24 January 2017

Open Faced Pineapple Tarts 黄梨挞

I didn't bake any CNY goodies last year as our whole family "escaped" for a holiday (避年) :p

This year I was contemplating not to bake again, since we are unlikely to have visitors and being lazy and all, but I kept seeing home bakers sharing their baked goodies in FB groups, Instagram etc, and it's so infectious my hands became itchy!

Decided to challenge pineapple tarts again since the hb likes it. In the past years that I baked pineapple tarts, I always made the closed type and this time when I checked with the hb what style he likes, he told me open faced type?! Wow, after knowing him for almost 20 years, now then I know huh!

Ok, open faced pineapple tarts it shall be.

Since it's my first time making open faced pineapple tarts, once again, lots of reading and research to find a recipe that suits me. As usual I refer to my fellow trusty blogger friends like Annielicious Food, Table For 2 or more, TravellingFoodies and a few other popular bloggers like Anncoo Journal, Bake for Happy Kids.

In the end, I referred to TravellingFoodie's recipes for both pineapple jam and Kueh Tair.

First thing first, the pineapple jam. I never buy pineapple jam because I'm not sure if I like the taste (whether too sweet) and texture. I know it's hard work cooking the jam but I just want every component homemade if I could do it.

In the past, I usually blend the pineapple flesh and the jam turned out to be fine and smooth texture. The picky hb said he prefers jam with more bite and texture, which essentially means more work for me lah, coz I have to chopped/hand-grate the pineapple flash.

I intended to make a very small quantity for home consumption, so bought only 2 pineapples, 1 normal and 1 thai honey. Yes, they were already skinned with "eye" removed. Well, slightly more expensive but I was already going to chop and hand grate the pineapples, didn't want to stress myself up more over a few cents.

In the end, I got only 338g of pineapple jam, after 15 mins of chopping and grating and 1 hr of cooking. I guess because of the small quantity, cooking took much shorter time *phew*. Cooked the jam on Saturday and chill it in the fridge.

As advised by Alan (TravellingFoodies) the jam looked a little wet here, so I cooked it for 5-8 mins more before shaping the pastry.

For the pastry, initially I tested a small portion of ingredients using another recipe where the proportion of butter is 80% to flour. Nearly wanna cry when trying to stamp and shape the tart dough because it was too buttery and soft to handle! Alan's recipe used about 60% (some other recipes used 50% or 70%) so it was much more manageable. Managed to prepare the dough on Sunday night and decided to chill it in fridge to make on Monday instead as I was too tired.

At first, I didn't get the workflow properly, and everything was a mess! Luckily managed to make it work in the end. Even though the dough was more manageable, it still turned soft quite quickly. So my personal take is (1) let the dough thaw about 6-8 mins from the fridge, it's easiest to stamp and unmould when still cold and firm (2) dust the moulds with corn starch so that it's easier to unmould the dough. (I have a cake tester on hand to pick out bits of dough that got stuck in the ridges when I didn't dust the moulds thoroughly enough.)

Based on advice from Alan, the dough scraps should only be gathered (don't knead) and re-use once. If keep on re-using the scraps, the tarts will turn out too hard. Yes, there's a lot of wastage involved. I haven't throw the scraps yet, they are still taking up space in my fridge as I felt it's a pity to throw them away. I think I may use them for egg tarts or cheese tarts or something.

This time, I used the full quantity from his recipe even though I know my jam was not enough. So I only re-used (once) about half the dough. Next time I make, I would probably adjust the pastry recipe to about 60-70% or increase the amount of jam.

Left - glazed and before baking. Right - baked.
And so this was my one and only tray of pineapple tarts, 28 small and 25 petite. Yes, all that work for just one tray?!

I think I have slightly over-baked the tarts, by probably 2-3 mins. Don't ask. But still looked ok right?

So is all the work worth it? Yes, I would say, it's rewarding and satisfying to see the labour of love came to fruition =D

Open Faced Pineapple Tarts
(makes 28 small-size tarts 3.5cm mould, 25 petite-size tarts 2.5cm mould)
(reference from TravellingFoodies)

Pineapple Jam (yields 338g)
  • 900g pineapple flesh (1 normal 1 thai honey, nett weight after removing skin, eye, core)
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
Pastry (more than enough dough, recipe to be adjusted for this amount of jam)
  • 320g plain flour
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 200g salted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Corn starch, for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tsp water, for glazing
Pineapple Jam
  1. Finely chopped or hand grate the pineapple flesh. 
  2. Add the chopped pineapple flesh (with its juices), cinnamon and 2 tbsp of sugar into a large frying pan with big surface area.
  3. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then lower flame to medium. Stir the pineapple occasionally to cook evenly.
  4. When the pineapple liquids have been reduced considerably (it takes about 30 mins for this quantity of pineapple), add the remaining sugar. Continue stirring the pineapple till it dries up (it takes another 30 mins to reach this stage). 
  5. Let the cooked pineapple jam cool down completely before storing in an airtight container until ready to use (chill in fridge if not using the same day).
  6. The final pineapple jam should feel moist and sticky and not wet. If jam is too wet, cook it for a few mins before making the tarts.
  7. When ready to use, roll the jam into small balls of desired size. I use 3-4g balls for the petite tarts and 6-7g for the small tarts.
Tart pastry
  1.  Sift flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Add cold butter cubes and rub the butter into the mixture with pastry butter until it resembles coarse cookie crumb.
  3. Add the egg yolks and use a spatula to fold through the mixture and bring the dough together. Do not overwork the dough.
  4. Divide the dough into three or four portions. Place each portion in between 2 plastic sheets and roll the dough into a 5mm layer. Repeat for all the portions.
  5. Chill the dough layers for 1hr or overnight.
  6. When ready to use, work on 1 dough layer each time. If using overnight dough, let it thaw for 6-8 mins before using.
  7. Dust the pineapple tart mould with corn starch, stamp the dough, carefully remove the tart dough and place it on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat till quantity is sufficient for the pineapple jam.
  8. Brush each tart dough with egg yolk glaze, then place a ball of pineapple jam onto the tart dough, pressing down gently.
  9. Bake the tarts in preheated oven (top and bottom heat) at 170 degree celsius for 10 mins, rotate baking tray, and bake for another 10 mins. *if the colour of the tart is too pale, turn to fan mode and bake for another 2-3 mins (watch closely).
  10. Let the pineapple tarts cool down completely before storing into air-tight containers.

I love how they turned out. The tart pastry is crumbly and buttery and not too hard nor soft. The pineapple jam was not too sweet and the tartness just right for my tastebud, best of all there's still some fibrous bits.

The kiddo gave it 5/5! The hb whom I made the tarts for has yet to try it. He said it looks good. Hopefully it will pass his taste test!

I'm certainly keeping this recipe and likely to be adjusting the proportions for both jam and pastry accordingly. Till then!

20 January 2017

Creamy Salmon Chowder

My kiddo loves salmon and I'm constantly looking for new ideas of serving his favourite food since salmon is nutritious and boosts of several health benefits.

This dish was inspired by a member of the Singapore Home Cooks FB Group; she used salmon to cook a creamy chicken soup and I had this light bulb moment, hey why didn't I think of creating a chowder with salmon? I mean I have cooked clam chowder before and even a cabbage and seafood chowder! Silly me :p

Once again I decided to use CP chicken broth concentrate as the chowder base, because after using this broth to cook Mille-Feuille Nabe last week, I found it very convenient and the taste was rich, yet not overwhelming and enhanced the overall flavour of the dish. 

Decided to make it a one-pot meal and also to use up some leftover ingredients in fridge. I thought potato goes very well with salmon, and so does veggie like celery and carrot. I have some mushroom so added that as well. Bacon fried to a crisp is to add a smoky flavour (actually coz I like it, so it's optional). And sweet corn adds a tinge of sweetness and bursts of crunch to the dish. Actually just milk is enough, but I have a bit of whipping cream left from a bake so threw that in too. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your preference.

Creamy Salmon Chowder
(serves 2-3 pax)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices streaky bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 pcs swiss brown mushroom, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 pc carrot, cut into cubes
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 stalks fresh thyme
  • 100ml (1/3 cup) chicken broth concentrate
  • 50ml (1/4 cup) whipping cream
  • 200ml (3/4 cup) fresh milk
  • 1 pc Russet potato, cut into cubes
  • 200g salmon, cut into chunks
  • 50g sweet corn kernels (frozen ones, soak in hot water for 10 mins)
  • spring onion, black pepper, paprika, fresh thyme (optional, to taste)
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and fry bacon till browned and crispy. Scoop and set aside.
  2. With the oil remaining in the pot, add garlic and onion and saute till fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add mushroom, carrot and celery and saute for 3 mins.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of flour and fresh thyme and saute for another min.
  5. Add chicken broth, cream, milk and potato, cover and cook for 6-8 mins (until potato has softened), stirring occasionally.
  6. Once the potato has softened, add the salmon chunks and sweet corn (leave a handful as garnish if desired) and cook for 3-5 mins.
  7. Dish up chowder, garnish with bacon, sweet corn, spring onion, black pepper, paprika, fresh thyme and serve hot with bread rolls or rice. 

Totally love this dish! It's rich, creamy and savoury and I didn't even have to add any salt as the chicken broth is salty enough. Initially I thought that the chowder would be overwhelming and I wouldn't eat much as it's too creamy. But surprisingly, I found myself taking spoonful after spoonful! The salmon also didn't have any strong fishy smell which I disliked.

The kiddo ate the chowder with rice and bread, whereas I'm happy to eat it on its own. This recipe is definitely a keeper for my family, and I would count it as one of my comfort soups from now on :)

18 January 2017

Sandwich Wreath

I've been exploring different methods of baking bread and have attempted straight-dough, tangzhong, Yudane and old dough methods so far. Not sure why but I have no luck with straight-dough method, usually the breads turn out not as fluffy as I desired. Still prefer the tangzhong or old dough methods which yield soft fluffy breads with rich aroma and remain nice the next day.

Recently, I bought a newly launched pull-apart bread book (from Taiwan) and attempted another sponge-dough method of baking bread which yields equally soft and fluffy breads. Actually I have read about sponge-dough method before; it's more tedious than any other methods by dividing flour and water into a large and small proportion and pre-fermenting the larger proportion for a longer period of time before making the dough proper. The proportion of flour and water is about 70-30%. The 70% of flour/water is first kneaded into dough, proof for 30 mins and then transferred to the fridge for low temperature fermentation/proofing overnight. Next day, just combine the pre-ferment dough with the remaining 30% flour/water and other ingredients to start the process of kneading, proofing, shaping, proofing and baking.

I guess each method of bread making has its own pros and cons and most importantly, find a suitable method which fits the particular needs each time I want to bake. Since I still haven't find a straight-dough method to my liking and I wouldn't even think of chemicals like bread improver what-not, I have to stick to these few methods of baking for now.

Yudane and sponge-dough require advance planning; old dough require a one-time effort and ready to bake anytime; tangzhong would be the one which doesn't require planning and can get started fairly quickly.

Anyways, I love the presentation of this sandwich ring or sandwich wreath, it's pretty to look at and convenient to eat since it's a pull-apart bread.

After baking the bread ring, just slice each bun in the middle and insert ingredients desired. This time I'm using ham, cheese, lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomato and some mayonnaise as well.

Sandwich Wreath
(makes 8 pull-apart buns, using 21cm mould)


  • 155g bread flour
  • 110g water
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  1. Combine all 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl, beat at medium speed using dough hook, and knead until dough is smooth and leaves bottom of bowl.
  2. Round the dough, place it back to the bowl, cover bowl with clingwrap and proof for 30 mins.
  3. Thereafter, clingwrap the dough and place in fridge for proofing overnight.
Main dough
  • 1 portion of sponge dough, thaw to room temperature
  • 65g bread flour
  • 45g water
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 18g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3g salt
  • 18g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  1. Grease a 21-cm ring mould and set aside.
  2. Place flour, water, yeast, sugar, honey and salt into mixing bowl. Tear sponge-dough into small pieces and add in. Knead the ingredients at medium speed using dough hook, until gluten is formed.
  3. Add butter piece by piece into the dough. Knead at medium high speed until dough is smooth, leaves bottom of bowl and stretches without breaking (window pane stage).
  4. Round the dough, place it back to the bowl, cover bowl with clingwrap and proof for 45-50 mins until dough doubles about 1.5 to 2 times.
  5. After first proofing, weight of dough is about 412g, divide into 8 portions about 51g each. Roughly round each dough and let rest for 10 mins (covered with clingwrap).
  6. Round each dough nicely and place them into the ring mould. Cover with clingwrap and proof for 45 mins until dough doubles about 1.5 times.
  7. Preheat oven 190 degree celsius, top and bottom heat.
  8. Place ring mould into oven and bake at 190 degree celsius for 15 to 20 mins.
  9. Remove bread from mould, let bread cool completely on rack before serving.
  10. Slice middle of each bun and insert desired ingredients like ham, cheese, vegetables. Or eat the bread on its own.

I think next time I can try another dough method to compare results.

And use other ingredients for the buns like cream cheese, egg mayo, tuna mayo or even fruits like banana and strawberry.

Pleased with my new-found way of serving lunch to my kiddo!

13 January 2017

Mille-Feuille Nabe (A Thousand Leaves Hotpot)

I have bookmarked this dish for the longest time and procrastinated in preparing/cooking it because I thought it looked quite complicated with a long list of ingredients. But I realised how simple it is to prepare after trying out today, especially when I "cheated" by using store-bought broth :p 

Mille-Feuille Nabe is a Japanese-style hot pot that is cooked using napa cabbage and pork belly/collar slices in a savoury dashi broth. But traditionally, "Mille-Feuille" means a thousand leaves and is actually a French pastry made up of three layers of puff pastry, and two layers of crème pâtissière. Somehow the Japanese adopted the idea for cooking nabe by packing many layers of napa cabbage and pork slices into a pot :)

Whatever it is, it is just sooooooo pretty to look at, isn't it? And surprisingly easy to prepare. Main ingredients are just napa cabbage and pork slices (either pork belly or collar), whereas mushrooms and carrots are there to enhance visual appeal :p

As for the broth, the Japanese uses a dashi broth made using dried anchovies, kelp, dried shiitake mushroom, dried bonito flakes and seasonings like sake, soy sauce, mirin etc.

However, I'm too lazy too busy HB cannot take too much anchovies I decided to try using store-bought chicken broth instead. So happen I saw CP Food having a "2 for the price of 1" promo of its Clear Chicken Broth Concentrate and thought why not give it a try. Once in a while I will prepare my own chicken/meat stock or broth but it's a lot of work, and sometimes I will simply buy convenient packs chicken stock from the supermarket.

And yep, I simply pour the chicken broth concentrate and water into the pot after preparing the main ingredients, cook for 20-30 mins, viola! So simple! LOL =D

There are many blogs and videos showing exactly how to prepare and arrange the cabbage so I'm not going into details here. My ingredients are customised for my 20cm pot (serving 2-3 pax), so feel free to adjust accordingly. Some recipes use beansprouts and lay them at the bottom of the pot, I omitted this as my hb hates beansprouts. (Laid some enoki mushroom at first but removed them as I cut the cabbage layers too wide and the height became too tall for the pot).

Basically, one set consists of 3 layers of cabbage leaves and in between slices of pork collar. Arrange the layers as follow, 1 leaf, follow by 4 slices of pork, another leaf, another 4 slices of pork and finally 1 leaf to cover. Cut each set into 3 sections. Repeat until all leaves and pork slices are finished. Next, arrange the cabbage and pork layers into the pot. Start from the outer edges and pack the sets towards the centre. Try to pack as tightly as possible, as the cabbage will loosen during cooking. Stuff some enoki mushroom and Shimeji mushroom in the centre and if desired a few petals of carrot slices.

Finally add water and broth concentrate, almost to the brim (about 1/2 inch allowance). The broth is quite concentrated and salty, and the recommended proportion on the package is 40% broth 60% water. As the cabbage will release some water (thereby diluting the soup) during cooking, I decided to use 50% broth 50% water. Cook for about 15 mins covered, and then 10 mins uncovered. Ready to serve.

Mille-Feuille Nabe (A Thousand Leaves Hotpot)
(using 20cm pot, serves 2-3 pax)

  • 1 small napa cabbage, about 800g - 850g (remove first few leaves)
  • 500g thinly sliced pork collar (or belly)
  • Small bunch of enoki mushroom, shimeji mushroom and few slices of carrot
  • 400ml chicken broth concentrate (2 packets of CP)
  • 400ml water
  • Dipping sauce (optional):  3 tbsp soup from nabe, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp lemon juice, dash of yuzu shichimi togarashi (Jap 7 spice yuzu flavour), 1 tsp spring onion
  • Remove all the leaves of the napa cabbage, wash and pat drain.
  • Start the layering. First 1 leaf of cabbage, followed by 4 slices of pork collar, then another leaf, another 4 slices of pork and finally top with 1 leaf. This is a set of 3 layers. Cut the set into 3 sections. Repeat until all cabbage leaves and pork slices are finished.
  • Arrange the sets into a cooking pot. Start from the outer edges and pack the sets towards the centre. Try to pack as tightly as possible, as the cabbage will loosen during cooking. Stuff some enoki mushroom and Shimeji mushroom in the centre and if desired a few petals of carrot slices.
  • Add water and chicken broth concentrate. Cover the pot and cook for 15 mins on medium heat. 
  • After 15 mins, remove cover and cook for another 10 mins.
  • Nabe is ready to be served. Best eaten hot, on its own or with dipping sauce.

I think this quick and easy dish looks pretty and is quite presentable for the upcoming Chinese New Year. It can be prepared in advance, store the whole pot in the fridge and cook just before eating. Feel free to play around with the ingredients, probably use some beef slices, add some dark leafy vegetables in between the layers and more mushrooms.

The napa cabbage is tender and savoury, having absorbed the flavours of the broth and pork. The pork is not too heavy since it's thinly sliced and quite flavourful as well. The soup is light and soothing to the palate. Overall quite a balanced and wholesome dish, very tasty even though no other seasonings are added.

This recipe is a keeper for me, whenever I crave for some easy-to-cook and wholesome 3-in-1 (meat, veggie, soup) meal =D

12 January 2017

Bittergourd & Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce

Oh My 天! 最近的天气真是热到... 动不动就汗流浃背, 火气都上来了! 

我十二月份到香港的时候在一家菜馆尝了这道 "凉瓜排骨豉汁" 就一直念念不忘, 想找机会
如法炮制. 刚好天气这么闷热, 听说苦瓜 (也叫凉瓜) 有清暑下火清心明目等功效, 就试着来煮一煮吧!

OMG, the weather really hotdieme! I'm literally drenched in sweat all day long, making me super frustrated and quick tempered!

When I went to Hong Kong for holiday last December, I tried this particular dish "Bittergourd & Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce" at a restaurant and fell in love with it. Since the weather is so hot, and bittergourd has cooling properties, this gave me the opportunity to try cooking it =D

小时候最讨厌吃苦瓜了, 可是现在却爱上了它! 是不是因为老了? 哈哈!

这道凉瓜排骨豉汁带咸又微苦, 如果有放辣椒还有点辣味, 真的超下饭的. 我想往后应该会常煮哦 :)

I used to hate bittergourd as a kid, but nowadays totally love it. Is it a sign of aging? LOL!

The dish is salty with tinge of bitterness, and if chilli is added, slightly spicy as well, perfect to go with a big bowl of rice! This recipe is definitely a keeper for me :)

Bittergourd & Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce 凉瓜排骨豉汁
(Serves 2) *reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qYgoKe2kxk

  • 300g Pork ribs, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 pc Bittergourd
  • 18g Salted black bean
  • 3 tbsp Rice wine
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 knob Ginger, grated
  • 3 pcs dried chilli (I use 1 stalk chilli padi) *Chilli is optional
  • 250ml, Water or Chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  •  1/4 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water
  1. Cut bittergourd lengthwise into half, remove white pith portion and discard. Slice bittergourd into about 6mm thickness. Soak in salt water for 30 mins. Once ready, drain and set aside.
  2. Soak the salted black bean in the rice wine for 30 mins. Once ready, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat a small pot of cooking oil, deep fry the pork ribs for 2-3 mins and the sliced bittergourd for 1 min. Set aside.
  4. Heat up 1 tbsp of cooking in a frying pan or wok, add minced garlic and grated ginger, stir fry till fragrant. Next add black bean and chilli (if using) and stir fry for a minute.
  5. Add water or chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add pork ribs, cover and let simmer at low heat for 30-40 mins, stirring every 10 mins.
  7. Add bittergourd, stir fry and then cover and simmer for a minute.
  8. Add corn starch slurry, stir fry to thicken the sauce. 
  9. Serve immediately.

08 January 2017

Cocoa Rum Chiffon Cake

Happy New Year!

Haha. I know I'm super late here :p But I've been busy with my kiddo as he officially commences his formal education journey i.e. Primary One. Saying which, frankly I am the one who needs time to adapt to the new routine and lifestyle more than him.

And so, finally I have time for a first formal bake of 2017 (last Friday) and posting recipe today :p

After a few days of new year and new term frenzy, I am seriously in need of some chocolate therapy and alcohol to perk me up. Nah, just joking about the alcohol. Actually I don't drink alcohol but I do love the aroma and like to use some in cooking and baking. Since I've not baked chiffon cakes for a long time, probably a light and tender cocoa chiffon (spiked with a little rum) can do =D I'm not really a chocolate person, and don't take much rich chocolate bakes :p

I'm not sure whether to call it chocolate rum chiffon, because only cocoa powder is used, but cocoa is chocolate right? Oh, whatever. I almost wanted to name it coco chanel already. Sorry, blabbering here, still having Primary One blues and hangover.

Many people are wary of baking chiffon due to the egg-separation method. I guess it takes some practice to get the hang of it, I myself failed many times :) Just be mindful when beating the egg whites (till soft peak stage - tip of meringue loops a little) and folding the meringue into main batter (scoop from bottom of batter).

The steps I used here are quite manageable with straightforward ingredients - dry ingredients (cake flour, baking powder and sugar), wet ingredients (cocoa powder melted in fresh milk, egg yolks, oil, rum and vanilla) and meringue (egg whites and sugar). This time, I used cocoa powder dissolved in fresh milk to get somewhat like melted chocolate. Next time, I could perhaps melt a mixture of dark and milk baking chocolate and see if the result is the same.

Cocoa Rum Chiffon Cake
(makes one 18cm cake + 10cm cake, or one 21-22cm cake)

  • 1/4 cup fresh milk
  • 22g cocoa powder (I use Valrhona cocoa powder)
  • 75g cake flour
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (I use regular size 60g egg) 
  • 1/4 cup neutral tasting oil (I use grapeseed oil)
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 40g caster sugar
  1. Preheat oven (top and bottom heat) at 165 degree celsius. Prepare the chiffon tubes, making sure they are dry and ungreased.
  2. Heat the fresh milk in a small pot, add cocoa powder and stir till dissolved. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down.
  3. Sieve cake flour and baking powder into a big mixing bowl, add 100g caster sugar and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, add egg yolks, oil, rum, vanilla and cocoa milk mixture, stir till well blended.
  5. Add the wet ingredients (from 4) into the dry ingredients in (from 3), fold gently to mix, until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  6. Beat egg whites using electric mixer on medium high speed till foaming, add 40g caster sugar gradually, till soft peak stage.
  7. Fold one third of the egg white meringue into the batter (from 5) gently until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  8. Add another one third of the meringue into the batter, fold gently until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  9. Finally, pour the batter (from 8) back to the bowl with the remaining one third of meringue. Fold gently until just blended. Do not over mix the batter.
  10. Pour the batter (from 9) into the prepared chiffon pans, gently tap the pans on the counter top to remove air bubbles and send into the oven.
  11. Bake for 30 mins at 165 degree celsius (If using a larger pan, may need to increase baking time by 5-10 mins). To test if ready, insert a stick into the cake and if the stick is clean, the cake is done. Overturn the tube pan and let the cake cool down completely before unmolding the cake.
  12. After the cake is unmolded, keep it in an airtight container. The cake is best enjoyed the next day, for the flavours to fully develop. Eat it on its own or serve with some chantilly cream and strawberries.
I could smell a whiff of chocolate in the kitchen towards the last 5-8 mins of baking, how I love the aroma!
As usual, I couldn't wait till the next day, so sneaked a slice of it the very afternoon.

The cake has a tender texture and taste-wise on the lighter side, not too sweet with a mellow chocolate taste; can't really taste the rum but I could smell it. I love pairing the cake with some chantilly cream (whipping cream, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar) and strawberries (oh, chocolate and strawberries go so well together).

This recipe is a keeper for me, when I crave for just a little bit of chocolate and cake :)