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FAB – Chinese Custard Egg Tarts

In Baking, Chinese, Recipes on May 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Today’s FAB session was especially quick and hassle-free. From gathering the ingredients till washing up and giving away / gobbling up the tarts — all done within 1 hour! It happened so quick, I thought I might as well complete the entire cycle and make the post right away, while the 4 tummies in this house are still digesting happily.

Back in ’96-’98 when my family was living in Hongkong, I often delighted in the weekly dose of freshly baked custard egg tarts from the bakery nearby my piano school. Aaah… definitely the most lovely memories from those weekly lessons πŸ˜› Those fresh-baked dan tat with their flaky pastries and sweet wobbly eggy filling were absolutely heart- and tummy-warmingly heavenly ~*

Btw, flaky tart cases are now on sale (got sale got S’porean) at fakta / netto for 8kr (~1 euro / SGD$2) for 10 pieces of convenient goodies. What are you waiting for?

Chinese Custard Egg Tarts adapted from Chow Times

  • 1 egg
  • 160ml whole milk
  • 40g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 10 ready-made tart shells
  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. Warm the sugar with the milk in the microwave for about 30s until lukewarm (just to dissolve the sugar).
  3. Mix the egg and vanilla essence into the sweetened milk and strain to remove any lumps.
  4. Pour into tart shells (fill to the rim as it will decrease in height as water evaporates) and bake for 12-14min.
  5. Eat them straight from the oven for maximum enjoyment!

*Adjust the sugar for your desired level of sweetness. Mine were slightly less sweet than the one’s at the shop, but I love it this way! πŸ™‚

Look at that quivery custard!

Chinese Steamed Bun – εŒ…子

In Chinese, Recipes on May 19, 2010 at 8:19 am

I’ve always thought that I needed one of these in order to steam my food:

Apparently not! As long as you have a pot / pan (with a lid) that is big enough to enclose some kind of container on a stand (e.g. small bowl), steaming is just as easy as putting a pot of water to boil. Here’s how I do mine: fill the base of a large pot with 3-4cm height of water, place a bowl in the centre, then I lay the plate of food to be steamed on top of the bowl. πŸ™‚

Great. Now you have no excuse not to try out steamed recipes.

Steaming food is a healthier choice because it doesn’t require the addition of oil and nutrients are not leached into boiling water. Moreover, the steam keeps the food moist and tender…AND busy / lazy people don’t have to watch it closely (as long as the water at the base does not dry out, your food and house will be safe) so it’s easy to cook the food well without spending much time at the stove.

Evidently, it isn’t used much in Western kitchens, but Asians use this method to cook almost anything — fish, meat, sweet potatoes, eggs, rice, soups, noodles, cakes, breads… Perhaps the common usage of this healthy method is part of the answer to the Westerner’s constant dwelling on ‘why are Asians so skinny’, apart from ‘burning energy picking up food with chopsticks’ lol. I guarantee that you can expect more steamed recipes to pop up soon!

First up, here’s a simple recipe for the Chinese steamed bun a.k.a. baozi (if filled) / mantou (if unfilled), which I often grab from the school canteen in Singapore for 60cents (30 euro cents, 2.5kr). Steaming bread is faster than baking it, and produces a texture that is both soft and moist. With many sweet and savory fillings to choose from – char siew, cabbage, corn, red bean paste, yam, lotus paste, etc etc… it is one of those grab-and-go breakfasts / snacks that is both satisfying and comforting. πŸ™‚

Steamed Chinese Bun recipe adapted from standard baozi / mantou recipe

  • 400g plain / cake flour — I used 340g plain + 60g potato starch (usually corn starch)
  • 1-2 tsp yeast / half a yeast cake
  • 1 tsp baking powder (optional)
  • 50g sugar
  • 180ml warm water / milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  1. Mix the yeast and warm water together.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together then rub in oil evenly (tenderizer by limiting gluten formation)
  3. Combine and knead into a soft dough.
  4. Cover with a damp cloth and leave aside to rise for 2h.
  5. Shape dough into a log of about 4cm in diameter. Cut into 2-3cm segments, flatten / roll into a round and wrap your desired filling (any finely chopped stir-fries or sweet pastes or anything you’d willingly eat with soft white bread – I had in mine cabbage and corn stir-fried with garlic, onions, chili, pepper and oyster sauce). Place on a square of baking paper to prevent it sticking to the plate.
  6. Steam for 8-10min and serve warm!
  7. If you’re lazy to make the filling, you can make mantou from the dough by rolling it out into a sheet, then rolling it up like a swiss roll, and cut to desired shape. Here’s a good pictorial instruction. Good to eat with anything with a gravy (e.g. Singaporean Chilli Crab!!) or your stir-fries (you can serve it on a side like the Europeans do with boiled potatoes!)

Note: Remember to leave enough space between the buns, it expands about 50% of its size after steaming!

Refrigerate the extras and just pop it into the microwave for 30s and… voila! Soft chewy buns!

FAB – Chewy Tofu Coconut Cookies

In Baking, Friday Afternoon Baking, Recipes on May 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

A couple of weeks ago, silken tofu was on sale at the supermarket Netto, and I couldn’t resist grabbing one tetrapack off the shelf despite it still being 5 times the price I would normally pay (as opposed to 15x–I’ve seen the same tofu selling for a ridiculous SGD$11/ 5.50 Euros elsewhere). I miss tofu and all its soy relatives– silken, pressed, skin, dried, puffed, stuffed… tempeh, doubanjiang, edamame, soy milk/yoghurt/icecream…. hmm perhaps even some natto on my rice now would make me one happy girl.

Unbelievably this block of tofu survived uneaten for 2 weeks. Each time I’d reach for it and promptly put it back, hoping for recipe inspirations that would be befitting of tofu’s current gold-worthy status. I have no idea why I’m making such a big fuss about paying SGD$4– it’s not expensive per se (by Danish standards) but only expensive by comparison. Sometimes I’m just so stubborn. The good news is that in less than 7 weeks, I will be sitting by Mr Bean at Bukit Batok, pigging out on soya bean ice cream after stuffing my face with tahu goreng and yong tau foo… ahhh heaven.

It was just about time for another FAB session, hence I finally willed myself to let go of my dear tofu and make some cookies out of it. I figured that perhaps if I made the tofu into 50 cookies, I’ll at least enjoy its deliciousness over a greater number of days HA! I used about 3/4 of the block to make Susan’s Okara cookie recipe (and kept the rest to enjoy in a nice bowl of noodle soup). I actually had absolutely no idea until recently that tofu can be used as a fat replacer in baked recipes. Evidently, almost anything that disrupts the gluten network formation in baked goods (a balance of tougheners and tenderizers) can be used to some effect as a fat replacer — with inevitable textural changes of course, but nevertheless with very yummy results. πŸ™‚


This recipe yields 50 small soft chewy cookies with the nutty bite of sunflower seeds, light crunch of coconut shreds and the mild fragrance of soy bean and vanilla. Put it back into the oven for 5-10 min longer if you’d like more of a crisp edge on the cookie for additional crunch and a popcorn-type roasty flavour.

Tofu Coconut Cookies adapted from FatFree Vegan Kitchen

  • 50g unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 120g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 140g sugar
  • 250g firm tofu pureed
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of sunflower seeds (or any nuts/seeds that you desire)
  • (3 tbsp water if necessary)

1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C.
2. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl (tofu last).
3. Add some water (2-3tbsp) to make a thick batter that holds shape.
4. Spoon heaping teaspoons onto a baking sheet and flatten with the back of the spoon.
5. Bake for about 15-20min until slightly browned on the surface and crisp on the edges. Cookies will absorb some moisture upon cooling, so it doesn’t hurt to have the cookies a little drier/harder than you want it before taking it out of the oven.
6. Store in air tight boxes once cooled.

Teochew-style Steamed (Freaky) Fish

In Chinese, Recipes on May 13, 2010 at 10:52 am

FINALLY, spring is here and the garfish has just started streaming into Danish waters. It’s time to hit the coast and scoop up some of these eel-like fishes that have a wonderfully textured meat similar to our beloved stingray (ohhh, would somebody pleeaseprettypleeeease bring me some grilled sambal stingray from Changi?). It’s such a pity that such a palatable fish hides some skeleton in the closet under its skin that often sends people’s faces scrunching up in fear and disgust when discovered. BLUE-GREEN BONES. Can you handle that?

The housemate U had told me about this unusual colouring of its bones and scales before I had seen it for real, but I must admit, I still shuddered when I first set my eyes upon it. Of course, now I think it’s darn funky cool (I’ve saved some bones, anyone wants to make art with it?). The colour is due to the presence of the pigment biliverdin, which is a product of heme metabolism (same pigment responsible for the blueness of our bruises). In mammals, biliverdin is reduced and converted by enzymes to be secreted in bile, but many marine animals are believed (not yet strongly established in research) to lack the necessary enzyme for the metabolism and hence accumulate these pigments in their bones, muscle, skin, scale, etc….

By the way, this was supposed to be the product of my first fishing trip but the meet-up with the fishermen of 2nd floor biological department failed as a result of double phone malfunctioning… but a big DANKE SCHΓ–N to the mighty kind fisherman T for offering me part of his catch and the good ol’ housemate U for delivering it right into my refrigerator shelf! πŸ˜€

As it was my first time eating this fish, I wanted to cook it in the best way possible that will allow the taste and textures of the fish to come through… and I couldn’t think of any better way than Teochew-style steamed fish, just the way mom does it. Preserve the taste, preserve the moistness, preserve the nutrients! Food for the soul. πŸ˜€

Teochew-style steamed fish recipe produced from eating mom’s cooking for 24 years.

  • One garfish / fish to serve two
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 onion
  • handful of preserved vegetables (substituted with shredded pickled cucumber)
  • 3cm of ginger (slice half, shred half)
  • 1-2 tsp soya sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • shallots
  • scallions (spring onions)

*dried chinese mushrooms not available, but would have been awesome

1. Fill the base of a steamer with water and heat to a boil. Or mom’s suggestion: fill the base of a large pot with 3 cm depth of water and place a small bowl in it, on which you can set your plate of food upon.
2. Wash the scale and wash fish and rub with salt and pepper.
3. Make deep slices in the fish meat and insert slices of ginger.
4. Arrange slices of onion at the base of a soup plate and lay the fish on top.
5. Top fish with pickled vegetables, sliced tomatoes, shredded ginger and sprinkle soya sauce over.
6. Steam for 8-12min (until fish turns white and flakes easily).
7. Heat up oils in small pan and fry some shallots. Pour sizzling oil over fish and top the dish with chopped spring onions.
8. Serve with rice or rice porridge! *spoon the sauce gathered at the bottom of the fish over your rice / porridge — MMMM!!

Min Chiang Kueh | Apam Balik

In Recipes, Singaporean on May 9, 2010 at 12:25 am

It’s probably only in Singapore and Malaysia that you’d have two very different names for the same food. With our multi-ethnic composition, it’s very natural for cultural boundaries to be blurred and cuisines to be merged– hmm, I just couldn’t figure / find out whether this is supposed to be a Chinese pancake or a Malay pancake… so, let’s simply call it Singaporean / Malaysian!

I noticed while looking through recipes for Min Chiang Kueh that ‘alkaline water’ was a recurring ingredient in most recipes. Whenever the word ‘alkaline’ pops up, there’s always something interesting to say about the recipe. After all, how often do you add stuff that tastes like soap to your food? Or try this: name as many acidic foods as you can, and now try to name the alkaline ones. Umm baking soda (chemical leavener), ehhh egg white (very slightly alkaline), ehhhmmm sodium hydroxide (used to make Chinese century eggs or to make pretzels a rich dark brown!), uhhh… *blank*

Alkali is simply not normally found in food environments, but it sure has some useful properties — for instance, enhancing the Maillard reaction! [Let’s save the century egg chemistry for another day.] As spoken of in the earlier pretzel post, raising the pH promotes this chemical reaction that leads to the formation of more brown pigments and a more intense roasty aroma. That’s exactly what happens in my beloved Min Chiang Kueh, or so I believe to be true, as how else would it be possible to get such a lovely dark brown sheen by merely pan-heating the batter on medium heat for 3-5 min, without developing a crisp crust?

That said, now that we know what the alkaline solution is for, there’s no need to comb the country to find ‘alkaline water’ on the retail shelves (they sell it in baking stores in Singapore for several other Asian food applications), as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) I have used, worked perfectly well too. Yeast was my trusty leavener, conferring a nice bready flavour to the thick pancake that was porous enough to yield a satisfyingly soft yet chewy texture. Definitely one of my favourite Singaporean snacks!

Min Chiang Kueh / Apam Balik Recipe adapted from Lee Lee

Pancake

  • 150g plain flour
  • 10g corn / potato / rice flour (for a more tender texture)
  • 250ml warm water
  • 30g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp instant yeast

Filling

  • 50g peanuts
  • 12g sesame
  • 25g sugar
  1. To make the filling, pulse the peanuts and 50g of sugar in a food processor (not too fine, nice to have some peanut bits to chew on). Mix in sesame seeds. (Or make more and store for the next time you make the pancake!)
  2. Mix all the pancake ingredients together and go do some studying for 1 hour.
  3. The batter gets all puffed up and sticky — add additional water (~50ml) to get a consistency that will flow on the pan.
  4. Use a paper towel and grease the surface of a 30cm diameter non-stick frying pan. Heat pan on medium heat.
  5. Pour half of the batter into the pan, swivel pan to spread evenly, and cover pan with a lid.
  6. Pancake is done when the top surface just completely dries out (about 5 min).
  7. Remove from pan and make the second pancake (batter makes two ~25cm pancakes).
  8. Spread a generous portion of peanut filling on one half of the pancake and fold over. Cut and serve!

Just 5 min of preparation, 1h of proofing (go do something useful meanwhile), and 15min of pancake-making. Creating delicious snacks hardly gets any easier than this!

All packed up for sharing! πŸ™‚

滑月-Chinese Red Eggs

In Chinese, Recipes on April 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Today I celebrate my blog-baby’s 1st month anniversary by posting you some Chinese Red Eggs:

In Chinese tradition, the baby’s first full month (滑月 – man yue) is celebrated with a party where parents of the baby give out red-dyed eggs as a symbol of happiness and renewal of life. This is rooted in ancient Chinese culture where a baby’s survival of the vulnerable 1st month is a worthy cause of celebration.

The key to making red eggs is to hard-boil the eggs in a slightly acidified solution, in which the acid reacts with the calcium carbonate egg shell (you will see bubbles on the shell), increasing its porosity to the dye that you will use later. Rolling the hot egg in some red dye after cooking allows the dye to quickly stain the shell, while the heat dries the dye before it colours the egg red. You’d then have an egg that is no different from a hard-boiled egg, apart from its pretty red shell (or pink in my case)! πŸ™‚

Chinese Red Egg Recipe

  • Eggs
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Red dye (I used the red colouring solution instead of preparing from the concentrated powder, hence my pink eggs!
  1. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water. Add a splash of vinegar.
  2. Cook on low heat for 30-40min.
  3. Spoon individual eggs into bowl containing the red dye and swirl around until you’re satisfied.
  4. Remove and leave aside to cool while you do other eggs!

One month ago, I created poorskinnychef on a whim, as an experimental venture to catalog both my earthly and outlandish food adventures and share the interesting bits of science I’ve learnt in school. I began with much hesitation, like a baby taking her first steps, even imploring a friend not to publicize it because I wasn’t sure of sustaining this effort. However, as the first comments came in, I started to feel an immense pleasure in writing about food, and sustaining this blog was no longer an ‘effort’ but something I look forward to. As a month-old anniversary gift to nourish this blogbaby, I’ve ordered Harold McGee’s encyclopedia ‘On Food and Cooking’ from Amazon.uk (due to arrive in a week)! πŸ™‚ Meanwhile, poorskinnychef will be off for six days on a little expedition out of Copenhagen and will be back soon with more yummy stories to tell!

Now in beautiful hard-cover! πŸ˜€ Can’t wait!!

FAB – Checkerboard Cookies

In Baking, Friday Afternoon Baking, Recipes on April 24, 2010 at 1:35 am

The difficulties in studying food choice behavior is very much due to how food takes on a multitude of meanings that differ from situation to situation, individual to individual. If eating food were as simple an equation as hunger and satiety, then I believe that with the amount of research done thus far, solving the world’s eating problems should be as easy as pie. But that’s apparently not the case, because when food looks like this:


it is no longer just food for the mouth. LOOK at these butter cookies. Just one GLANCE at these cute squares and I bet you would ignore all hormonal signals of fullness… and despite knowing that there’s probably a 100kcal in each of these evil thingies, you still can’t resist eating 5 of them at one go. Am I right? Am I right?? πŸ˜€

Here, food assumes another purpose that is beyond that of satisfying the body and the senses. The only way it can then fulfill its purpose in existence is for it to be given away to others… to bring about as much joy as possible to as many people as possible. Yes, that must be its mission.

I made these cookies with L and M in mind, two lovely architects whom we (6 of us sensory science students) have been working with for the past two months to conceptualize and realize an odour menu as part of an experimental theatre production (unfortunately the link is only in Danish) at the Temporary National Theatre. Looking back on the two months and six shows, I feel a happy fuzziness inside me that justifies each of those times I dragged my feet to lab to mix odorous chemicals and smelling like I’ve been brewed in beef broth for 24h…. and each of those times I cycled in the cold to get to the Skuespilhuset 45min away from home….I wanted to make something for them that was both delicious and simple (butter cookies) and attractive (definitely not the typical butter cookies), but at the same time embodies some element of drama and incomprehensibility of the Kafka theatre concept. I hope they like it. πŸ™‚ Now I shall divulge the secret of how-to-make-a-checkerboard cookie on this FAB session (okay, alright, you can easily find this on the internet lol)!


Checkerboard Cookies recipe from Martha Stewart

  • 225g butter, unsalted
  • 110g sugar*
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 300g flour (2.5 cups)
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder (13-20g)
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then mix in extracts and salt.
2. Combine with flour (I rubbed in with my fingertips)
3. Knead into a dough after all the creamed butter and flour have been combined
4. Divide into 2 equal portions, knead in cocoa powder into one half (careful, the powder tends to spray all over)
5. Roll out into 20cm squares, slightly less than 1 cm thick. (from here you can start referring to the photo below)
6. Cut out nine 1-1.5cm wide strips of each dough and set the remainder aside for the meantime.
7. Stack it up in alternate colours and brush edges with egg wash as you stack them together to help the strips stick together.
8. Roll out the remainder till it’s wide enough to wrap completely the stacked up strips.
9. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30min to chill and firm up. Meanwhile heat up the oven at 175˚C.
10. Unwrap and slice the cookies with about 0.5-0.7cm thickness. Bake on a cookie sheet for 12min. They will still be soft when warm. I transferred them to kitchen towels to soak up the excess fat. Cookies are crisp when cool (but not crunchy) like normal butter cookies.
*Cookies weren’t sweet enough so I coated the base by melting some chocolate in the microwave, mixing in a few drops of almond essence into the chocolate, coating the base and leaving them to cool on baking paper. You might want to add 50-100g more sugar to avoid having to use chocolate to sweeten the cookie up, but more chocolate is always good πŸ˜‰

*Note to self: try stacking out new designs! πŸ™‚

Mix a Quick Greek – Tzaziki

In Greek, Recipes on April 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

In a stubborn attempt to give blood pudding another chance, I searched for a good healthy dressing that I can slop on the Draculian food and ward off any residual evilness that pervades my thoughts. Garlic, of course! And with Greek yogurt on offer at Fakta, Tzaziki, of course!

Here’s a really quick, refreshing and surprisingly healthy dressing that is often used to lift the greasy heaviness of Gyros. Another recipe under 10min.


Tzaziki Recipe adapted from About.com

  • 200g (low fat) greek yogurt
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5cm segment of cucumber, diced
  • salt and dill to taste

1. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil together
2. Mix in the yogurt
3. Mix in the chopped garlic and diced cucumber
4. Mix in some dill and salt to taste!
5. There you go: a really queeek greeek mix, to go with your blood pudding!

Ps: it was so delicious that it dispelled all psychological apprehension about eating blood pudding (and housemate U loved it too!). I now enjoy it even without garlic’s protection.

Kueh Dadar | Mamee Noodles

In Recipes, Singaporean on April 19, 2010 at 12:38 am

When you’re 10,000km away from home (or 9957km to be exact), some things from childhood have a special power to make you gasp with an irrational amount of joy and act with a ridiculous amount of irrationality (like paying $6 instead of $0.60 for a bite of dorayaki). Well, when you miss home as much as I do, and you want some ‘Mamee’ and ‘Dadar’, the next best option is to buy what you can, and make what you can’t.

Unlike Mamee that is pretty much an emo trip-to-my-childhood, I truly truly love nyonya kuehs. For flavouring ingredients as simple as coconut milk and palm sugar built on common starches like wheat, rice and tapioca, they have a taste and texture so irrepressibly addictive that I just can’t control myself every time I lay eyes on it (HY can vouch for that!). Best of all, it catapults me back home during those few moments of sensory indulgence for a quick and effective dose of anti-homesickness.


My two favourites are kueh dadar and ondeh ondeh, both of which I frequently make as my Singaporean ‘badge’ whenever I attend dinner parties. These ‘green coconut pancakes’ and ‘green bally thingies’ — as my European friends now refer to them– always elicits initial responses of surprise due to their unsettling green luminosity, yet it never takes much persuading to get the plate polished up. Anyway, it was kueh dadar this time — I’ll post on ondeh ondeh the next time I make it, though you’d already catch a glimpse of it in the background of my agar agar cake photo in the earlier post! πŸ˜‰


Kueh Dadar Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Pancake

  • 120g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pandan (screwpine) paste or just green colouring as a lesser alternative

Filling

  • 80g Gula Melaka (palm sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 80 ml water
  • 120g shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  1. Dissolve the sugars in water in a saucepan and stir in the shredded coconut and corn starch till you get a moist golden brown coconut filling. Leave aside to cool.
  2. Sift flour and salt in a mixing bowl, combine a lightly beaten egg and coconut milk by lightly whisking with a hand whisk. Add the pandan paste and stir till you get a homogenous green pancake batter.
  3. Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium-low heat and spoon 1-2 tbsp of batter into the centre. Swirl or use the base of the spoon to make a thin pancake of about 15cm in diameter.
  4. When the surface is dries out, transfer to a plate with the top surface facing down (this will be the outside of the Kueh Dadar)
  5. Place two teaspoons of coconut filling on the pancake and roll up like a spring roll.
  6. Best served immediately, but within the same day is fine!

FAB – Tangy Tomato Peas of Cake!

In Baking, Friday Afternoon Baking, Recipes on April 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I’ve always marveled at the amount of resolve pea pickers have. Yes, those diligent diggers who pick every single little pea out of their plates (even the puny Dutch peas and half peas and the pea innards that fall out of their skins). What is it about peas, really? What is it that makes kids say ‘pea-ew’ and parents say ‘eat your peas or I won’t let you have your ice cream’. Is it their flavour? Their freaky dimpled heads? Or their sheer numbers (the thought of fighting 100 peas vs 3 leaves of cabbage)?

A couple of days ago, I chanced upon an interesting muffin recipe while scouring the net for recipe solutions to the pea (or veg) eating issue. Here’s my list of criteria upon applying research lessons learnt from Food Choice course:

  1. Don’t give the kiddo a chance to pick the peas out. (common sense)
  2. Sneak the peas into the kiddo’s favourite food (but remember, the food still has to look good and taste good).
  3. Make sure the pea flavour is still recognisable, and the texture still fleetingly present (in order for flavour-flavour learning to take place)
  4. Divulge the identity of the peas only if the kiddo expresses a liking for the cake (positive reinforcement), otherwise blame it on adding too much sugar / fat (aversive learning). hurhur cunning.
  5. Stop telling the kiddo to ‘eat your peas, or else…’ (confers negative intrinsic meaning to the peas).

Unlike my usual kitchen adventures, this time I followed the recipe to the T, only reducing the batch size and making it into one cake in a loaf tin for easier dividing into bite-sized portions. I must admit that I was rather skeptical at first (peas and tomatoes in dessert?!) but I’m now absolutely won over. The tangy volcanic vermillion tomato layer with the sweet speckled pea layer was a burst of colours and flavours, with a wonderfully soft texture dispersed with nutty green bits of pea. Whoopidolicious! Excellent party food especially for Christmas and Halloween. And btw, it was wiped out at the dinner party I brought it to, despite the warning sign of PEAS AND TOMATO CAKE EXPERIMENT.


Sweet Pea & Tangy Tomato Cake Recipe originally in muffin form by Sylvia Regalado

  • 200g flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 80ml oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 100g frozen peas pureed (not too fine because the bits add a really nice texture!)
  • 100g tomato paste

1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
2. Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, lemon juice and vanilla essence in a separate bowl
3. Fold in (2) to (1)
4. Divide equally into two bowls (about 300g each) and mix in pea puree to one and tomato paste to the other.
5. Pour the pea batter into an approx 30cm long rectangular loaf tin (better heat transfer to the centre than a square or round tin), then top with the tomato batter. Use a fork to swirl parts of the layered mixture or drag some pea batter from the bottom if you’d like to create a marble effect.
6. Bake in preheated oven at 190˚C for 25-30min!


Tastes great too with Greek Yogurt Vanilla Frosting! πŸ™‚ A lovely healthy frosting recipe from the Cupcake Project.

World Peas.