I am the baker boy

Paul Hollywood’s Chelsea Buns recipe

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I am not putting the recipe for these here since you can find them here and here. I simply followed everything Paul instructed in the video for these. (I think I am becoming a really big fanboy!) The only difference is the lack of dried cranberries which I substituted for with more raisins and apricots.

The basic idea is to make an enriched dough, prove it, roll it out, put the filling, roll up like you would for a cinnamon roll, cut, second proving, make icing, bake, spread jam, drizzle icing and serve.

The results are mouth-watering. Simply mouth-watering. I mean just look at that apricot jam glaze. So tempting.

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I am the baker boy

Paul Hollywood’s Bloomer

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Okay like the bloomer above, I haven’t been in the best of shape. Honestly, a bloomer isn’t that difficult to do. The only reason why it’s burnt and weird-shaped is because I was in a foul mood that day and what I really wanted to do was to vent my frustration by kneading some dough. Really, the recipe is dead simple.

I don’t know about you but I guess my mood just translates into my baking. The saddest part about this bloomer is that no one ended up eating it and it just went stale after a couple of days.

I managed to salvage it by preparing bostock though. Sigh.

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Food Hunter

NamNam Noodle Bar @ Wheelock Place

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On days when I get a craving for something hot and soupy, I often find myself hankering after a steaming hot bowl of pho. The herbal, meaty broth and flat rice noodles are soothing, homey and not to mention, pretty healthy as well. Authentic Vietnamese food can be a little tricky to find in Singapore, and although NamNam Noodle Bar is opened by the Les Amis group, it serves up a good version of the classic Vietnamese dish.

Sam and I headed down to the Wheelock Place outlet for lunch on a weekday and were pleased to find that they were offering a set lunch consisting of a choice of Chicken or Sliced Beef Steak Pho, a side of Vietnamese Spring Rolls and a choice of a Vietnamese Iced Coffee or Iced Lotus Tea. Naturally, we both picked the beef and iced coffee.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls | Fresh Southern rolls with sweet shrimps, egg and fresh herbs

It could be a matter of personal taste, but I felt that the spring rolls were abit too bland for my liking. The dipping sauce did help to give it a sweet-savoury flavour packed with shallots and garlic – and the sauce eventually did make this a very likable dish- but the spring rolls alone were clean tasting and seemed like it could do with abit of seasoning. Despite that, I must point out that the shrimp was fresh and the amount of fresh herbs, egg and vermicelli wrapped inside made a good combination of natural flavours and textures, making it a great dish for the health conscious.

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Pho Beef Steak Slices

The noodles were a joy to eat: smooth, slippery and light, cooked to perfection. They carried the flavour of the broth well, unlike how noodles sometimes don’t soak up the flavours of the soup they swim in. There was a good amount of noodles and a surprisingly large number of beef slices. We had thought that they might stinge on the meat but were proven otherwise. The meat was done medium well, with the centres still a rosy shade of pink. Thinly sliced and tender, we enjoyed every bit of it. The herbal, lightly salted soup was satisfying and light. For those who prefer their soup with a bit more punch, sauces such as fish sauce, hoi sin sauce, chilli sauce and soy sauce are available. Just add them straight to your noodles and slurp up every last bit.

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It was a great deal, considering the central location and the fact that the meal filled us up very nicely. When asked about her opinion of NamNam, my Vietnamese friend put it across best. ‘Authentic or not, if it’s good, it’s good. Who cares.’ Well said!

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I am the baker boy

Expresso Butter recipe

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The other night, I ended up in Drury Lane with Sam and she happened to be eating banana bread with expresso butter. That drove me to perfecting my own espresso butter recipe. It’s relatively simple and you can use it for toast, bagels, muffins and whatever spreadable.

INGREDIENTS : 
3 tsp of instant coffee granules
2 tsp of hot water
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
110g of butter (the spreadable type)
1 heaping tbsp of icing sugar

 
RECIPE : 
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DISSOLVE coffee granules and vanilla extract with hot water in a small bowl

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CREAM butter and sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy

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COMBINE the two mixtures
BEAT until smooth
SPREAD IT.

 

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Cooking With Dad

Cooking With Dad : Chicken Puff Pie recipe

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Normally when I end up cooking with my dad, we tend to have no recipes. My dad’s style of cooking is mainly instinctive so pretty much everything new he cooks is based on his experience and experimentation. Likewise, I do the same. We got it from my granddad. He figured out how to prepare roti prata and fish curry simply by tasting it. He would even come up with his own versions of japanese seaweed chicken (yes the ones you spend $0.30 on in school) after he saw how much my brother and I loved toasting them as sides for lunch.

And so this post is just me preparing chicken puff pie with my dad. Just plain o’ pictures and a tribute to family. Dad did the chicken filling. I did the pastry. Tag-team.

I used two basic pastry recipes for the pie. One for the base and rough puff pastry for the top.

INGREDIENTS : 
(for rough puff pastry)
150 g of plain flour
150 g of butter
pinch of salt
splash of water* (i normally just use just about 20 ml of water?)

(for tart base)
160 g of plain flour
90 g of butter
pinch of salt
2 tbsp of water*

*you normally want just enough water to get it into a dough

RECIPE : 
MIX everything in a food processor
BAKE for 200C for 15 mins for tart shell and 25 mins for puff pastry
USE eggwash for puff pastry’s top.

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It’s great to cook together with your friends and family so please do. There are more tag-team/collab recipes coming up so stay tuned!

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I am the baker boy

Bananareo Icecream recipe

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Yes it’s banana + oreo icecream!

It’s really simple. The texture isn’t quite like icecream but it does have a smooth consistency. Some people told me to add milk in order to get that icecream-like texture so I will experience with my next batch of bananas.

Maybe this time, I will do a nutella version.

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INGREDIENTS: 
4-5 frozen bananas
6 oreo cookies

RECIPE : 
CUT the bananas
BLEND bananas in food processor
ADD mashed cookies
FREEZE again for at least a day
SERVE

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I am the baker boy

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream recipe

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Firstly, I apologise for the daily lack of posts. A lot has been on our writers’ minds at the moment so we have been caught up in life. We are working to bring in more authors so thank you for your kind understanding!

Back to the post. I don’t even like cupcakes in the first place but out of all the things my niece, Athena could have requested, she asked for this so I simply used ratios to determine the cupcake and buttercream recipe.

INGREDIENTS : 
(for cupcake)
55 g of  salted butter
55 g of plain flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
55g of castor sugar
1 tbsp of milk
1 tbsp of strawberry jam

(for buttercream) 
2 tbsp of strawberry puree
70 g of butter
120 g of Icing Sugar

RECIPE :

(for cupcake)
PREHEAT to 180C
CREAM butter and sugar
BEAT in egg and vanilla essence
ADD milk and jam
FOLD in flour
POUR in muffin tin
BAKE for 10 minutes

(for buttercream)
CREAM butter and icing sugar
ADD strawberry puree
MIX well

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Well, despite that cheeky smile on her face, she didn’t enjoy the cupcake as much as she would have wanted since she expected it to be lighter and more fluffy. Perhaps I should use buttermilk and yoghurt in my cupcake recipe instead.

I know some of you out there are cupcake enthusiasts so do let me know if you have a brilliant cupcake recipe to share!

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