Monthly Archives: May 2014

pantry staple: fluffy vegan pancakes

DSC_0035 copy Vegan recipes are challenging in a different way — how does one omit butter, dairy milk and eggs, and still make a delicious banana cake? Check out my post on vegan banana cake. Ever since, it has been my go-to recipe for banana cake.

So I did it again, this time for pancakes. It took me a few attempts and some tweaks here and there before I was satisfied with the result.

Check out my tips at the bottom of this post. Pancakes are one of my favourite breakfast items to make. They also remind me of slow and quiet Sunday mornings. Somehow, just flipping those circles of pale batter on the hot skillet and watching bubbles form on the surface feels therapeutic. Continue reading


7 essential baking tools #whatsinvskitchen

Happy weekend, guys!

I’ve decided to write a series of “Whats in V’s Kitchen” to give you an inside glimpse of my kitchen and baking hobby. I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!

So I’m kickstarting #whatsinvskitchen with “7 of my most essential baking tools”. I had quite a hard time rounding down to seven but here goes…


(Photo taken by my new Samsung Galaxy Camera 2)

1. Round piping nozzle – I use this to pipe round frosting and meringue domes on cupcakes (here & here), and to pipe macaron shells and macaron filling (here) Available in most baking supply shops such as Phoon Huat, Sia Huat and Sun Lik. Cost: $2 – $3.

2. Whisk – They are useful to break apart clumps of flour or icing sugar, to mix dry ingredients together, and to make that satin-smooth chocolate ganache. Cost: $2 for one from Daiso up to $30 for a good quality one from Lemon Zest. I have both silicon and metal whisks.

3. Metal spatula – If I were to rank which item is most essential, this would be it! I use it to flatten the top of cake batters before popping it into the oven, coat cakes with frosting, create swirls and peaks on the frosting of cupcakes. I have a couple of sizes for different purposes, for small to large cakes. Cost: $3 – $12 depending on size, available at Siahuat (has a wider range of sizes) and Phoon Huat.

4. Pastry cutters – These are useful as they have both round and scalloped edges. I use this primarily to cut out scones (here and here) but they can also be used to cut out uniformed tart bases and biscuit sponges for entremets.  The scalloped edges can be used if you want something fancier. I love that they have a wide range of sizes. Cost: $20 from Takashimaya.

5. Measuring cups – Pretty self-explanatory but also another tool I cannot miss. I cannot remember where I got this from as it has been with me since I started baking 6 years ago. Useful for recipes that provide their measurements in ‘cups’ instead of ‘grams’. Try to get one from a reliable source because a slight inaccuracy in measurement can spell problems for how your recipe turns out! Cost: about $5 from IKEA, Phoon Huat or Lemon Zest (most baking supplies shop should stock them).

6. Measuring spoons – Also pretty self-explanatory. Useful for measuring small quantities of dry ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. Cost: about $5 from IKEA, Phoon Huat or Lemon Zest (most baking supplies shop should stock them).

7. Rubber spatula (scraper) – I use this as a scraper to remove material from mixing bowls and as a mixing tool for my cake, cookie and macaron batters, or to stir whipped cream or ganache that has been sitting for a while. The flexible piece of silicone typically has a degree of curvature that matches that of your average bowl, allowing for easy removal of every little vestige of cake batter. Cost: $2 from Daiso/IKEA to $40 for a good one.

Other useful tools (not mentioned above): digital measuring scale, wooden mixing spoon and a sift.

I hope this post will be helpful to bakers who are starting out.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! 🙂

chocolate & tofu brownies

photo 3 copyI’ve made tofu chiffon cake before, but this was my first time making tofu brownies. I like how certain recipes (particularly Japanese) have tofu as their base ingredient. It provides another dimension to the cake, and adds some natural moisture (if you don’t drain the water from the tofu).

This creation was somehow accidental – I was meant to make a fluffy chocolate & tofu pound cake but ended up with brownies as I forgot to add the baking powder! It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I really liked its texture. But if you are a pound cake lover, feel free to follow the recipe as per normal!

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