Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Green Tea Love

I just came back from my Bali trip two days ago and boy was it a feast-ful trip! Sadly I got sick halfway through the trip and came home with two friends - flu and cough. After all that food I just needed some cleaner food. I think all the clean eating and meal prep has conditioned my body and mind to opt for cleaner and healthier options. Even in Bali, one of my friend said, I didn't even cheat much! I am still eating healthy. Haha... (Good) Habits die hard!

This was the first meal I cooked for myself after Bali: Organic spinach ramen with mixed vegetables and tofu with an egg on the side.

Well that was for lunch, dinner I had made some vege soup with chicken breasts. I was itching to make something at night since mommy brought back 3 boxes of the baking utensils from Port Dickson! I decided to bake something to do with green tea seeing that I just bought green tea powder and I wanted to om-nom something green tea. So for all you green tea lovers, if you wish to make your own green tea cake, this is a very simple and fast recipe. Worry not for the recipe was tweaked to suit a less sinful version.

Baking in the oven earlier were Green Tea Chocolate Cakes. This recipe is really simple and straightforward which was why I decided to bake it at night, after dinner at about  8:30pm and had a one piece for myself! Who doesn't love fresh oven baked cakes?

Like my love for Cinnamon Rolls, I love all things Green Tea too. Green tea has its benefits, many I would say but I will save the educational health benefits for Google and reliable sources for you to find out yourself. I noticed that there are alot of recipes that incorporates green tea with red bean. This mixture is like peanut butter and jelly, you cannot go wrong with it. Plus it is generally the standard mix in food and beverage outlets as well. I am not a fan of red beans so I discarded the idea of including red beans into my recipe entirely and opt for cocoa powder instead.

Green Tea Chocolate Cake

yields: 8-9 cups approximately                       prep time: 15 minutes                    cook time: 45 minutes

1 cup high protein flour (or all purpose flour)
1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup skim milk (or full cream/low-fat milk)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsps green tea powder
1 tbsps cocoa powder

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degree Celcius. Grease muffin pan well or line with parchment paper.
  2.  Cream together coconut oil and sugar using an electric mixer
  3. Mix in milk and eggs, beat until well combined.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and salt into the liquid mixture, mix well until it forms a smooth batter.
  5. Divide batter into two bowls.
  6. Stir in one tbsps green tea powder into one mixture and one tbsps cocoa powder into the other mixture. Whisk respective batter until powder dissolves and has a smooth consistency.
  7. Pour approximately two tbsps of chocolate batter into each muffin pan.
  8. Pour approximately two tbsps of green tea batter on top of the chocolate batter.
  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the outside is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Sugar and coconut oil in a bowl.

Mix in milk and eggs into sugar and oil mixture.

Add in flour, salt and baking powder into liquid mixture and mix well. Divide batter.

Add in cocoa powder to form chocolate mixture.

Add in green tea powder to form green tea mixture.

Scoop approximately 2 tbsps of chocolate batter into muffin pan, and 2 tbsps of green tea batter on top of them.

Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes.

Loosen the sides of the cake and carefully scoop it out.

The cakes came out soft but lacked the green tea and chocolate-y taste. It does have a light scent of it but taste wise it needed more. I was contemplating whether to add in an extra tablespoon for the green tea and cocoa powder respectively when I was making the respective mixture but I thought it was sufficient. Should have doubled the amount for the the powder! If you dislike the idea of chocolate with your green tea cake, you can just skip the dividing batter part and mix in the green tea together with the flour mixture. On the other hand, if you love chocolate, you can try adding melted chocolate into your chocolate batter for the extra chocolate-y goodness.

I took one cake and split it open. I noticed that the insides were quite moist as well. The cake texture turned out soft and light, with very lightly crisps sides and moist insides. It wasn't oily nor was the mixture too heavy on the butter-ish texture because of the coconut oil which I noticed as with the cinnamon rolls. All I can say is that I am starting to love using coconut oil in my baking! 

Ch-ch-check out my perfectly manicured nails from Bali *sidetrack* XD

I om-nom it with warm milk, perfect for after a cool rainy day to end my night. I spread some butter on to the cake and it tasted good. Might just try it with jam later (it's 1:20am now)! :D doubt that these will last till tomorrow. Haha...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock

This is an overdue post from November after I just completed my final exam paper which concludes my two years of Degree! :D Just got my results and I am happy to announce that I am a Monash graduate now! That aside, after my first paper in November, the boyfriend and I decided to spend some time together over the weekend in conjunction with our monthniversary. We wanted to go for burger but The Grind Burger bar doesn't open until  12pm. So we decided on Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock (AMAH) to try their Nasi Lemak! My friend claimed that their nasi lemak was very good and even better than Village Park.

Oh those post exam eye bags =.=

The location of AMAH is really easy to find and in Oasis Ara Damansara there are plenty of parking available! So no worries of double park or waiting for parking. AMAH is located on the same row at Mr. & Ms., a corner lot shop beside Ayam Penyet Ria. Surprisingly they don't have a a big company signboard so if you're driving and circling to find AMAH, you may miss it.

AMAH has a minimalist interior reflecting the feel of a kopitiam shop in the 70s but definitely more modern than then. There shop was moderately filled but it wasn't packed with people despite it being a Saturday, there were still many seats and tables available. Oasis Damansara is more packed on weekdays as there are offices there.

Their menu as seen in the picture above consists of a range of Malaysian food. No fancy-schmancy dishes of any sort, just plain ol' Malaysian food. Well, our purpose there was for the Nasi Lemak but I read reviews that their Mee Goreng Muthu is not bad. So being the greedy people that we were, we each had a plate of Nasi Lemak Ayam each and a plate of Mee Goreng Muthu to share.

The Mee Goreng Muthu was quite the kick. It is spicy so make sure you had something before you eat this. Somehow when I took the first bite, it is as if I am eating Rojak, because it does taste like rojak! Probably due to the taugeh, tofu and that other ingredient which you can find in a Rojak. I liked it because there wasn't the yellow noodles taste. I don't like that taste because it makes me "jelak" after that.

The Nasi Lemak Ayam! Our verdict? Yes it is very good! I wouldn't say that the chicken tastes exactly like Village Park's but it does have some similarities. The sambal though was abit of a let down as it wasn't as spicy as I expected it to be. It was more sweet with a little spiciness to it just as it enters your mouth. The presentation in AMAH is way better than of Village Park. Village Park one feels like they just throw everything on your plate and serve it to you, at least AMAH's one has better presentation. The rice was soft and and the peanuts and anchovies were alot! Enough for the whole meal, it lasted right until I finished the rice and the chicken. 

However greedy you may be, only go for one meal per trip. After eating the Nasi Lemak and then the Mee Goreng, it was too much and we were pretty stuffed. You wouldn't enjoy the dish as it is. In terms of the Nasi Lemak, some might still prefer Village Park but it is up to individual preferences. If I had to pick, I would pick AMAH over Village Park for the price, environment and quality of food. Now there's a place where I don't need to wait for long queues and crowd with people over the loud noises in small spaces to get a good Nasi Lemak fix! ;)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Sixth Year, Feels Like A Long Time Ago

I am re-watching the Home Alone sequel as I am typing this post. Watching Home Alone, it brings back a sense of nostalgia. One that reminds me of a time when my brother was still around. It brings back the fuzzy feeling because this is one of the movies that I used to watch and re-watched over and over during Christmas and even though it's not Christmas. It is one of the memories that I remember watching with my brother and it was the time of the month even that we look forward for Christmas - singing Christmas carols from house to house, the great food, great company and Christmas parties. Also because close to Christmas it is my birthday! *grins*

I haven't blog about Tian Leng in a while and since today (3rd December) is his "anniversary", I thought that he deserved to know that he is not forgotten. Things have changed, people have changed... We all hope that you never left us during this very date 6 years ago. It's things like these that never change - the solemn feeling, the wishful thinking and the nostalgic memories. It's things like the memories of your cheeky remarks, the way you love to tease and bully, your seemingly rebellious nature yet still a dutiful brother and son that never change.

It has been 6 years already since his passing. Frankly when I look back at his pictures, his looks feel so foreign to me. It's because it has been so long that I have not seen his face and feel his presence physically that I have drifted away from how he used to look like. Now it feel as though it is hard to believe that I once had a brother. *sigh* I still wish that I do right now. I guess that is how it's like when you grow old in the future. I have always wondered and still wonder and I think will continue to wonder in the future, how my life, our family and life of your friends will be like if you were still here.

I believe that although many of us may be caught up in our daily routine life, deep inside each and everyone of us who holds you close to our hearts, there is a piece of you that remains with us. A place, an event or even the slightest familiar character of another person will remind us of you. Or at least for me that is. A fond memory of mine which I remember of Tian Leng during Christmas is our duet singing to Christmas Isn't Christmas (Till it Happens in Your Heart) during the house-to-house Christmas carolling. It's a really lovely song and I am happy that I once sang this song with my brother.

So here's to you dear brother, do know that you're never forgotten (at least until I am old and frail I guess *winks*).

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