15 October, 2011

Pecan, pumpking, and cranberry muffin

My partner loves pumpkins and anything that is made with pumpkin. Pumpkin risotto, pumpkin scones, and now pumpkin muffins. I wanted to make it healthy as well, so I added some pecan and cranberry. Here is how I make these.


2 cups plain flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup dulce de leche (homemade South American caramel)

2.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp nutmeg powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 cup mashed roasted pumpkin

100ml buttermilk

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases. This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Make sure sugar, baking powder, and salt are evenly distributed in the dry ingredients.

Mix pumpkin mash, eggs, melted butter (cooled), and buttermilk together in a separate bowl to just combine.

Mix the dry and wet mixture together until almost combined but not quite fully combined yet.

At this point, add the dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix a little more till just combined. The important thing is not to over mix the muffin mixture.

Divide the mixture into 12 muffin cups and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin, if it comes out clean it is cooked.

12 February, 2007

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had an urge of having chocolate chips cookies with milk on a Friday afternoon. I spent an hour on the internet searching for the right recipes and reading other bakers' comments on various recipes, finally this is what I came up with. I left work early just so that I can go home and bake these cookies. They turned out really nice I have to say. Pete and I managed to finish the 30+ cookies over one weekend. It's good for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and dessert. :-)


250g Butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups plain flour
1 cup chocolate chip and some extra

First bring the butter to room temperature. It was a really hot day in Melbourne, so by the time I got home the butter was quite ready for the cookies.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. I did this with a wooden spoon until it looks light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and vanilla essence, mix until well combined.

Sift together the baking powder, salt, baking soda, and flour. Mix these dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture until well combined but not over beating them.

I use 1 cup chocolate chips for this batter. And drop about 1 tbsp full of batter on the baking tray. Remember these chocolate chip batter will expand while they are being baked so we need to leave about 3cm room between the adjacent cookie doughs.

Finally add a few extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie dough, so that after they are baked we can see the chocolate chips on top of the cookie.

Bake at 180 degree C for 20 minutes. Once they are ready, let them stand on a tray before moving them into a container. Because the cookies are still quite soft when they just come out of the oven.

05 December, 2006

Promite and ricotta swirl

I made this over the weekend. I've always wanted to make bread with promite/vegemite/marmite swirls. So here it is.


Day1 -- The Starter (The starter recipe is from The Fresh Loaf)

I made the starter on Friday morning before going to school. By the time it finished proofing for the first time, I was ready go get out of the door.

1 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup water

Mix these ingredients together in a bowl. Pour it out onto a clean flat surface and kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes. (I just use a spoon to mix everything together then knead by hands.)

Place the dough back into a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour or so. It won't rise a lot in that time, but the yeast will begin to wake up.

Punch the dough down, place it back in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap again and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 2 -- The bread making

I actually made the bread on Sunday so the starter has been in the fridge for two days. I took the starter out from the fridge when I woke up. Leave it on the kitchen bench to let it come back to room temperature. Then went back to bed for another nap. :-)

In a larger bowl, I combined:

2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup of water
¾ cup of rice milk
50g butter
day 1 starter
100g ricotta, broken up into small pieces, promite

I mixed all of the dry ingredients together. Then I chopped the sponge up into a dozen or so little pieces with a knife and mixed them into the dry ingredients.

Melt butter with rice milk in the microwave for 1 min or until the butter is melted. Add cold water to the milk mixture. Let the mixture cool.

Finally I added the rice milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mixed everything together.

I poured the dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneaded it for approximately 10 minutes. The dough is quite wet but it will slowly come together. Make sure don’t flour the surface too heavily otherwise the dough will absorb too much flour. Then I put the dough back into a greased bowl and allowed it to rise for approximately 90 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a working surface. Press it out to about 20cm by 30cm. Don’t roll the dough as this really destroys all the air pockets from the first proofing. Spread promite evenly over the dough and sprinkle the ricotta pieces evenly on top, and roll it up as rolling a Swiss roll. Close up both ends and put the dough back to the fridge for 9 hours or overnight.

Take the dough out from the fridge one hour before baking to let it get back to room temperature. And glaze with rice milk.

I put an empty metal pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheated the oven to 260 degrees.

When the oven was hot and the bread looked risen, I put the bread into the oven on the top shelf and quickly pour a cup of hot water into the pan on the bottom shelf and closed the door. After 5 minutes, I reduced the temperature from 250 to 200 degrees C. I baked it for 30 minutes, then rotated the loaf and bake until done. This may take another 30 to 40 minutes.

I used an instant-read thermometer. When the loaf hit 200 F degrees inside, I pulled it out.

Baking day: Sunday 3 December, 2006

Photography note:
Nikon FM
55 mm Micro Nikkor
Shutter 1/30sec
Aperature 2.8
Superia 200
Lighting is natural light in the kitchen with blinds open

The dof is too shallow. Next time use Superia 400 so that I can have more dof.

28 November, 2006

me me me.... it's all about me

I am currently in the process of finishing up my PhD thesis. Never mind the topic of the thesis but it's something to do with the optical communication network. Sounds pretty boring, I know.

I love doing almost everything except my PhD studies. I love cooking, taking photos, watching movies, reading books, and knitting.

I would like to use this blog as a space to put up my cooking photos and the recipe I use. Hopefully someone will find it interesting and try it out sometime.