolate so you can't expect this to be a low-calorie treat. 

Hence, estimated calories per 1 of 8 servings is about 144 kcals, which definitely is not your most diet-friendly snack, but still not that bad for a #cheatdayeat treat, yes?

Till then,
Mia Foo

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