Home Recipes

Welcome to our collection of recipes--both Singaporean and international--that we've acquired, come across, experimented upon. Your suggestions are more than welcome!


Low-Fat White Cake with Strawberries and Cream

(Taken largely from Sarah White)

Found this recipe while searching for a recipe for a healthier, low-fat cake that would go well with the fresh strawberries and vanilla ice-cream in the fridge. The white cake turned out great, with a very slightly browned and crispy exterior and a light spongy interior.

An angel food cake pan (like that shown above) is great for ensuring a more even baking throughout the cake

2 cups cake flour, not self-rising (spoon into measuring cup and level top)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 to 1 cup sugar (we're happy with 4/5 cup)
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons instant nonfat dry milk powder (do not reconstitute)
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300/350 degrees F. Lightly spray an 8-inch round nonstick cake pan with oil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer (stand mixer is too big) set at high speed, beat the butter and sugar until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, about 1-1/2 minutes. (Note: The mixture will be coarse and sandy; not light and fluffy because you are using very little butter.)
4. In a small bowl, beat the milk, egg, instant dry milk powder, vanilla and almond extract, if using it, to combine. Pour into the butter / sugar mixture. Starting on low speed and increasing to high, beat until the mixture is frothy, about 1 minute.
5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Using a wooden spoon (do not use a mixer), stir until the flour disappears. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat just for 3 seconds. Do not overmix. Using a gentle touch, spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
6. Bake until the top of the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center and the sides are pulling away from the pan, about 30 minutes (do not open the oven until the cake has baked for at least 20 minutes). Do not overbake. Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Unmold onto the rack, turn right side up, and cool completely.

Enjoy this low-fat angelfood cake-like dessert!


Otah that's good enough for me!

Click on picture to see it up close. Otah goes great with bread as a snack, or with a meal that can include onion omelettes, sliced fresh cucumbers, and nasi lemak.

This is my dad's otah recipe that first turned out a surprisingly savoury and spicy smackeral* several years ago when he experimented with it in our convection microwave oven. This recipe makes about 10-12 pieces of otah. Preparation time is short (once you have the ground sambal ingredients) and so is the cooking time. For those of us in North America, staying outside of Singapore or Malaysia, despair not. Sambal ingredients should be available in most North American Chinatowns (San Francisco and Toronto certainly) and, if you're willing to pay a little more for the convenience, you can always order the nonya sambal online. I'm assuming for now, as a young housewife with very limited experience and knowledge, that what's commonly referred to as "sambal chilli" called for in this recipe is the same as what Prima calls "nonya sambal". (If you know more about this, please leave a comment. Thanks!)

A few simple steps:
Mince 200g mackerel (or some other oily fish) until very fine. Add 3 tablespoons corn flour, 3 rounded tablespoons sambal ingredients** (ground), 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, lime leaves [optional but some like it; and if you have access to it. I skipped this one], and some oil. Mix well and bake--wrapped in banana leaves (if available), or in aluminium foil. How thick or long you want the otah to be is up to you. I pressed the otah paste on greased aluminium foil until about 1 cm thick, threw it in the oven (230 deg C / 450F), and baked it for about 10 minutes. You really need to experiment a little to see what works for you. Remove otah at about 8 minutes, and every other 2 minutes or so, and when it looks firm and brown with a nice texture, you can use the taste test.

Loy says that the otah (or 'otah') I made tasted authentic enough, and plausibly sufficient to satisfy a craving for the real thing. Well, that's good enough for me!

*loose usage of the Milne word "smackeral", that can be defined as the amount of honey that Winnie the Pooh enjoys each time he puts his hand in the honey pot. Example: "Mmm delicious, just a smackeral of honey." (Taken from the urbandictionary.com)

**In my dad's words: "The sambal is the one we make with chilli, onion, garlangal (blue ginger), tumeric (yellow ginger), belachan, a few cloves of garlic, some lemon grass, candle nuts (blakalak buah keras) and ground together - same one we use to cook curry or assam fish or sambal prawns." Hmm... doesn't he make it sound easy...


Easy Chilli Kidney Beans

Serves 4-6, and wonderful as a side dish to a Western main course. You can add minced meat to make this dish more substantial and a meal in itself taken together with corn bread, or any other suitable bread variety. Chilli beans keep well in the fridge (days) or freezer (weeks), and corn bread can keep in a dry container for a week (from my experience). Reheat in microwave when ready to enjoy beans, corn bread, or both together. Click on the picture below to see enlarged version of our dinner of lamb chops accompanied by mashed potato and chilli beans.

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
dash or more of chilli powder (how spicy do you want it?)
a little water and salt (only if deemed necessary--use the look and taste test)

1. Heat oil in sauce pot/pan and saute the chopped onions on medium heat until they are soft.
2. Add all the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 15-30 minutes, depending on how soft you like the beans. Stir occasionally to prevent charring at the bottom.

The Correct Recipe for Pineapple Tarts

Oops. That's right. The title implies that the earlier one was ... wrong!! Well, maybe that's a rather strong word to use considering that I baked my first relatively successful batch of pineapple tarts using it. It had, however, been the source of much agony one evening when I must have tried it several times, each successive attempt resulting in increasingly brittle--and totally unusable pastry. Add to that the irritation of having to use inferior quality off-the-shelf pineapple jam which I thought to try in hopes of discovering a short cut. Well, lesson learnt! Home-made is often better, and, true to a truism, the right recipe makes all the difference...

I was all but ready to give up on pineapple tarts for a while, and then my husband and I met up with a fellow Singaporean who had sons who missed greatly Chinese New Year goodies like the tarts. This gave me a new boost of determination and zeal to make some good tarts for the boys. I managed to get a recipe for the pastry from my aunty (who has been baking for decades) and tried it out this afternoon. An adjustment to the baking time and temperature was needed; thankfully I found the optimal time and temperature after a little experimentation. The following worked for me, for my oven, but I'd suggest that you do some experimentation as well on single pineapple tarts before you bake a whole tray of them. Click on picture below to see the tarts up close.

Pineapple Tarts
Makes about 45 tarts

Pineapple Jam:
Bring 500g crushed/grated pineapple (I use canned ones), 300g of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil and let it simmer for as long as it takes for jam to thicken. (I usually need more than half an hour--maybe more--of simmer time; make sure you stir occasionally to ensure that bottom does not get charred) When most of the liquid has evaporated, sieve in about 1 tsp of corn flour, stir well, and set jam aside to cool.

1. Sift 450g plain/all-purpose flour and 20g milk powder together. Make sure they are well mixed.
2. Put 250g butter, 120g icing sugar and 1 egg (beaten together with about 1/2 tsp salt) in mixer and beat until sugar is just dissolved.
3. Add flour and milk powder and mix until dough holds together. (It may look crumbly but that's okay. Pressing it well during rolling will do the trick)
4. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
5. Beat 1 egg in bowl for glazing.
6. Roll out dough to about 0.5cm thickness. Press out dough with tart or cookie cutter cutter and put generous mound of pineapple filling in centre.
7. Bake for about 3-4 minutes; remove from oven and glaze pastry with beaten egg. Bake for another 4-5 minutes. (My aunty's recipe called for a baking time of about 15 minutes at 180 degrees C, but I found that that burnt the bottom of the pastry)

Have fun, and enjoy this traditional Singaporean Chinese New Year delicacy! There's nothing quite like it...