Monday, 29 August 2011


100% Homemade!

Scones - one of British favourite teatime treats!

It is very easy to buy from any supermarkets, bakeries or even some smaller food shops. But the fun of making it and having freshly baked scones is just incomparable.

Hence, again, I turned to my fairly newly acquired baking cookbook and found this recipe to make scones.


Only using three main ingredients:- Plain flour (plus baking powder), milk and butter, the recipe was quite easy to follow.

Dough cut into 3cm pieces

It only takes 15-20 minutes of baking.

Scones cooling

After baking for 15 minutes, I took the little scones out of the oven and surprise, surprise! They did not look like any ordinary, traditional scones AND they did not raise properly! Not really panicking, I went in search of websites, different cookbooks and a food magazine I subscribe to, I found several similar recipes but using slightly different ingredients e.g. self-raising flour instead of plain flour and slight variation in measurements of ingredients!

But I found the answer to :"Why are the scones dome-shaped instead of flat-topped" in my magazine. It was because when I cut the dough to round shapes, I twisted the glass hence my scones raised unevenly!

Dome-shaped Scones

However, despite the looks of it, with a splash of clotted cream and strawberry jam, it tasted delicious like any other scones!

Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam


My very first attempt at making scones, not entirely succesful but I shall try again next time, maybe with self-raising flour and remembering not to twist the glass when cutting the dough!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Banana Coconut Loaf Cake

What better to do with left-over bananas than to make a banana-based caked?

I bought a bunch of bananas the other day to put on top of pancakes with Nutella and had a few left over. Wanting to use them all before they go rotten and wasted, I found this lovely recipe in 'frame>by>frame baking' cookbook - Banana Coconut Loaf Cake.


The ingredients used in baking this cake was almost minimal and the recipe was absolutely easy to follow as they were showed step by step in photos!

Cake Mixture ready to bake

After baking in the oven for an hour, the loaf cake has risen, was firm and brown and emitted a really fragrant smell of banana and coconut!

Cake Cooling

Banana Coconut Loaf Cake

Then, I sprinkled some dessicated coconut over the cake after it was completely cooled.

Slices of cake

The cake looks amazing and the smell of it makes it even more irresistable hence I could not wait to taste it.

I like banana cakes and adding coconut to it makes it even more amazing! The sweetness of ripe banana and fragrance of dessicated coconut was a perfect match! The loaf cake being an in-between of cake and bread was delicious on its own, but it can be even nicer served with a nice big dollop of clotted cream!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Glazed Apple Tart

It's dessert time!!!!

I found this recipe in a magazine whilst shopping in the supermarket. It was the very eye-catching front page photo that caught my housemate's eyes, it was a very beautiful picture of a glazed apple tart that looked like a flower. So we quickly gathered the ingredients from the supermarket!


Only using very simply ingredients, the recipe is super easy to follow!

Puff pastry

The ready-made puff pastry was rolled until 2mm thin then using a 23mm base of my spring-foam cake tin, I cut the pastry into a circle. Then lots of holes were made on it with a fork before chilling for about 30 minutes in the fridge.

Apple slices

About 5-6 apples were cut into thin slices before arranging on the puff pastry.


The pastry with apples layered on top was then put into the oven and baked for 30-40 minutes.


The tart was baked until the 'apples are tender and pastry is crisp and cooked through'.

After the apple tart was cooled down, I brushed the apples with warm vanilla apricot jam to glaze.

Glazed Apple Tart

Hhhhhhhmmmmm...yummy!!! A very easy dessert to make that looks absolutely amazing!

The puff pastry was very crisp and the apples were tender and sweet from the vanilla apricot jam.

Just like in the magazine!

Delicious! I think it would be even better served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Rice Cake in a Bowl

 米糕碗粿 made by AT
On Saturday, I had the priviledge to eat one of my favourite dishes with glutinous rice! 

It has the shape of an egg pudding, the appearance of chinese tea-cakes but it is neither one of them.

This dish is actually a Chinese Dim-Sum dish made up of my favourite ingredients in Chinese cuisine. It is mainly made up of glutinous rice, shitake mushrooms, pork and dried shrimps.

Rice Cake by AT

All the ingredients were cooked separately then compacted into a cup/container which is roughly shaped like what you see in the photos then steamed.

Then the rice cake was popped out of the cup like how you would shake an egg pudding out of its container.

Not only does it smell incredibly nice, the rice cake was a bag full of flavours from the earthy mushrooms, seafoody dried shrimps, sweetness and saltiness from soya sauce. The glutinous rice was very tasty as it is one of the types of rice that would soak up flavours easily.

Yummy! I would not mind having another one again soon!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Long Weekend Trip Down South

It's hot air balloon time again!

It's the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta @Asthon Court Field. It was raining last year when we went there, so this year, hoping for nice weather we took leave from work especially to attend this event again. And, the British weather, without fail, POURED down unforgivingly. What was supposed to be a mass ascent and night glow quickly became deflation of hot air balloons!

After waiting for almost 2 hours for the rain to stop, we gave up and went back to the hotel.
Hot air balloons

Special shaped hot air balloons

Next day, weather was much better and we headed down to Weston-super-mare, to the annual sand sculpture festival.

A holiday trip can never be complete without trying famous local food. We went to Papa's Restaurant (recommended by friends) for some fish and chips.

Papa's Restaurant

The place is a nice little restaurant with a takeaway front to it and has very friendly members of staff. We were quickly seated and  informed about the day's specials which included whole fish grilled and served with salad. It shows that the place is not a typical 'local chippies' serving the usual fried cod or haddock with chips but here they offer a wider variety of fish species!

Cod and Chips
 I ordered the lunch specials that included cod and chips, bread roll and a drink for a reasonable price of GBP 7.45. The cod fish was nicely battered and fried to crisp perfection. Very yummy served with homemade tartar sauce!
Plaice and Chips

The plaice was quite nice as well, with more flaky flesh compared to the cod but still equally well battered and deep fried, giving a very crispy coat.

Sand Sculpture Festival

Koala Bears

Stack of Frogs

After enjoying the sand sculptures, we thought that we would have a very English afternoon with some cream tea.

Cream Tea

 We found this lovely place inside an information centre in WSM that serves tea! The fruit scone with butter, strawberry jam and Channel Island cream was just lovely for an afternoon tea by the English seaside.

After that, we should have headed home but instead we decided to drive down to Plymouth because we missed the Japanese food in Yukisan! After the first visit there with my mom in April, we could not forget the taste of the most delicious Japanese dishes we had so far!

Upstairs seatings

Pot of Green Tea

Pork chops with Tonkatsu Sauce

Deep Fried Scallops in nest of fried noodles

Seafood Udon Soup

Seabass Sushi

The food was as good as before. The seafood udon soup tasted very sweet from seafood and Chinese shitake mushrooms they used to cook the soup and the generous amount of very fresh seafood on it was just amazing!

The scallops hidden inside a nest of crunchy deep-fried noodles basket was very delicious. Even the housing of the scallop is very well cooked with attention to details let alone the scallop itself hidden in the nest. A very eye-pleasing and delicious dish indeed!

The pork chop served with rice and homemade salad was also very delicious. The pork chop was deep fried in very nice breaded batter and had very juicy and tender meat. Dipped into the lovely Tonkatsu sauce, it was a perfect match to be eaten with Japanese rice.

Very satisfied with a lovely dinner, we headed back to Cardiff on a 2 1/2 hours journey! The long drive? Very well worth it!

Saturday, 6 August 2011


- stuffed.

Dragonfruit has become increasingly popular back home in recent years and we can now find them in UK supermarkets.

Dragonfruit is a beautiful fruit that looks like flames of fire. It is packed with nutrients and low in calories! The fruit is mildly sweet and has a nutty taste to it.

A very nice fruit eaten raw and I never thought that it would be so delicious cooked with seafood!

Another special dish made by my housemate (I think I have lost count how many she has made now).

Stuffed dragonfruit by AT

Dragonfruit stuffed with dragonfruit meat, scallops and bell peppers.

I like dragonfruit, I love scallops and I am not generally inclined to eat bell peppers BUT the mixture of all three with some ginger and cooked inside the dragonfruit is just amazingly delicious!

Scallop, bell peppers and fruit

A very beautiful looking dish that tastes absolutely delicious!

The sweet and light 'seafoody' taste of scallops, the mildly sweet and nutty taste of dragonfruit with some crunchy texture from the black seeds, the sweet, tangy and sharp flavour of bell peppers with slight spiciness from the ginger...hhhmmmmmm....delicious! An amazing combination of different ingredients that you would never imagine could match so well together!