Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fereni With Pashmak

Fereni is a Persian pudding made with milk, rosewater and pistachios. Pashmak - which means "little wool" in Persian - is candy floss made from sesame and sugar. Put the two of them together and you get a pretty, dainty, quirky dessert that will surely win the hearts of both young and old.

In fact, did you know that Fereni is commonly prepared for infants and little children? Well, welcome to Persion Cuisine 101! :)

But wait, how on earth did I know all that, when I actually know zilch about Persian-anything? Well, it all started with a packet of pistachio-flavoured Pashmak the postman delivered. It was a gift from the lovely Ellie to my children. :)

Needless to say, I was eager to make something nice. This was, after all, my first encounter with Persian candy floss, although I had seen it before at Ellie's blog. Ah, a rose-flavoured dessert would complement the pistachio Pashmak, I thought. And one of those Middle Eastern milk puddings I have been wanting to make would be perfect!

After a few clicks, I was brought to this recipe - one of Persian origin, no less - and I just knew, this was the one. That, my friends, was how I got to know all about Fereni. :) Bless the Internet.

This is freshly cooked Fereni, pure and white. If you're wondering how that little gunny sack has my name on it, my fairy godmother made it for me. :)

Before serving, sprinkle chopped pistachios for topping. You can enjoy this either warm or chilled, although I so much prefer the warm version. Especially on a gloomy day (which explains the poor lighting) ... just standing by the window, watching the raindrops beating down ... enjoying scoops of warm, rose-scented, custardy milk pudding. So comforting, so uplifting.

Fereni with pistachio Pashmak. From white to whimsical ... like something out of a fairytale.

(from here)

- 4 heaped tbsp rice flour
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 200 ml cold water
- 250 ml whole milk
- 2 tsp rose water or a pinch of ground cardamom
- a handful of toasted pistachios or almonds, coarsely chopped
- a pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)

1. Place the rice flour and sugar in a small pot and stir in the water, milk and rosewater or cardamom.

2. Place the pot on medium heat and cook it stirring constantly to avoid it scorching for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Add a splash of boiling water to thin it slightly if it is too thick. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Taste and add a little more rosewater or cardamom to taste.

3. If the Fereni is to be eaten warm, ladle it into serving bowls and decorate it with the chopped nuts and cinnamon if using and serve. Alternatively, ladle it into the serving bowls and cover them tightly with cling film and place them in the fridge to chill. Decorate with the nuts and cinnamon just before serving. OR, if you have access to Pashmak, use it! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Self Indulgent Post

When I saw the package bearing the Canadian stamp, I knew. I did the happy dance as I impatiently tore open the envelope and pulled out the copy of Ming Pao Gourmet Supplement. I was featured! :D

A month ago, I got an email from Angel, the magazine Editor, asking for permission to do a reprint of my recipes. I was stunned! You know that feeling, don't you? When you're minding your own business and having fun (blogging) ... and someone actually likes what you're doing? Crazy but true.

They used 2 recipes from my blog:

Teochew Yam Paste (recipe here). I have done my Teochew ancestors proud. LOL!

Watermelon Granita With Ginger Syrup (recipe here).

Well, I never! My pics are actually magazine-worthy! ;) How cool is that?! Certainly made my day. :)

And you know, the funniest bit was my daughter looking through my food photos and saying in her solemnest voice, "Imagine, WE were the ones who ate all that." LOL!!! She is so funny!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Quiche

Eggs are undoubtedly one of my can't-live-without foods. I absolutely them, so when I found out this month's International Incident Party was all about eggs, I got really eggs-cited and put my name down for it. :) After all, two of my favourite gals are playing host ... Penny aka Jeroxie and Tasty Trix! Happy Birthday, my sweets!

Next was the question of "What dish should I make?" because eggs are just so versatile. Thankfully, as I flipped through my cookbook, I quickly found my answer - Roasted Pumpkin Quiche. Not only are eggs the key ingredient, so are pumpkins, which herald the start of beautiful autumn (in the northern hemisphere, at least). Perfect!

And because quiches are so easy-going and forgiving - unlike cakes, bleah - you can tweak the recipe and nothing will go seriously wrong. For instance, I subbed spinach for peas; whipping cream for crème fraîche. You can opt to use filo sheets (like the recipe) or opt for shortcrust pastry, and it's perfectly alright ... so feel free to experiment.

Well, without rambling further, may I present my dish to the party - and indeed, it is perfect party food any time of day - Roasted Pumpkin Quiche!

Here's the quiche, fresh out of the oven. Can you smell it?

(from Homestyle Vegetarian by Murdoch Books)
- 500g butternut pumpkin
- 1 red onion, cut into small wedge (I used white onion)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic, crushed
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 125ml whipping cream (I used crème fraîche)
- 125ml milk
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander (I omitted)
- 1tsp wholegrain mustard (I omitted)
- 6 sheets filo pastry
- 50g English spinach, blanched (I used frozen peas, about 2 handfuls)
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degree celsius. Slice the pumpkin into 1-cm (1/2-inch) pieces, leaving the skin on. Place the pumpkin, onions, 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic and 1 tsp salt in a roasting tin. Roast for 1 hr, until lightly golden and cooked.
* Note: I did not do this because 1 hr is too long! I pan-roasted everything in a non-stick skillet and it was so much faster. Also, I removed the skin from the pumpkin. I don't wanna eat skin. Ewww.

2. Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, herbs and mustard. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. Grease a loose-based fluted flan (tart) tin or ovenproof dish measuring 22cm (8 1/2-inches) across the base. Brush each sheet of filo with oil (I used melted butter) and then line the flan tin with the 6 sheets. Fold the sides down, tucking them into the tin to form a crust.

4. Heat baking tray in the oven for 10mins. Place the flan tin on the tray and arrange all the vegetables over the base. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with parmesan.

(Left) To achieve that nice, layered effect, make sure your overlap the pumpkin slices as shown above. (Right) Tuck the edges of the filo neatly to form a crust.

5. Bake for 35 to 40mins, or until the filling is golden brown and set. Enjoy!

Check out the other wonderful egg dishes brought to our party:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yogurt Cake (With Blueberry Sauce)

I almost abandoned this post. Almost. At first bite, I didn't quite like the cake. It tasted like a sponge cake ... with not enough eggs. I also hated how my photos turned out ... too much bokeh for my liking. But since I had already invested time and energy taking pictures, I decided to post. Maybe someone else might like this cake.

I should have known. Being someone who loves full fat, what was I doing baking a yogurt cake? Give me an eggy and/or buttery cake any time. So why did I bake this? I had Greek Yogurt expiring the next day, and Google brought me to this cake ... as simple as that.

To make up for the lack of fat/cream/eggs, I made a blueberry sauce to go with it. That helped. Tremendously. *licks fingers*

Then lo and behold, the next day, the cake suddenly tasted a helluva lot better! Why? I kept it covered, at room temperature, and overnight, the flavours developed and it was a lot more moist. Still, unless I am faced with a tub of Greek yogurt on the brink of expiry, I wouldn't be making this cake again. But the blueberry sauce? I'll have that any day.

But well, different strokes for different folks. If you like yogurt cakes, this one is probably the one to make. Compared to Chocolate & Zucchini's recipe which yields a much heavier cake, this version gives you an airier texture and bite, almost like a sponge cake ... with not enough eggs. Sorry, couldn't resist! ;)

(adapted from neckredrecipes)

- 2 large eggs
- 200g caster sugar (I reduced to 170g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 280g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 250ml low fat greek yogurt
- 120ml oil
- icing sugar for dusting

1. Whisk egg and sugar until pale, thick and creamy (3-4 minutes).

2. Add vanilla extract. Beat for a further 1 minute.

3. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Fold into the above mixture.

4. Mix in the yogurt and then the oil.

5. Pour batter into a lined and greased 21-26cm cake tin. Bake at 180C in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. Leave cake in tin to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cake rack to cool.

7. Dust with icing sugar (optional).

8. If you intend to serve with blueberry sauce, get the recipe from my Atayef post.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eton Mess

Macarons - fail! Those elusive pretty feet stood me up. Boo hoo!

My three children adore macarons. The eldest and youngest are especially macaron-crazy and will devour any flavour, but number two only eats chocolate ones. My baby can even recognise macarons while they are baking in the oven! He'll point in excitement and say "kah-ron!" in his baby language, and ask to eat them. :) One day, he will learn that macarons are ALL supposed to have pretty feet.

You see, my macarons always come out in a mixed batch of some good and some bad ... never a perfect tray, which is why I have never blogged about them. Over time, there are more good ones than bad, so hopefully, I'll get to my perfect tray soon!

But my children love them - plain or filled - because the crisp, delicate shells with a slightly chewy centre are just irresistible. Often times, while his two older siblings are at school, my baby gets first dibs and eats fresh macaron shells directly from the tray. :)

Whenever I have strawberries in the fridge, I will use some of my "bad" macarons and assemble them into an Eton Mess, quite like what Deana ate in Oxford.

You can also use meringues for this. Just slather on freshly whipped cream, and top with strawberries and/or blueberries. It makes for a lovely teatime treat, and one which I will not be reminded that my macarons are missing their feet. Ooops! ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steamed Prawns With Tofu And Glass Noodles

Some dishes just blow you away. Like this Steamed Prawns dish. I thought it would be something on the bland side (tofu, glass noodles), which was fine by me, since I prefer light seasoning anyway. But wow, the moment I took my first bite, I was ... well, wowed.

Imagine sweet, crunchy prawns ... nestled on a bed of slippery glass noodles ... sitting on silken egg tofu ... and topped with crispy garlic bits. The contrast in flavour and texture was pure HEAVEN.

Needless to say, I really, really, really enjoyed this dish. It was delightfully delicious and refreshing, and delicious. Did I mention delicious?

I got this awesome recipe from Suresh's blog, which by the way, is chock full of unpretentious, everyday, good food. My kind of food! :) I hope you'll all give this dish a try someday. It makes for such a rewarding meal with so little effort.

(largely adapted from 3 Hungry Tummies)
Serves 2 to 3 as part of a Chinese meal

- 1 tube silken egg tofu (or any type of tofu you like), cut into 6 equal pieces
- 6 medium size fresh prawns, peeled keeping the tails intact (Suresh says fresh scallops work too!)
- 10g to 15g glass noodles (aka tang hoon, mung bean noodles), soaked and drained
- 1 spring onion, julienned
- crispy garlic and garlic oil (fry this first and set aside)

For the sauce
- 3 tbsp of light soy (I would reduce to 2 tbsp next time ... it depends which brand of soy sauce you use)
- 1 tbsp of Hua Tiao cooking wine
- 1/2 tbps sugar
- dash of sesame oil
- dash of white pepper
- a little grated ginger (I omitted and it was still good)

1. Soak glass noodles in hot water for 5 minutes and drain. Set aside. During this time, you can start heating up your steamer. I used a regular wok with cover.

2. Peel prawns, make a slit on each prawn and pierce the tail through, making a little "prawn ball".

3. Drape small mounds of glass noodles over tofu, then top with a prawn ball.

4. By this time, your steamer should be bubbling hot and ready for action. Spoon some sauce over the prawns (no need to use up all the sauce if it appears too much) and place the dish in the steamer. Steam on medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes. I steamed for 5 minutes and it was just right.

5. Top with julienned spring onions and crispy garlic, and drizzle with garlic oil liberally. I was so lazy, I used a pair of scissors to cut the (washed) spring onions directly over the dish! :P

6. Ready to be served! This dish is best eaten piping hot, so please take the cue from me, and do not spend too much time styling or taking photos! Just snap and EAT.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Anyong Haseyo, AGAIN! Yup, yet another Korean dish - this time, Japchae. :) I made this to accompany my Myulchi Bokkeum. Maybe I'm easy to please, but I'm happiest eating simple food. These 2 dishes may be humble fare, but I'll pick them over fine dining any day.

I recently saw a lovely Japchae at Teczcape's blog, and used her recipe as a reference. Actually, this dish is so incredibly easy to make, you hardly need a recipe! It's true. All it takes is a quick stirfry of the veggies while your glass noodles cook in a separate pot, and when both are ready, just mix everything up. That's it!

Use any combination of veggies you like, but be sure to slice them in uniform thickness. I used a few leaves wong bok (long cabbage), a large handful of bean sprouts, 5 to 6 white button mushrooms, and a few stalks of chye sim. You'll also need some minced garlic and sliced yellow onions to lend some aroma.

First, heat some vegetable oil, and fry garlic and onions till fragrant. Add in your veggies and continue stirfrying. I seasoned mine with a pinch of anchovy (ikan bilis) powder. You want your veggies to still retain their crunch, so make sure you don't overcook.

When done, drain away the excess liquid. How to drain? Just tip your pan at an angle and press the back of your spatula against the veggies. Primitive yes, but it works! ;) Leave to cool in a serving bowl (see photo above).

In the meantime, boil your glass noodles in water. As this is cooking, make the dressing. I didn't actually measure out the proportions but it's roughly:

- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar

Feel free to adjust according to your taste.

Once the glass noodles cook (and they do so very quickly), drain them and then place them atop the veggies. Pour the dressing in and toss well, like a salad. Sprinkle lightly toasted sesame seeds and serve. Some people add Gojuchang (Korean hot pepper paste), but I left it out because my Myulchi Bokkeum was already spicy enough.

And there you go! A homely Korean dinner - which can be yours too. You just need to tear yourself away from those Korean serials first. :)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Myulchi Bokkeum (Stirfried Anchovies)

Anyong Haseyo! Ok now, 'fess up ... how many Korean drama fans are in da house? ;) Well, I'm not one of you (yet) but my mom is. She can't stop talking about all her Korean drama serials and what good-lookers the Korean actors are, and how you say a particular word in Korean, and what's the latest fad in Korea, etc etc.

Lately, she even signed up for a once-a-week Korean language course, just so she can, um, watch her shows without referring to subtitles. I guess it was troublesome trying to gawk at the Korean hunks while having to read the subtitles, huh?

While I may not be a fanatic like my mom, I do enjoy good, homely Korean fare on my dining table. Like Myulchi Bokkeum, or Stirfried Anchovies. The sweet, spicy, sticky goodness coating the crispy anchovies reminds me very much the sweet, spicy, sticky tempeh I've made before. Seriously, anything Sweet. Spicy. Sticky is addictive. You have been warned!
* Readers unfamiliar with banchan can read more here.

Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) ... but I'm sure mom would say, not as hot as the Korean actors.

(largely adapted from Maangchi and seen at Evan's Kitchen Ramblings)

- 1 cup (about 55g) dried anchovies (ikan bilis)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1/2 tbsp corn syrup or honey
- 4 tsp water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds (I upped to 1 tbsp cos I love it!)

1. Heat up pan and dry-fry sesame seeds briefly. As soon as they turn light brown, remove from pan and set aside.

2. Stir 1 cup of small dried anchovies in a heated pan for 1 minute.

3. Add 1 tbsp oil and stir it for another minute.

4. Push the cooked anchovies to the edge of the pan away from the heat.
Note: I removed the anchovies from the pan onto tempura paper at this point.

5. Make sauce by mixing 1 tbsp hot pepper paste, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 4 tsp water, 1/2 tbsp corn syrup (or honey) in a bowl, and then pour into pan.

6. Tip the pan so only the sauce is over the heat and simmer until the sauce looks shiny (and has thickened a little).
Note: If you removed the anchovies like I did, you don't have to tip the pan. Make sure the fire is not too big or else the sauce will burn.

7. Return anchovies back to the sauce and turn the heat off.

8. Add 1 tsp sesame oil and sesame seeds. Toss and mix everything well.

* You can keep it in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. When you eat it, put it at room temperature for a while before eating, so it can get soft. But seriously, is it even possible to have leftovers?!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Carrot Cake (For A Birthday)

My youngest turns TWO today! Of course I'm happy to see him growing and thriving, but I'm also grasping onto whatever "babyness" that's still left. I promised myself I would hang up my (pregnancy) boots with this one. While I love being a mother, I am terrified of pregnancy and childbirth. God knows how many times I muttered to myself, "What on earth were you thinking?!" whenever a tidal wave of nausea hit.


My last pregnancy was the hardest ... backaches, constant fatigue, creaky bones ... all the same discomforts of my first two pregnancies, magnified by a hundred. It was the surest sign of ageing. Gulp.

Now, back to the birthday boy. Since he is still too young to say "I want a chocolate cake, with lots of cream and decorated with Oreos", I baked the cake that I wanted to try for a long time - Carrot Cake!

Thank you, Leon and R for this beautiful Narumi serving set. I adore it!!!

The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen (which was recommended by Zurin). The only difference was, I omitted the maple syrup for my cream cheese frosting. Instead, I used cream cheese, icing sugar and whipping cream. And it was lovely cake - moist enough but still fluffy. We all enjoyed it.

For the Cake
(from Smitten Kitchen )

- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I omitted)
- 2 cups sugar (I reduced to 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/4 cups canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups grated peeled carrots
- 1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 175 degree celsius.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them.

3. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.

For Cream Cheese Frosting
(my own estimate, sufficient for the single layer of frosting as seen in photos)
- 50g cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- Whipping cream, pour as you whisk together with the cream cheese and icing sugar, until you get a spreadable consistency

4. To assemble a carrot layer cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top and press slightly. Dust the top with icing sugar.

Birthday pressie from me - a toy microphone with karaoke function (that was quickly hijacked by his older sister and brother).

"I get first dibs!"

To my son: Happy birthday, my darling! My wish for you is, and will always be, the same - 平安健健.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prawns In Chilli Ketchup Gravy

I'm curious ... what do you do with all those packets of ketchup and chilli sauces which come with your fast food takeaways/deliveries? I know of some people who actually throw them away. Such a waste! I usually keep them in my fridge and use them whenever I cook Mee Goreng ... and now, this prawn dish.

I think many of us grew up eating this. Grandma used to cook it whenever the entire extended family congregated at her house on weekends, and I would greedily snag prawn after prawn with my chubby, grubby fingers. I still do that to this day, albeit with slimmer, cleaner fingers. :P

Recently, I saw this dish featured at Lee Mei's beautiful blog, and she cooked such a mouthwatering version, my salivary glands instantly went into overdrive. I left a comment to say I would make it, so I am making good that promise. :)

To be honest, I did not follow the recipe to a 'T' but merely used it as a rough guide - such is the flexibility of homecooking, don't you agree? :) Besides, all you need is a quick wok hand and fresh prawns, and you are halfway there. So, feel free to adjust the seasoning to suit your palate ... I added more Kicap Manis and water because I wanted gravy to drench my rice. Oh yeah, that gravy on rice is pure heaven.

(from My Cooking Hut)

- 1kg black tiger prawns (or any type of fresh, whole prawns)
- 7 to 8 thin slices ginger, about 2cm diameter
- 3 spring onions, cut into 1-inch length (leave aside a handful, cut small, for garnishing)
- 1 onion (cut into wedges)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chilli (sliced) optional
- Vegetable oil, enough for shallow frying + 1 tbsp

- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 3 tbsp chilli sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dark soya sauce*
- 1 tbsp soya sauce*
* I omitted these and used Kicap Manis instead.

Water, 2-3 tbsp

1. In a wok and deep frying pan, heat up enough vegetable oil to cover prawns when frying. When it is warm, shallow fry prawns in batches for about 5-6 minutes or until pink. Repeat until the whole batch finishes, set aside.

2. In a new pan, pour over 1 tbsp spoon of the vegetable oil. Under medium heat, put in garlic, onion and ginger. Cook until soft. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and add into the pan. Stir well.

3. Add in cooked prawns, spring onions and cut fresh chilli (if using). Cook and stir for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Celery Potato Soup

A short and simple post today, folks ... nothing much. It's the weekend. :)

I have 3 friends currently on a soft diet, and thought this might be something you girls might like to try. :) I made this for my daughter for her after-school snack a few days ago, and she loved it.

(Serves 1 hungry, growing child)
- 2 sticks celery, cut into small chunks
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 floury potato, cut into small chunks
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 to 1 cup stock
- Knob of butter
- Croutons (optional)
- About 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Parsley (optional)

1. In a saucepan, heat up a knob of butter. Fry onions until they begin to sweat. Add in celery and potato and cook for 2-3 minutes.

2a. Pour in water and allow to simmer over a low-medium flame until the vegetables have cooked through and softened. The water would have been reduced considerably. Use a hand held-blender to mash everything into a smooth puree.

2b. If you do not have a hand-held blender, use a food processor (turn off the fire when you do this, obviously). Be careful, as the lids of some food processors can get blown off by the hot steam! After you get a smooth puree, return it to the saucepan, on a low flame.

3. Add stock according to how thick or thinned out you want your soup to be. I added slightly less than 1 cup.

4. Add 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese. This imparts a nice salty flavour. :) I did not need to add salt at all.

5. Top with croutons, or plain toasted bread. Sprinkle parsley before serving.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Durian Trifle

SIGH. This was something I had not intended to make ...

... but it was the best I could make of the situation. Say hello to Durian Trifle.

See, this is what happens when you get overly ambitious. I knew I was going out for lunch with the family in an hour. But I convinced myself that since I had baked this Hot Milk Sponge Cake* so many times, I could definitely pull it off in time, even with my eyes closed. Boy, was I so wrong.
* See here and here.

I kinda "forgot" I had 3 children to round up and dress up, you see (duh!). So in between prepping them and beating the batter to ribbon stage, I realised I actually didn't have enough time! When the hour was up - and we were in a hurry - the cake was still in the oven with another 10 minutes to go. What to do? I had no choice but to turn it off and hope that the cake would be baked through in the hot oven. After all, I psyched myself, it "looked" like it was almost done.


When I got home, all that greeted me was a cake with a depressed centre, and my mood, naturally, took a similar plunge. Gah! I had intended to make a Sponge Cake, then sandwich it with a layer Durian Cream filling ... but that was definitely out of question now.

"Nevermind," consoled the husband. "It's for home consumption, anyway. We'll just make do."

But I couldn't.

That's when I remembered my episode with Ambrosia (which I made using cracked meringues). Ah, I reached for my glasses and started salvaging the spongy baked parts from the (SIGH) soggy centre, then began doing the layering. Voila! In minutes, I had Durian Trifle. How's that for improvisation?

Moral of the story: When life throws you half-baked cakes (literally), make trifle. You heard this first from The Little Teochew. I should trademark this. LOL.

~ Recipe for Hot Milk Sponge Cake is here.

~ Recipe for Durian Cream (based on my own estimation)
- 1 packet durian (there were about 5 or 6 pieces in there)
- 12 tbsp whipping cream (35% fat)
- Icing sugar (depending on sweetness of the durian - I added 1 heaped tbsp)

1. Put the durian flesh through a sieve to remove the fibres.

2. Whip the cream.

3. Fold whipped cream to durian puree into a smooth mixture. Feel free to adjust the proportion of cream to durian as per your preference.

The amount of durian cream is only sufficient for one sandwich layer of a 6 to 8 inch sponge cake. My original intention was to sandwich the cake with durian cream, and then dust the top with icing sugar. If you want to frost the whole cake, you will need to triple the proportions.

There you have it. Durian Trifle. Not too shabby, huh? ;)