Pooh Deco Steam Cupcake

Made steamed cupcakes for my daughter's breakfast again this morning!

Too tired these days to make bread, since I am taking care of her at home due to new HFMD cases in her school. I am also trying not to strain myself too much, so I am thankful for these easy-to-make recipes shared by other mummies!

Decided to also "cutetify" the steamed cupcakes, so that the little one would feel happier eating them.

The piping method and design are from Little Miss Bento's Tsum Tsum steamed cupcakes post. I wished I had used smaller cupcakes cases like hers. I only realised I didn't have the smaller sizes at home this morning, lol!

But well, as you can see, my piping is not very good haha! I probably need more practice and perhaps a smaller tip for piping also. 

The cupcake recipe was this honey red bean steamed cupcakes I have made previously. This time, I have used pumpkin powder and charcoal powder for natural coloring. For adults taste, I have also added in extra sugar and dollop of Nutella (well, the husband doesn't really like bland food lol).

You can skip the 1.5 tsp of sugar below if you are ok with slightly less sweet cupcakes and/or preparing for your young children. For older children or adults with more developed tastebuds, you can add in the 1.5 tsp of sugar for better taste.

So funny that the left & right ones looked like Ali Baba with moustache! LOL!

Pooh Deco Steamed Cupcakes - Recipe adapted frm Andrea Lim (Healthy Food for My Baby)
(Makes about 4 cupcakes, depending on size)

-  61g plain flour
-  1 tsp baking powder
-  1 tsp pumpkin powder
-  1.5 tsp sugar, optional
-  1 egg
-  2 tbsp milk
-  2 tbsp honey
-  1 tbsp oil
-  0.5 tsp charcoal powder

1.   Sift flour, baking powder, pumpkin powder into medium sized bowl. Add sugar if needed, stir to mix well.

2.   Combine wet ingredients (egg, milk, honey, oil) in another bowl. Whisk well to combine.

3.   Make a well in centre of the the bowl containing dry ingredients. Add in the wet ingredients from (2) into the centre of the bowl.

4.   Use a spatula to mix the dry ingredients into the "well" of wet ingredients. Do not overmix. It's ok to have small lumps in the mixture. Just ensure there is no visible white flour.

5.   From the batter, scoop up about 2 tsp, and place it in a bowl. Add in 0.5 tsp of charcoal powder and mix well.

6.   Scoop yellow batter into cupcake cases. Leave very little amount of yellow batter for use later. Spoon black batter into piping bag, snip off very small corner at the end of the piping bag. You would need it to be "fine tip" for better control of piping the details.

7.   Pipe onto the surface of the yellow batter: eyes, snout and eyebrows. Do take note that after steaming, the details may appear to be bigger, as the top of the cupcakes will develop a dome shape.

8.   For the remaining yellow batter in (6), pipe out the ears (little circles) onto baking paper.

9.   Steam the cupcakes + ears in prepared wok or steamer for 10-15 mins. The wok or steamer should be hot when you placed the cupcakes in it. You might also want to cover the lid with a piece of cloth. I didn't because my lid is quite good; the water droplets slip down the sides on their own, so the droplets won't touch the top of the cupcakes.

10.  Once cupcakes + ears are done, remove from steamer. Let cool slightly.

11.  To put on the ears, you can squeeze it in between the cupcake and liner. Or, you can make small slits on the cupcake (top of Pooh's head), and then slip the ears in.

-  My toddler is 2y5m.

-  Cupcake recipe is adapted from Mummy Andrea Lim on facebook group; Piping details and design from Little Miss Bento. Do check out Little Miss Bento's post because she has several other cute Tsum Tsum characters!

Passion Fruit Muffins

Passion fruit is one of my favourite flavours, really! :)

The other day I saw passion fruit muffins posted by Kenneth, so I really wanted to try it out. Happened to browse at the supermarket and saw a pack of 6 passion fruits!

Although I love the flavour of passion fruit, keeping it to ripen seemed quite difficult for me. I tried ripening them at room temperature, but they looked spoilt after a few days lol. This time I just chucked every one of them into the fridge, and they really do look spoilt after 1 week hahaha!

This is almost a no hassle muffin recipe - you don't need to cream anything. Just measure and mix mix, pour and bake. Great for busy mummies!

The original recipe uses melted butter, which I think would carry a nice buttery scent! I've changed to replace with oil, because my husband do not like buttery taste.

These muffins are tangy and moist. On its own, without the glaze, it's not too sweet as well. So I am happy to offer those kosong muffins without glaze to my 2y5m toddler lol!

Oh yes, these muffins are a hit with my toddler. I suppose she loves passion fruit, like me!

Passion Fruit Muffins - Recipe adapted from Guai Shu Shu
(Makes 8-10 muffins depending on size)
-  4 medium sized passion fruit
-  2 eggs
-  100g oil
-  180g self raising flour (or 180g plain flour + 2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt)
-  120g sugar
-  1/4 tsp baking soda

-  30g icing sugar
-  1.5 to 3 tsp passion fruit juice or milk

1.   Preheat oven to 180C.

2.   Extract the passion fruit juice by straining & pressing the seeds over a sieve or mesh. You might need to add a little water. If you prefer to eat the seeds, you can just add in all the flesh and skip this step.

3.   Add eggs, oil and passion fruit juice or flesh into a bowl. Stir till well combined.

4.   Sift the self raising flour and baking soda. Add sugar to flour mixture and stir to mix well.

5.   Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add in the egg mixture into the well. Mix quickly and lightly. Don't overmix it, otherwise the baked muffins may be dry or tough in texture. It is ok to have lumpy batter. Just ensure there is no visible white flour.

6.  Bake in preheated oven at 180C for about 15-20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

7.   Cool completely before storing in air tight container.

8.   Just before serving, you can drizzle on some icing or glaze. Simply mix the icing sugar with juice or milk. If you want the icing to be thick like mine, use about 1.5 tsp of liquid. If you prefer it to be of thinner consistency, add in slightly more liquid.

-  I am using no-aluminum baking powder, especially baking for kids :)
-  For this recipe, try to use a lighter oil, eg. corn or canola oil.
-  For the glaze, I have used milk, and found that it doesn't really affect the passion fruit taste much.

Xing Zhou Mi Fen 星洲米粉

I have used sliced pork, chopped french beans, omelette here.
Sprinkled with some toasted sesame seeds for the little one, for added fragrance.
Served with simple onion & carrot soup for her cough that time :)

2 weeks back, while I was taking care of the little one, I came across this recipe for fried bee hoon on Guai Shu Shu's blog :)

I was happy to try this out because I had been thinking about variety of fried bee hoon (thin & thick), udon, macaroni etc. It was also good that the little one was receptive towards this fried bee hoon! I have cooked this a couple of times since, and it's still a hit with the little one.

I love this pair of kiddy chopsticks from Daiso!
She's been wanting to use chopsticks to eat after seeing us eating with chopsticks.
Surprisingly, she gets food into her mouth! LOL!

I have modified the recipe slightly to use only curry powder, ketchup and light soy sauce for the seasoning. Original seasoning includes curry powder, ketchup, oyster sauce, corn starch and pepper. Since I have not been able to find a good quality oyster sauce, I just replace with light soy :)

If you are serving this to toddlers, you might want to find a curry powder with blends of spices that do not contain chilli. Mine has a little chilli but seems acceptable for my child.

From Kenneth's post, it seems that originally this bee hoon uses prawns, char siew and bean sprouts. However I have yet to let my child try char siew, so I decided to just use pork. And I also didn't use bean sprouts because I didn't have the time to pluck! Hahaha!

Xing Zhou Mi Fen - Recipe Adapted from Guai Shu Shu
(Serves 2 adults)
-  200g dried bee hoon, soaked and then drained
-  300g of meat, eg. prawns, sliced chicken/pork, fish cake, etc.
-  100g of vegetables & mushrooms, eg. beansprouts, xiao bai cai, sliced carrot, frozen veg, mushrooms etc.
-  1 clove garlic, minced
-  2 eggs, beaten
-  Seasoning: 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp ketchup, 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce, 2-3 tbsp water

1.   Cook the eggs on frying pan or wok until almost set. Scramble it if you wish. Otherwise let the eggs set into omelette, remove and slice thinly.

2.   For the seasoning, mix the sauces in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside.

3.   In your frying pan or wok, heat up some oil (about 2 tbsp or so). Saute garlic till fragrant. Add in meat. Stir fry briefly for a few mins. Once the meat does not look raw, add in vegetables/mushrooms.

4.   Add in the bee hoon and stir fry for a few mins. If the bee hoon appear a little dry, you can add in some hot water. Pour in the sauce, stir fry to coat and mix well. Add some water if it's dry.

5.   Add in the omelette and stir well. You can also add in some white pepper for taste.

6.   Before dishing up, taste if the bee hoon is salty enough. If it's not, add in a little light soy sauce, until taste is to your liking.

-  My toddler is 2y5m.

-  I've added in the seasoning sauce by gradually so that it won't be very overwhelming taste for my toddler. The bee hoon should look orangey in color, after mixing in the sauce. Taste as and when, if you wish.

-  Most ketchup contains artificial ingredients or additives. You can choose organic ketchup with good ingredients, or replace with tomato paste + a little sugar.

Pooh Bear Deco Tang Yuan

A few days back, I happened to see a deco tang yuan post shared by my friend on Facebook. It was a tutorial link to Cute Foodies by Peaceloving Pax. And I realised I had been following her on Instagram! Lol!

I think I first saw deco tang yuan from Little Miss Bento's blog. She makes really nice and cute tang yuan / shiratama!

Since that day I saw Winnie the Pooh's deco tang yuan on my Facebook feed, which I think is relatively easy for my first try, so I had been thinking about it. So yesterday I didn't had any appetite for lunch due to the impending flu/cough, I decided to try making the tang yuan with some Gingen ginger tea.

Traditionally, from my childhood memory, we seem to eat the tang yuan with ginger soup or simple pandan sugar syrup. I think some of us eat it with red bean soup as well.

For the Japanese, it is quite popular now to serve shiratama with fruity syrup, along with fruits, kanten and ice cream.

Oh ya.. I am also happy to have made the yellow dough from natural pumpkin powder! I wanted to use charcoal powder for the facial details, however, I couldn't find them lol. So I've used black food coloring here.

Pooh Bear Deco Tang Yuan - Recipe adapted from Peaceloving Pax
(Makes 4 medium sized tang yuan; Serves 1 - 2 adults)
-  4 tbsp glutinous rice flour
-  1 tsp dried pumpkin powder or yellow food coloring gel
-  Some charcoal or dark cocoa powder or black food coloring gel
-  2 tbsp water (might be lesser, or more, depends on brand of flour)

-  2 tbsp black sesame powder
-  1/2 to 3/4 tbsp sugar
-  1/2 tbsp milk
-  1/4 tbsp peanut butter

1.   Prepare the filling first. Mix all ingredients well in a bowl. You can taste it first if you wish. If it's not sweet enough, you can add in some more sugar.

2.   Using a small teaspoon, scoop out balls of filling and shape into rounds. Set aside till all balls are completed, set them in the fridge or freezer.

3.   For the dough, place glutinous rice flour in a bowl, remove about 1 tsp of flour and reserve for use later. Add in pumpkin powder and mix well. If you are using food coloring, you do not need to remove the 1 tsp of flour.

4.   Add in water by 3 batches to mix with the flour. After adding in 2 batches of the water, slowly add in water bit by bit, if needed. Knead with your head so that you can have a better feel of the dough. It should not be sticky to your hands, and feel soft like your earlobe. If the dough becomes sticky due to too much water, knead in more flour until it doesn't stick.

5.   Once the main dough is ready, remove a portion of it. Add in charcoal powder or dark cocoa powder or black coloring. Knead till color is even. If you add in powder, you might need to dab your fingers with some water to add to the dough so it does not get too dry.

6.   For shaping, divide yellow dough roughly into 4 portions. Roll into balls.

7.   Divide into 3 portions for each ball of dough - face + 2 ears. Flatten the face dough with your thumb, into a bowl-like dough. Place filling into the dough and seal the ends properly, so that the filling will not leak out during cooking later on. Roll the dough in between your palms lightly to smooth out lines, if any.

8.  Do step (6) for all yellow dough. Set aside on lined plate or tray. Cover with cling wrap or damp towel.

9.   Now to prepare the facial details, roll out small tiny balls of black for eyes + nose + eyebrow. You might need a sharp knife (cut) and toothpick (move the dough onto the yellow dough) to help you. You would need to work quickly as the black dough required is very small, and they tend to dry out and crumble easily. You can dab your fingers with some water if so.

10.   Place the black details onto the yellow dough, cover with cling wrap until ready to cook.

11.  Prepare water in a saucepan that is of enough height. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Once boiling, place tang yuan dough into the pot of water. I've used a ladle to help me - place the tang yuan onto the ladle, place into water, and gently shake it out of the ladle.

12.  Cook the tang yuan until they float. Cook further for about 1 min more, to ensure that it is completely cooked. If you are not eating immediately, you can place them into a bowl of water first.

13.  Serve with warm ginger tea/soup, red bean soup or simple syrup water.

-  I've made 4 tang yuan with this recipe, which is slightly medium sized. If you wish to make smaller ones, you can simply just divide the main dough and filling into more balls.

-  For fillings, other than using this black sesame recipe, you can also use ready-made red bean paste or chopped gula melaka. 

-  I've used black coloring for the details because I cannot find my charcoal powder. I feel for details, it would be easier to use food coloring if you are trying out for the first time :)

-  For the eyebrows, you can also choose to use a toothpick or fine brush to color on using coloring gel. It would be easier that way, as it can be difficult to roll out thin longish shaped dough.

Sweet Potato Chakin Shibori

Over the last few weeks when the little one was home with me, I came to realise that she's probably developing more of her own taste and texture preferences in food.

She had this weird "habit" of eating more in school, and lesser at home. She usually relies more on milk at home lol.

So these days, when I have time, I started to explore more of "kiddy" food which involved smaller sizes, more natural colors and vibrancy, as well as more variety in choices and texture.

Yesterday, since I had some time in the afternoon, I made this sweet potato chakin shibori as a "side dish" for her dinner.

Chakin Shibori is simply forming mashed sweet potato (or other vegetables like pumpkin, yam) in a piece of chakin (tea or muslin cloth). These days I think most mamas prefer to use cling wrap because it's more convenient. The ball of sweet potato will have nice patterned lines on top, by twisting the cloth or cling wrap.

If I remember correctly, chakin shibori is a kind of wagashi, and often eaten as tea snack. However, it's also a popular "side dish" in bentos.

My chakin shibori is slightly darker in color, probably due to oxidation. I guess I would try out different varieties of sweet potato to find the best one :) 

Sweet Potato Chakin Shibori - Recipe from Washoku
(Makes about 3-4 sweet potato cakes)
-  200g sweet potato
-  3/4 to 1 tbsp sugar
-  1 tsp butter
-  1 tbsp milk

-  Egg yolk, beaten (for glaze)
-  Black or white sesame seeds

1.   Wash and peel the sweet potato. Steam for about 10 - 15 mins, until softened.
      You can also boil it with some water in a saucepan, or microwave it.

2.   Once steamed, place sweet potato on a plate and mash it with a fork. Add in this sequence: sugar, butter, milk. Mix well while it's still hot or warm.

3.   Leave to cool to room temperature before shaping the cakes.

4.   Take a piece of cling wrap and place a 1/3 or 1/4 portion from the sweet potato mixture on it. Shape into a ball and then twist the top (of the ball) of the cling wrap to form patterned lines. You can serve as it is.

5.   If you prefer it to have slightly crispy exterior, you can bake the cakes from step (4). Place the sweet potato cakes onto lined baking tray. Egg wash slightly with beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

6.   Bake in preheated oven 185C for 10-15 mins, until surface turns golden brown.

Dinner for my daughter (2y5m)!
Multigrain rice + pumpkin balls, chakin shibori, air fried pork chop & stir fry snow peas.

-  You can also use 2 variety of sweet potato, eg the yellow flesh + purple flesh ones.
-  If you are offering to your child, 1 year old or below, please make sure there is no allergy with egg yolk and dairy product.
-  You can also choose to wrap "filling" inside the sweet potato cakes, eg. some red bean paste, banana. If so, you can omit the sugar if you do not want it to be too sweet for your child.