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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! 🙂 A lovely healthy frosting recipe from the Cupcake Project.

World Peas.

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King and the Lucky Queen

In Recipes, Singaporean on April 1, 2010 at 10:35 am

No, this is not an April fool’s joke. Yes, a real King crab in Singapore’s famous chilli crab sauce on the blog of a Poor student. King-sized King crab. Gosh, I haven’t even had the luxury of eating King crab of any affordable form in Singapore, it’s always those small puny crabs that you’ll expend half the calories of your meal trying to crack the shells to reach the meat. Not that those puny crabs are any inferior (in fact, the orange gooey stuff beneath the shell and the art of picking the shells are irreplaceable), but WHOAA KING CRABBB ah…!


So what actually happened? Well, once upon a weekend, my housemate, U was having a guest T over, and he decided to purchase some fish roe from the fish shop. They didn’t have any, and so they offered him this eye-popping bag of crab legs for 200kr (SGD$50). I’d estimate that was some 2kg of King crab (and yes, you’re right, the bigger the crab, the larger the proportion of meat to shell).

What would you do, faced with a crazy offer like this, but not expecting to spend 200kr? Would you grab it? (OF COURSE LAH) But this buyer has not had crab before to realize the gravity of the matter, and he risked an offer of 100kr instead. The seller’s response: “oh alright, you can have it”. OMG OMG OMG!! I think if this were in Singapore, it would have been YOU SIAO AH!??!?!*daylight robbery*

I know that as a student, the first thing I do when I assess a recipe is: can I afford it? YES I know crab is expensive, but while cooking it, I realized that the sauce already tasted pretty amazing even before putting the crab in. Why not simmer in some shrimp instead or if you’re a stingy student like me, those tiny frozen shrimp and surimi sticks are what I use to add that umami (delicious, savoury flavour) kick to any stir-fries. Shiok ah! 🙂

Singapore Chilli Crab Recipe inspired by Almost Bourdain’s recipe

  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4-8 chilli padi (depending on your tolerance for spicyness!)
  • half inch ginger
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • couple of tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp sambal belachan if you have it!
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large lime or half a lemon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Crab / shrimp / surimi crabsticks
  • 2 eggs
  1. Throw the first 5 ingredients into a blender, otherwise, happy chopping!
  2. Stir fry (1) in oil until fragrant!
  3. Add in ketchup, chilli sauces (up to you to adjust), vinegar, lime / lemon, sugar and water and bring to a boil
  4. Taste and adjust sweetness / spicyness / saltiness as you wish (tasting is important unless you really know your ingredients)
  5. Throw in the crab / shrimp / surimi and simmer until flavours infused
  6. Thicken sauce with corn starch dispersed in a little water
  7. Stir in 2 eggs into simmering sauce
  8. Serve with rice, man tou (chinese steamed bun), or simply white fluffy bread!