Saturday, 25 August 2018

Mia Bakes: Brown Sugar Steamed Cake (Huat Kueh)


Yes, that's a huat kueh (steamed cake) and I made it in a loaf pan. ROFL.

Never knew that making huat kueh can be so easy (though it take a little waiting time). So let's get over the ingredient so we can get started!

To get 1 loaf pan (approximate 10 slices), you'll need:
150g all purpose flour
50g dark brown sugar 
(add more if you prefer sweeter taste)
120ml warm water
(I used 50ml hot water and 70ml room temperature water)
1 egg
1 tsp yeast (about 3g)
1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
toppings of your choice (I used about 35g of chopped dates & sultanas)

Making this steamed cake can't be any easier! First, fully melt your brown sugar in about 50ml of hot water and then add 70ml of room temperature water to make it lukewarm. Do make sure it's not too hot, if not you may kill your yeast. 

In a clean bowl, sift in your flour and add in your yeast and baking powder if you prefer to have extremely soft and airy steamed cake. If you prefer to have your steamed cake more solid and chewy, leave out the baking powder. 

Add in the lukewarm brown sugar water and crack in an egg. Mix well until fully incorporated. 
Pour the mixture into a well greased loaf pan (or any baking tin you prefer) and cover well with cling wrap to prevent the batter from drying out. Then, leave it to proof at a warm spot for about 1 to 2 hours until it almost tripled in size.
I proofed mine using my oven's proofing setting and it took me about 45 minutes. 

Then, scatter your topping lightly over the top of the proofed batter. I suggests that you chop your toppings as small as possible as they might all just sink to the bottom if too heavy, for the batter is pretty liquidy. 

Steam your cake over medium/high heat for 30 minutes before turning off the heat and leaving it in the covered pot/steamer for an additional 5 minutes before opening your lid and taking your steamed cake out. Let it cool in the tin for another 5 to 10 minutes before flipping it out on a cooling rack to cool completely. 


The combination of both yeast and baking powder gave me some ridiculously soft and fluffy steamed cake! HUAT AH!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Mia Bakes: Mixed Fruit Cream Scones


Some mixed fruit cream scones, anyone? :) Oh well, but if you haven't guessed it, they're all gone by now. So why don't you make some yourself? It'll just take you.... 30 minutes (if you don't mind not having much of that fancy layered flakiness)?

So let's get over the ingredient so we can get started! To get 6 scones, you'll need:

100g top flour (or cake flour)
28g superfine wholemeal flour 
(or swap it back for top/cake flour)
30g FROZEN, CUBED unsalted butter
60ml cooking cream (& an additional 1.5 tsp)
(or you can also use heavy, or whipping cream)
1 egg, beaten (separate into TWO servings)
5 tsp baking stevia 
(my baking stevia is in 1:2 sugar ratio, so you can do your own conversion according to your own sweetness preference)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
40g mixed dried fruits
(or you can use dried raisins, currants, sultanas etc)

First up, mix all your dried ingredients (flours, baking powder, sweetener) into a bowl and give it a quick whisk to combine. Then, cut in your frozen butter either with a pastry cutter, a mini food processor (recipe is too little to be using a large heavy duty one) , a fork with a knife, or simply just using your fingertips and rubbing the butter in. 
Stop when your butter are reduced to pea-sized and pretty evenly distributed in the dry ingredients. 
Then, mix in the dried fruits before adding in HALF of the beaten egg along with the cream and vanilla extract and give it a quick knead until everything just comes together into a dough. 
Never, ever overmix your scone dough as it'll work up the gluten in your flour (especially if you're substituting with all purpose flour) and you'll get tough, rock cake like scones. 

If you're in a hurry and do not like to wait, you can just pack the dough into a rectangular shape that's roughly 1.5 inches thick and cut them into 6 equal pieces, brush the top with some egg wash (add 1.5 tsp cream or milk to the remaining half of your beaten egg) and send them to bake at an oven pre-heated to 220 degree Celsius for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the top surface has browned nicely. 

If you can afford to wait for a couple more hours, then shape your dough into a rectangle, wrap it up in cling wrap and pop it into the fridge for at least an hour (I left mine overnight). 
Then, take out your cold dough from the fridge and let it rest for a few minutes on the counter if it's too stiff to work with (but it shouldn't be). With a bench scraper, cut the dough into half and stack the two pieces on top of each other. With the bench scraper (or roll with a rolling pin, if you prefer), press the dough to flatten it back into a rectangle of the previous size and slice it into two again. Repeat this slice-stack-flatten process for a total of 4 to 6 times. At any time, if you feel that your dough is getting too soft, wrap it back up in clingwrap and pop it back into the fridge for 10 minutes or so to firm it up. 
Then, cut your final rectangular dough into 6 equal pieces, brush the top with some egg wash and bake them off!


These cream scones are tender and crumbly, with a slight buttery fragrance (which is definitely something extremely important for a good scone, in my opinion) as compared to those cream scones that only uses heavy cream to replace all the fat (butter) in the recipe. Yes, that saves you the hassle of cutting frozen butter into the flour, but a scone ain't a good scone if it doesn't have the buttery fragrance, yes?

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Dermagold's New Elite Miracle C+ Serum [Sponsored]


It's been a good three years ago when I first tried Dermagold's Miracle C+ Serum (read my review HERE) and I'm so glad to find out that Dermagold has reinvented this award-winning star product of theirs and came up with the New Elite Miracle C+ Serum!

An improved and updated version of our Award-Winner Miracle C+, this is a luxurious elite high performance 18% Vitamin C Ester serum fortified with hyaluronic acid and aloe. Multi-functioning product with anti-oxidant, anti-wrinkle, anti-pigment and anti-inflammatory properties. Brightens and whitens skin.  
-credit to dermagold.sg-


The benefits of their previous award-winning Miracle C+ have been preserved in the new Elite Miracle C+, which include:

1. Anti-Oxidant
2. Anti-Wrinkle
3. Anti-Pigment (for blemishes or pigmentation)
4. Anti-Inflammatory (for sensitive or irritated skin)

So, apart from helping to control and improve on existing skin prpblems, the new Elite Miracle C+ will also help to brighten and whiten our skin with regular use, making it an all-in-one power-packed formulation that's suitable for all skin types.


The new Elite Miracle C+ still comes in a light and watery gel consistency that spreads across our skin effortlessly and gets absorbed in no time. Not only that, I've experienced an obvious improved texture in the product, that felt smooth and luxurious against my skin. The rich and velvety texture slides easily against the skin, giving a refreshing feeling after application. 
In addition, the Elite Miracle C+ is also better able to lock in moisture to the skin without making our face looking and feeling greasy!

True enough, my skin feels more hydrated and supple after applying the product, so much so that I've been skipping my night moisturizer (I only use this in my night skincare regime) these days, and yet my skin appears equally, if not more supple and moisturized the next morning. 
As I've said before, invest in skincare and not makeup, ladies. You can't go wrong with that!

For more details, visit Dermagold's website HERE
Enjoy free shipping for all orders above SGD $100 and get $20 off your first order with every new Dermagold membership sign up HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Mia Bakes: Super Quick and Easy Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Because I recently impulse-bought Fifty 50 Low GI Maple Flavoured Fructose Sweetener (HERE) while carting out my usual purchase on iherb, I decided.... It's time for a pancake breakfast!


And since it's sunday cheatday, I decided to go big or go home and make some CHOCOLATE CHIP pancakes!

To get 3 thick and fluffy pancakes, you'll need:

85g top flour (or cake flour)
70ml milk
2 tsp to 1 tbsp powdered sugar
(do adjust the sugar according to your preference, and also based on the type of chocolate chips you're using. Eg. milk/dark/bittersweet etc)
(about) 2 tsp melted butter 
1 medium/large egg 
(yolk and whites separated)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 baking powder
1/4 baking soda
30g to 35g semi-sweet chocolate chips 
(or however more or less you fancy)

First up, make sure all your ingredients (except melted butter) are at room temperature. Crack your egg open and separate the yolk and white. Set the egg whites aside and add your yolk into a big bowl along with the milk, melted butter, vanilla extract and sugar. Beat until well combined.
Add in the dry ingredients and fold until almost combined.
Almost meaning it would still be lumpy, but there's just minimal patches of pure white flour here and there. Then, add in your egg whites (you don't have to beat the whites into meringue!) and mix until just combined. You would still want your battery to remain lumpy but without any chunky remains of the snotty-looking egg whites. 
Finally, dump in all your chocolate chips and fold until just combined. 
Set your batter in the fridge to rest for about 10 minutes. 

After 10 minutes of resting, take your pancake batter our from the fridge and heat up your skillet/frying pan. I'm using a non-stick pan, hence there's no need to butter/oil it, but if yours isn't non-stick, lightly oil your pan and use a paper towel to remove any excess oils from the surface. Doing this will give you a well-browned pancake instead of patches of overly browned with "uncooked" parts all over. 

On the lowest heat, scoop 1/4 cup of your batter and pour it from about 3 inches height onto the pan to allow the batter to spread out into a circle on its own. Cook it on low heat until you see bubbles appearing on the surface, and quickly flip them over. Be sure to flip the pancakes when the uncooked, bubbly surface is still wet (a dry skin has not yet formed over the surface). This will allow the pancake to further rise up after getting flipped and grow thick and fluffy after they're cooked!
After flipping your pancakes, cover with a lid and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.


And there you have it, thick and fluffy pancakes without the need to beat your egg whites into meringue!


And with a light drizzle of the pancake maple flavoured syrup (I only added 2 tsp of sugar to my batter), this is definitely the BEST Sunday #cheatday breakfast, ever!

Till then,
Mia Foo


Friday, 3 August 2018

Mia Bakes: Green Tea Wholemeal Stuffed Buns



Oh well, this is my 2nd attempt at trying to make a jam-filled bun (by stuffing it with jam BEFORE baking) and they still burst open. T.T
So I guess, you just cannot stuff your bread with jam before baking them. 


Anyway, this is 100% wholemeal, can you believe it? I've been baking bread loaves with 100% wholemeal flour for quite a while (using bread machine) and they're always significantly denser and tougher compared to refined loaves. But now, I guess I found the trick!

So let's get over with the ingredients so we can get started!
To get 6 buns, you'll need:

300g wholemeal flour
(I used Prima's superfine wholemeal)
2 tsp vital wheat gluten
2 tsp green tea powder
1.5 tsp instant yeast
30g caster sugar
15g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
80ml cooking cream
(I guess you can use whipping cream too)
120ml milk
1/2 an egg, beaten
(keep the half and add a dash of cream/milk to make egg wash)
1/2 tsp salt
6 tsp of fillings of your choice, frozen)
(speculoos worked, jam obviously didn't. you can try nutella if you fancy too!)

adapted from Hokkaido Milk Bread recipe on ricenflour.com

Making the bread dough is easy if you have a bread machine. Just add all the ingredients (except for soften butter) in, start your kneading function and wait until the mixture forms a dough. Add in your butter, and let the dough knead until the function is completed. 
If you're doing this by hand, proceed in similar method. Add your liquid (cream, milk and egg) to your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until a dough ball is formed. Then, knead in your soften butter until you're left with a clean bowl (no more stray bits of dough sticking on the sides). There's no need to check for windowpane stage because you won't get it, as this is a 100% wholemeal dough. 
Then, oil your bowl and place your well kneaded dough in. Cover with cling wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight (for at least 6 to 8 hours) for 1st proofing.

The next morning, take out your dough from the fridge (it should be around twice the size) and set it on the counter for around 45 minutes to an hour for its temperature to rise up to room temperature. Then, check that proofing is completed by poking a hole right down the middle of the dough with floured finger, making sure that the hole doesn't close back up on its own.

The dough should be pretty smooth (and dry), so you probably need not require any dusting of flour on your work surface. However, if your dough feels a little sticky (differenr brands/batches of flour will have differing hydration levels), just very lightly dust your work surface with the minimal flour. 

Give the dough a few kneads and cut it into 6 equal pieces. Roll the dough pieces into round balls, and set aside (covered with cling wrap) for them to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. 

After the dough has rested, take out a piece of the dough from under the cling wrap and press it down onto your work surface to flatten it, you can use a small rolling pin to roll it out slightly, but just using my palms to press it out worked for me. Then, place a piece of your filling (frozen cookie butter, frozen nutella, or a piece of chocolate, anything!) wrap it into your dough. Pinch the seams a few times and make sure it's sealed properly. Then, placing the dough ball seam side down, cup your hand over the dough ball and give it a couple of rolling on the work surface to even out the seams and round up the dough ball. 

Place the dough aside, cover with a cling wrap to prevent drying, and continue the same with the other 5 dough balls. 

When all buns are done, place them about 2 inches apart on your parchment lined baking sheet, cover with cling wrap or a clean tea towel and set them aside at a warm place until they grows to 1.5x - 2x the original size, which should take you about 45 minutes or so. I used my oven's proofing function and so it only took me 25 minutes. 

Then, brush the top of your buns with some egg wash (the remaining half of your beaten egg with a dash of milk or cream) and send them to bake in your oven pre-heated to 190 degree Celsius for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until the bun has browned and tapping on the surface with your fingertip gives you a hollow "kok kok" sound. 


Tadaa~

Even though these are 100% wholemeal (and not those fake "wholemeal buns" recipe with only 10% wholemeal flour, like WHUTT? Who are you trying to kid?), they are as soft as, if not even softer than my 100% refined flour loaves! They just so soft and fluffy when still warm from the oven, but do get considerably harder the next day. But it might also be because I just left them sitting on the counter overnight. Heh! With proper airtight storage, they should remain soft and fluffy for some time longer, I believe!

Till then,
Mia Foo
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