Sep 30, 2009

5 Grace Rocks!

Well, that's according to Melody. She ask me to do cupcakes, but I heard it wrongly. I heard "Cake". She wanted fondant cupcakes this time but I didn't have the time to mould each figurine for her. And with a full cake, its too heavy for her to lug it all the way from ground floor to 4th floor.

So I baked a Double Chocolate Cake and had it covered with fresh cream that was tinted purple. The cream was also flavoured with Jupe Blueberry concentrated paste. It smells and tasted really nice.

Why purple? Its her favourite colour and Blueberry was her favourite flavour too.

The rocks are chocolate pebbles. I had intention to do a 2 tier cake for her as there are 39 students in her class! But realised she may not be able to carry the cake there. So in the end, the 2nd tier cake(a smaller one) was decorated and given to my neighbours downstairs who had 4 kids. 2 are still little ones, 2 are in their late teens.

These white baby Polar bears are sugar icing from Germany. Aren't they pretty? You can get them from KC store. Its S$7.50 per set of 6 bears.

And my wish for all children today:

Happy Children's Day..enjoy your kid-hood till it lasts. :)

Sep 27, 2009

Roses are Red

I created this cookie just to show customers who frequent our store what they could use the Jupe concentrated fruit pastes for. It was such a hit..many bought the pastes and tried baking at home.

The cookie was also a delight with vegetarians as there was no egg used in the recipe. As Deepavali is coming next month, this would be a delightful cookie to serve family and friends during the Festival of Lights.


Rose Cookies
Recipe by Gina Choong

250g Butter(Salted)
400g Self Raising Flour
150g icing sugar
3 tbsp Jupe Rose Concentrated paste
6 pcs dried rose buds(soften in warm water)

1. Remove leaves, stalks from rose buds, peel and separate rose petals.
2. Melt butter in microwave oven for 1 min till liquid.
3. Add icing sugar, rose paste and stir to mix.
4. Add flour, rose buds petals and mix till it forms into a crumbly dough.
5. Scoop using a cookie scoop and place on baking tray.
6. Bake in preheated oven 180C for 15 mins.
7. Remove to cool before storing.

Dried rose buds are purely for decoration only. You can omit it. It will not alter the final taste of the cookies.

Sep 26, 2009

Work or Play?

When I used to work for others, it was just purely work, work and more work. Occasionally I enjoyed what I do. Provided my bosses appreciated the work hours and time put in. Some days when things don't turn out well, bosses aren't the nicest people around, they are quick to put the blame on us. That's when work is no fun anymore.

Come to think of it, since I left school in 1982, I have been working for others in various companies. While some are fun work, others are monotonous. The need to work was just to earn money, supplement family income and to have money in CPF to get a house. Years later, it was just to cure that need of climbing that corporate ladder.

Thank God, He provided me all of these. My last job was a senior position in a large MNC. With much accomplishment in my career, I decided to give up everything and quit my job. That was in June 2003. Since then, there's no looking back.

Over time, I got bored at home..literally doing nothing except to go to school with Melody and fuss about her going to Primary one back then.

Then I decided to learn about web design and started a new hobby..Cooking and Baking. I created a website called Kitchen Capers and hosted an online discussion board(forum) with it. It was just to share recipes that are tried and tested and proven to work.
Over time, I moved on to teach cooking and baking, before long, I started KC online store last year to sell bakeware and paper ware.

This year, Kitchen Capers Retail started with just a dream, lots of hope and lots of love from my hubby dearest. He feels that I should have a real shop than an virtual shop.

Ever since we started the shop, friends have ask me about life ...was it all work or was it all play?

Its definitely all PLAY now. Why? Because each time when a new shipment of goods arrive, I literally jumped for joy. Its like opening a present (except that I had to pay for it first..!)

This week, I had cookie cutters arriving from USA. And some exotic stuff from different places too. Its fun when you enjoy your work. Its passion that keeps you going too. I look forward to waking up early each day. Its been 4.5 months now...though I have not taken a day's rest, I don't feel stress or drained or tired. In fact, I felt more lively than ever. Going to work now is like going to play.

Here's some of the stuff that came with the post man yesterday:

Sep 25, 2009

Bamboo Charcoal Powder

There seems a craze about this ingredient that is used in baking breads. Personally, I do not like anything that is BLACK in colour that is edible. The colour puts me off. But hubby ask me to try it in bread making. Just to see how it tasted like and maybe to run a short demo on its usage outside our store.

I started to look around for a local supplier who import this in. And I found one.

Its now repackaged for sale at my store at 40g for S$9.50.

As of now, I have 20 bottles left..already sold some 8 bottles.

Here's a link about what it is all about.

And here's fellow blogger's take on using it to bake a black bread.

I might just as well try it on a cookie. I won't have time to fuss about proofing and waiting for bread dough to proof over time.
See how..maybe next week.

Of Pumpkins, Asian style

I have been invited by Cold Storage Singapore to do a LIVE Cooking demonstration outside their store next month. The theme was Halloween and the most important ingredient I had to use was Pumpkins.

This is what I will be doing. No recipes now. That's copyright to Cold Storage Singapore. But do come to the demo and get a copy of the recipes and watch me in action!

4th October, Sunday
2 pm to 3:30pm
Cold Storage Gourmet(Guthrie House)
1 Fifth Ave Guthrie House #01-05 Singapore 268802

View Map by

Pumpkin Spiced Rice by Gina Choong

Pumpkin Custard by Gina Choong

No pre-registration needed. Just come early and reserved your best seats in front!
See you out for the full advertisements on Straits Times a week before the event!

Sep 22, 2009

Sinful rice

Well, we are not much of mooncake lovers or eaters. Actually, we prefer to eat the salted yolk that is buried inside the moonies. So hubby thought it would a wonderful dish if we use it to cook fried rice.

This is just try out recipe as no restaurants we knowed of have done this. Surprisingly it was good. Although very unhealthy as I had to use as many as 4 yolks to get that taste. Otherwise, its good to indulge once in a while.


Salted Yolk Rice
Recipe by Gina Choong

Serves 4 persons

4 bowls of cooked rice(overnight)
2 pcs of chinese sausages(sliced thinly)
3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
4 salted egg yolks
200g bean sprouts(remove roots and bean on top)

1. Remove egg yolks and wash away the salty whites. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat up wok with olive oil and add sausages to stir fry till cripsy brown.
3. Remove and set aside.
4. Leaving oil on wok, add raw yolks to cook. It will look foamy like soap bubbles, use the spatula to press and break the yolks.
5. Add cooked rice, and stir fry to coat rice with yolk flakes.
6. Add bean sprouts and rest of the ingredients to cook on high heat for 5 mins.
7. Dish out, serve hot with freshly cut chilli or coriander leaf.


Sep 19, 2009

Memories are made of this

As Dean Martin would sing it, these are really memories for a young couple as they take their vows tomorrow in front of family and friends for a lifetime together.

Memories are made of this
Dean Martin

Sweet, sweet memories you gave-a me
you can't beat the memeories you gave-a me

Take one fresh and tender kiss
Add one stolen night of bliss
One girl, one boy
Some grief, some joy
Memories are made of this

Don't forget a small moonbeam
Fold in lightly with a dream
Your lips and mine
Two sips of wine
Memories are made of this

Then add the wedding bells
One house where lovers dwell
Three little kids for flavor
Stir carefully through the days
See how the flavor stays
These are the dreams you will savor

With His blessings from above
Serve it generously with love
One man, one wife
One love through life
Memories are made of this
Memories are made of this

Olivia rang me and ask if I could teach her to decorate a wedding cake in fondant. I found out later it was for her own wedding. Not for a friend or a relative. I was really skeptical that we could pull this off..imagine the bride would bake the cake herself, and decorate it and still had to do makeup and dress up for her wedding.

And the cake has to be her late mom's special fruit cake. Not any cake I have in my stash of recipes to use for wedding cakes.

I am a sucker for sob stories. Unfortunately so. The story behind the cake was really heartwarming. Her mom was to bake it for her wedding. But unfortunately, she passed away suddenly. Olivia wanted so much to share her late mom's favourite cake with all her friends and her hubby's family.

So I relented on my end and promised to help her in the process. My private lessons with her ended yesterday. Where she and her hubby came and did the cake together. I took photos of them in the process of dolling up the cake and the little disagreements they had along the way. Like any couple, they started a bit of arguing..then I had to break the air of discontentment and told them how I had my wedding done years ago.

Along the way, there were tears. Tears of fear that the cake wouldn't hold up because the weather wasn't too agreeing. It rained cats and dogs and fondant cannot take rainy days. I had to tell them to leave it to God. Everything will be perfect in the end.

Showing here of Ryan and Olivia piecing the cake together.

Olivia making final touches on the side of the cake.

Ryan putting the blue dragees along the border

Finally, the cake was completed at 6:30pm last evening. Olivia was in tears again..but now not in fear but in joy. We took a group photo together using Ryan's camera. So I have to wait till the images come from them.

Olivia and Ryan
May you both have a beautiful wedding and the Lord bless you and you with a lifetime of happiness and joy.


Sep 15, 2009

Golden Harvest

Or should I say Golden goodness MINUS the sugar! I wanted to try using the Jupe Yuzu concentrated fruit paste to bake a cake. After telling everyone its great for making ice cream, fresh cream and what noughts!

I reduced the sugar by as much as half and a little more. The cake was surprisingly still sweet, light and refreshing in taste and flavour.

A die die must try (at least once!) recipe

Yuzu Fruit Cake
Recipe By Gina Choong

250 g butter (salted)
4 eggs
100g fine sugar
220g Top flour
3 tbsp Yuzu concentrated paste
100g dried citrus fruit(orange)

1. Beat butter with sugar till light and creamy. About 10 mins.
2. Add eggs, one at a time to beat till well combined. Add yuzu paste to mix.
3. Add flour and whip in 1 minute.
4. Finally add citrus fruits and whip for 1 minute till well mixed.
5. Pour into baking pan.
6. Bake in preheated oven 180C for 30 mins.
7. Remove to cool completely before slicing.

Sep 14, 2009

Revisiting Old Charms

Fellow blogger Honey Bee Sweets ask me for this recipe of the teochew Soon kueh. So here it is, not just for her but for all who might be interested.

My dear mother-in-law taught me how to make this years ago. She measured every ingredient by 'gut feel'. Just pour, just grab! To my dismay, nothing was actually measured to the last gram or dash. I had to re-do and re-test it a few times before I figured out what or how much which ingredient was more or less or the ratio of flour to water.

After 6 months of struggling, I finally did it!

Showing you too..the photos of Ah Mak(whom we affectionately address her) making soon kueh. Hers were in the shapes of UFOs..I cheated and did the hawker style which was half moon shape.

Her original UFOs shaped

My half moons shaped, pan fried the next day till crispy, drizzled with sweet sauce.

A family tradition that must be handed down...getting my younger girl, Melody to make some too:

Our little girl Melody's soon kueh. Making her granny very proud of her

Recipe by Gina Choong

Makes 24 pieces

500g turnip, skinned, shredded
100g dried shrimps, soaked in water to soften
5 pcs dried black fungus, soaked in water to soften, shred
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar

300g Rice Flour
80g Tapioca Flour
450ml boiling hot water
1 tbsp corn oil
1 tsp salt


1. In a wok, add 2 tbsp of corn oil to heat. Add dried shrimps to fry till fragrant. Then add black fungus and turnip and stir fry for 5 minutes over high heat.
2. Lastly, add light soya sauce, sesame oil, sugar to mix. Remove and leave it aside to cool completely.
3. In a mixing bowl, add sifted rice flour and tapioca flour, salt and hot water. Stir quickly and it should look lumpy. Add corn oil to mix. Cover the bowl and leave it aside for 15 minutes.
4. Remove and knead into a smooth dough. Divide the dough into 24 portions.
5. Flatten each ball, add a tablespoon of cooked turnip in the centre of the flatten dough.
6. Seal by picking up the sides. Brush with corn oil before steaming.
7. Steam in a steamer over high heat for 10 minutes. Serve hot with sweet sauce or chilli sauce.


Sep 12, 2009

Bowling Good Time!

I had a student for a private lesson with me yesterday. She wanted to bake a cake and decorated it with fondant. The theme is Bowling. She already had in mind what she wanted to do and achieved by the end of the lesson.

I taught her 3 recipes for cakes. All good for use with fondant. The one she covered with fondant was my famous Nutella Chocolate cake recipe. The other two was a new recipe called the Yuzu Fruit Cake and a Raisins Cupcake which uses fresh orange juice to make.

These are what we did yesterday..

Photos showing the cake. In the background you see all the white bowling pins..she made it herself. The cake was covered with Chocolate fondant that was tinted a bit off dark brown with white fondant. The taste and fragrance of the chocolate fondant was still evident.

She also learn how to do 'marbling' effects in fondant modelling. She said her friend had a bowling ball that was black and pink marbling colours. So we created the look alike in the ball too.

The wooden panelling was done with marbling effects too.

These were done at my place..then she had to bring it home and finished up with the rest of the decorations. I also taught her how to make shoes, boots, etc. So she could do a pair on her own to put on the cake.

These 2 photos were emailed to me yesterday. I am VERY SUPER Impressed! She has never work on Fondant before. It was her first try yesterday. And the whole cake was very impressive. I think her friend will either faint or kiss her silly!

Sep 8, 2009

By the light of the silvery moon

I loved the wait, I loved that old song that it had by Doris Day.

By the light of the silvery moon

This is by far the only thing I like about 'moonies'..the song..not the 'cake' though. I still find it too sweet for my liking. But customers have been asking me to run a demo on moon cake making. At least a simple one like snow skin mooncakes. And also to show them how to use the various moulds we have in store.

So make a date on your calendar, this Sunday from 2pm to 3pm. Come down and watch a live demonstration by my friend, Amy Ou of Chef Secret's Cooking Studio on how to make these delightful little 'moonies'. She will be baked some traditional mooncakes for sampling.

Find out more at our website about Amy Ou.

Sep 4, 2009

Ice Cream Demo

What to do on a hot hot afternoon? Make ice cream, of course!

I will be showing everyone how to make ice cream this Sunday at my store.
2 flavours, without eggs and using Konnyaku jelly powder as the binding ingredient.
Chocolate Overload Ice Cream and Mango Ice cream.

6 September 2009 Sunday
From 2pm to 3pm

You will get to sample both types of ice cream. And also to bring home a sample box to freeze at home.

Its something new I have discovered while trying to make ice cream without an ice cream maker and without the use of eggs. After days of freezing, the ice cream was still soft and creamy. So far, I have made a strawberry ice cream using Hershey's Strawberry syrup and have been feeding my students with it. They love the creaminess.

Come down and watch how its done.

Here's the map to my store: