Low`Fat Pineapple Tarts (not fat-free)

I never could have thought pineapple tartscould have been low fat… yet taste BETTER … whoa!

My version of these delicious pineapple tarts not only taste better than the commercial ones but are also less artery- clogging and definitely more heart- friendly, with significantly less butter than the usual ones. This unfortunately also means that you would definitely eat more at once because it is less greasy and fullness- inducing. Like how my parents did. They loved these and I do too! If you bake them just right, they will have the really amazing melt-in-the-mouth feeling! But as you can see from my pictures, you have to handle the dough really well or else the tarts will end up with gazillion cracks like mine.

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Low Fat Pineapple Tarts

No. of servings: 10

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Ingredients

  • 170g cake/pastry flour
  • 30g corn flour
  • 45g powdered sugar
  • 45g egg
  • 60g butter
  • 40g maltose
  • 1g baking soda
  • 2g salt
  • pineapple filling

Directions

Just mix and rub all the ingredients together and try your best to gather them into a dough.

Let rest for 25 minutes.

Wrap pineapple filling and shape into desired shapes.

Bake at 215degrees for 3 minutes. Brush on some egg yolk wash and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

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This post is going to…

I’m submitting this to the Aspiring Bakers #3 My Favorite CNY Cookie (Jan 2011)! YAY! Thank you Jess for hosting the event! 😀

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14 Excuses to love/hate 14 February

A decade ago, I really loved Valentine’s Day. It was the time of the year when the brutal me could forcefully threaten an innocent brother to hand-make some presents to exchange with me. The silly guy loved the ‘game’ and was more than willing to participate. He cut out nice cards and wrote things like “Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you Jiejie!” I told him  I loved them and lost them less than a week later.

 

Fast forward to present day and I’m spending my Valentine’s Day this year snooping around that same guy’s room for sweet-nothings scribbled across sheets of beautifully embossed paper from his ‘one-and-only’ – a girl who has taken a higher place in his heart.

 

To stop myself from continuing to commit vicious crimes such as the above, I hence forced myself to engage in critical analysis ( I’m really attentive in GP class), analyzing the good and bad of the 14 of February.

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Reasons to love

1.      The best reason to get sick

“Hey doc, I need an MC. My heart problems usually relapse on 14 Februarys.”

2.       More pocket money.

“Daddy, it’s that time of the year again! I need more pocket money… to buy some presents… for myself…”

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3.       Any day that comes with so much chocolate must be good for you.

Didn’t you know that dark chocolate is scientifically proven to be healthfully rich in antioxidants? That’s besides also being scientifically proven to make you fat of course.

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4.       It is only once a year. Thank God!

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5.       Boasting that “I skipped Valentine’s Day”

Hey, how many people can say that?

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6.       The nerd (i.e. me) thinks, “The Valentine’s- themed Google logo is perfect for my Google-logo collection.”

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Reasons to hate

1.       That creepy angel

What the hell is wrong with that big weird baby in pampers flying around trying to shoot people with his toy arrows? Even that fat man with red pyjamas and large sack trying to squeeze through a chimney sounds saner.

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2.       Candy… hearts

It’s candy for Christmas, candy for Easter, candy for Chinese New Year. God, couldn’t that Saint Valentines guy be more creative? And heart-shaped?  How cheesy is that?!

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3.       Bad poetry

Roses are red, violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, and so are you!”

Excuse me while I puke.

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4.       Gross Chocolate

Chocolate with almonds. Acceptable.

Chocolate with cornflakes. That’s fine… I guess.

Strawberry-flavoured chocolate. Thanks, but I really do prefer chocolate- flavoured chocolates.

Lemon flavoured chocolate. I said… chocolate- flavoured chocolates, did you hear me?!

Pineapple- flavoured chocolate. That’s enough!

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5.       Mushy stuff I’m not supposed to hear

Listening to my brother whispering sweet-nothings to his girlfriend is simply weird.

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6.       Paying extra for heart- shaped stuff… which I love… in black

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7.       It’s supposed to be a holiday but is not.

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8.       It happens every year. Oh no.

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I hate Valentine’s day because its cheesy and silly. That’s my reason and I’m sticking to it.

P.S. It’s going to be over in 2 weeks! Hallelujah!

picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/playstationblog/3216575275/

A look at Singapore’s education System

A SPEECH

Why co- curricular activities should not be mandatory and why using it as a prerequisite for university admission is plain crap

Good morning everyone. Today, I am here to convince you that it is an absolutely wrong decision on MOE’s part to make co-curricular activities compulsory and a prerequisite for university admission.

To begin, I consider CCAs (co- curricular activities) as a violation of personal liberties such as the right of choosing what to want and not want.

The ministry of education thinks that CCAs develop us and help us to mature and work in a team. Well, when my PDP (pupil development programme) vice- president sent me a reflection to force me to reflect about what I had learned and what skills I had developed from my PDP and even previous PDPs, I thought hard for 2 weeks and came up with nothing.

My stand is that CCAs should not be compulsory and it is only characteristic of an authoritarian society to make it so. Joining an IT club can’t make you a technician. Joining a sports group doesn’t make you an athlete. Joining the dama club doesn’t make you an actor. Joining the choir doesn’t make you a singer. In fact, 10 years later, you’ll look back and think about all the time you wasted on your CCAs. Considering that less than 5% of the student population will never be able to make a living or becoming a true professional in whatever they are doing in their CCAs, CCAs should not be made compulsory and instead be an optional choice for people who want to stretch themselves in a certain area. For instance, how many top athletes from school CCAs manage to get a chance to represent Singapore? Conversely, how many never even make use of whatever skills they learnt in their CCAs after leaving it?

Students have to take tests to see if they are even able to excel at the area before being given a chance at doing something they actually like. For the rest, they are dumped mercilessly somewhere else where they are expected to be enthusiastic and active. Then they are told: you need to do well in it. You want to go to university, you remember? How can we do well in something we don’t like and don’t care for and won’t help us in future? How can something that is so useless be used to get us into university? Even math, the subject most of us can’t think of actual applications for, is much more useful for university entry, considering that it is useful to count money and even invest. Forcing students into joining some ridiculous activities in school doesn’t help them get a more holistic education anymore than building ERPs on every road would help solve congestion problems.

I know some of you here love your PDP and think the world of it. That’s not wrong. I’m glad the ministry has satisfied you. But for the rest of us suffering from the compulsory PDPs, we are not wrong either. In order for a person to excel in a field, I strongly believe that both the heart and body has to be involved. The person has to like what he is doing in order to expect the commitment required to develop his talent and abilities to the fullest. Our school time is already exceptionally long compared to the rest of the world. Let’s not make it longer by wasting time on PDPs.

Fat- free Sweet Bread made possible

Within my three week getaway in Taiwan a month ago, I returned my English language skills to my teacher and started learning to read Traditional Chinese… the sacrifices I  make to bake! I read a couple of French dessert books, steamed buns and bread cookbooks and this is one of the recipes I got from one of the books I bought.

Its fat- free but has a substantial amount of sugar. To adapt it to my taste palette, I packed half of my buns with chocolate chips (not exactly fat free or healthy but whatever).  You can add anything you want. Its pretty versatile.

Fat Free Sweet Bread

adapted from 好吃不发胖低卡面包 by Ibaraki Kumiko

 
 

Ingredients:

A

125g bread flour

2 tsp Instant yeast

2.5 tbs black sugar

175ml of milk heated to 40 degrees celcius

B

125g bread flour

0.5 tsp salt

Method

  1. mix ingredients A together to form a smooth paste
  2. add ingredients B and knead into a smooth dough
  3. cover with a wet cloth and let rest for 25 minutes
  4. Retrieve the dough and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll them into balls and let rest for 5 minutes
  5. shape each ball any way you want and fill them with fillings if you want to
  6. let rest for 20 minutes
  7. bake at 180 degrees for 8 minutes

This post is going to yeastspotting!

Bread on FoodistaBread

Rainbow Layered Sponge Cake

You  read the post title and you must have thought I was kidding. A rainbow cake? Fat-free? Seriously? Well, exquisite as the title may sounds, my Rainbow Layered Sponge Cake is not exquisite. Its rather simple with little frosting (which actually is just custard cream) and batter but it takes much patience and good technique.

But the problem is it looks like a toy. It looks inedible. That’s something I did wrong I guess. I should have made the layers thicker instead and cut the cake with a knife instead of using my coca cola can. Lazy me. Haha. I actually made this cake for my cell sister who loves the colour rainbow (which actually isn’t a colour but rather a colour combination). It was her birthday in January, together with my cell leader’s so I made two cakes, one for each of them. This recipe is just enough for the two cakes. It tastes really simple.

Rainbow Layered Sponge Cake

Ingredients

(Sponge cake batter)

A
 Cake Flour 60g
 Egg Yolks 4
Milk 30g
Powdered/Caster sugar 15g
B
Egg Whites 4
Powdered/Caster sugar 35g
Colourings
Purple 2 drops red and 2 drops blue food colouring
Dark Blue 4 drops blue food colouring
Light Blue 2 drops blue food colouring
Green 3 drops green food colouring
Yellow 3 drops yellow food colouring
Pink 2 drops red food colouring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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 Method:

1.      Whisk egg yolks and sugar from A with hand/stand mixer till pale yellow. Add in milk and sift in flour. Mix till even.

2.      Whisk B together till the mixture forms a stiff peak with hand/stand mixer.

3.      Pour 1/3 of the mixture from step 2 and fold it in evenly. Then add in the remaining 2/3 and fold in evenly again.

4.      Have 5 bowls ready and scoop equal amounts of mixture from step 3 into each bowl.

5.      To each bowl, add a different colouring and fold the colouring in till even.

6.       Pour the mixtures into separate tins and bake at 200°C for 6 minutes

 (Custard Cream)

Egg yolk 1
Sugar 50g
Cake flour 18g
Milk 200ml

In a bowl, add in egg yolk, sugar, sifted cake flour, 20ml of the 200ml milk. Stir in flour till mixture becomes smooth, and then add in remaining 180ml of milk.

Sieve the resulting mixture from above into a pot. Starting from medium heat, gradually turn up the heat while continuously stirring the mixture. As soon as the mixture starts to thicken, turn off the heat. Scoop the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool.

Refrigerate before using.

Assembling the cake

1. cut each baked cake into two layers

2. combine the 1 set of 5 different- coloured layers by filling the custard cream between layers.

3. to pipe the letters, I used skinless adzuki bean paste bagged in a plastic bag.

I’m back with Mantou

I haven’t been here for a d**n long time. I was back in Taiwan, my FAVOURITE country of all time (not Singapore, of course) to visit my beloved relatives whom I’ve not seen in THREE YEARS.  God I miss them sooo much! Unlike most other Singaporeans who would have gone to Taipei visiting shopping centres (like those in SG) and night market, my mum and I went back to good ol’ Ping Tung situated at the bottom (i.e. South) of Taiwan for our share of cheap and delicious food and night market visitations. Those weren’t the highlight though. seeing my relatives with the same jovial grins and heart-warming , familar faces. I really really really miss ALL of them right now back in Singapore. Wish I can live there forever and ever.

all right, sorry to bore you with my mindless daydreaming. Here’s something I made with inspired by one of my favourite breakfasts in Taiwan– 5- grain Man Tou (it doesn’t really have 5 grains though). My mum and I love this version. My dad isn’t really a fan of steamed stuff, more of deep fried, but he found this acceptable anyway.

hee, its actually not that yellowish!

Black Sugar 5-Grain Mantou

makes 6 medium Singaporean pieces/ small Taiwanese pieces

Ingredients

(Dough)

Basic ingredients
 Instant Yeast  2g ( 1/2 tsp)
Plain Flour 200g
Baking powder 1.5g (less than ½ tsp)
Water 100ml + 180-250 ml
Black sugar 35g
Final dough
Black and white sesame 2 tsp
Wolfberries 20g
Raisins 10g
Assorted nuts 30g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


a close up

 

Method:

Cook black sugar with 100ml of water till the sugar dissolves to form a syrup. Add 180ml of water and let cool.

Mix yeast, baking powder and flour. Form a well and add the mixture from step 1. Knead for 2 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. If the dough seems too dry, add water by the tablespoon. Cover with a wet cloth and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Knead the final dough ingredients into the proven dough till smooth. Knead into a 2.5cm (breadth) rod. Cut the rod into 6 pieces and place on steaming paper (optional)

Let rest for 25 minutes.

Steam on high heat for 8 minutes.

Going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!

To know more about “black sugar” and “mantou”, CLICK HERE!!! 😀